[click image to play video in QuickTime format; 19 meg, 0:02:55]
When planning this work, I decided to start with the audio track of a read poem and to add music, but then to go a step further and construct an argument around the poem’s topic. To convey my argument, I selected visuals to illustrate the audio tracks.
Salon.com offers a substantial selection of Dylan Thomas’ poems and readings for download, and I was able to find one that fit perfectly with my purpose: “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.” To accompany the poem, I chose a recording of the MSU Men’s Glee Club singing “Reel a’ Bouche,” a piece by Malcolm Dalglish based on a French-Canadian folk tune. I was one of the singers on the recording, which tilted my appropriation of the music toward Fair Use, or at least what I felt was a fair use.
I’ve long been fascinated with the work of Aubrey de Grey, Ray Kurzweil, Hans Moravec, and the transhumanist movement in general. De Grey’s claims are fairly modest, given the scope of the movement; he believes that it may be scientifically feasible to eliminate aging as a cause of death in the very near future. The fundamental questions raised by de Grey's position confront the proper limits of human power, and the proper response to age and death.
Although I didn’t try to answer these questions in my piece, I did want to bring them to mind for my audience. I used photos from a stock photography community, an image manipulation community, de Grey's website, and video clips from news coverage of de Grey's project. I also took text from de Grey's site for the captions.
This video, in its current incarnation, falls solidly under Fair Use, given its educational character and lack of threat to the market for any of its constituent parts.