Sunday, August 26, 2007

Numa Numa VS Acconci

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Gary Brolsma NUMA NUMA Dance 2004

Internet-based video of American Gary Brolsma lip-synching the song energetically on his webcam brought the Numa Numa phenomenon to the US. Brolsma stated in an interview, "...I found it ["Dragostea din tei"] in another (I believe it was Japanese) flash animation with cartoon cats"Maiyahi by ikari.[3] Others have noted that it was first used in the Japanese flash animation Maiyahi by the Internet user "ikari".[4]


Brolsma uploaded his "Numa Numa Dance" to Newgrounds on 6 December 2004.[5] In the original video, Brolsma does not finish the entire song, ending at around 1:37. On Newgrounds it has since been seen more than 14 million times and copied onto hundreds of other websites and blogs, making it the second-most watched viral video of all time (only losing out to Star Wars kid).[6] He has also receive

d mainstream media coverage from ABC's Good Morning America, NBC's The Tonight Show, and VH1's Best Week Ever, and, according to The New York Times, was an "unwilling and embarrassed Web celebrity".[7] He canceled media appearances but reappeared in September 2006 with a professionally produced video, New Numa. This video, hosted on YouTube, marked the start of the "New Numa Contest", which promised US$45,000 in prize money and a US$25,000 award to the winner.[8]

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Vito Acconci Theme Song 1973

In Theme Song, Acconci uses video as close-up to establish a perversely intimate relation with the viewer, creating a personal space in which to talk directly to (and manipulate) the spectator. He is face to face with the viewer, his head close against the video screen, lying cozily on the floor. Acconci writes, "The scene is a living room -- quiet, private night -- the scene for a come-on -- I can bring my legs around, wrapping myself around the viewer -- I'm playing songs on a tape recorder -- I follow the songs up, I'm building a relationship, I'm carrying it through." Smoking cigarettes, he begins a seductive monologue as he plays "theme songs" by the Doors, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Kris Kristofferson and others on a tape recorder. The songs are a starting point for his come-ons; the tenor of his monologues shifts with the lyrics. "Of course I can't see your face. I have no idea what your face looks like. You could be anybody out there, but there's gotta be somebody watching me. Somebody who wants to come in close to me ... Come on, I'm all alone ... I'll be honest with you, O.K. I mean you'll have to believe me if I'm really honest...." Theme Song, with its ironic mixture of openness and manipulation, is one of Acconci's most effective works

Star Wars Kid VS. Naumann

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Star Wars Kid 2002

The boy made a video of himself swinging a golf ball retriever around as a weapon, imitating the Darth Maul character from Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace who wields a double-bladed lightsaber. The video was filmed at the studio of his high school, and the tape was left forgotten in a basement. The original owner of the videotape discovered his recorded acts and immediately shared it with some friends. Thinking that it would be a funny prank, they encoded it to a WMV file and shared it using the Kazaa peer-to-peer file sharing network.

Within two weeks, the file was downloaded several million times. An adapted version of the video was created, adding Star Wars music, texts, and lightsaber lights and sounds to his golf ball retriever.

As of 27 November 2006 it has been estimated by The Viral Factory that the videos had been viewed over 900 million times, making it the most popular "viral video" on the Internet. Because of the creation of YouTube, it may have been seen almost a billion times.[1]


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Bruce Naumann stamping in the studio 1968



In 1966, just graduated, Nauman contemplated what it was that an artist was supposed to do. He concluded that 'if I was an artist and I was in the studio, then whatever I was doing in the studio must be art.' Art at this point 'became more of an activity and less of a product' and he began to use his body as a material.

Concerned to incorporate the mundane elements of daily life into his work, Nauman used his behaviour, obsessively pacing around the studio, as the starting point for a series of films and videos made from 1967-69. He recorded himself performing simple, repetitive activities, each responding to a specific 'problem' suggested in the title. Physically and mentally demanding, these actions were often performed for one hour – the length of a videotape. As a result, the threat of failure is ever present, evoking in the viewer an empathy Nauman described as a 'body response'.

Although made much later, Setting a Good Corner (Allegory and Metaphor) 1999, responds to a similar set of concerns. Once again, the artist records himself performing a repetitive, mundane task, this time from the daily life on his ranch in New Mexico.

The figure in these recordings, which are endlessly looped, becomes a metaphor for the rituals and struggles of human existence and owes much to the plays and stories of Samuel Beckett that Nauman first read in 1966. Nauman shares with Beckett an obsession with the human condition: both use repetitive, non-productive and often solitary physical activity to reveal the lot of humankind – its modes of behaviour, frustrations, abilities and frailty.