This week we’ve decided to focus on a recent uploaded video that particularly caught our eye. Canadian director Dominic Gagnon’s short film RIP In Pieces America (2009) shared from Outcasting uses hijacked internet footage documenting ordinary people’s disillusionment with the American Dream. Turning the YouTube screening process on its head, Gagnon cleverly preserves deleted user videos in a film which captures the essence of American disturbia.
At its most technical, the short film is simply a video collage compiled with sourced footage from YouTube. It is composed of a series of monologues produced by real video bloggers, all sharing a common theme, the death of the American Dream. From the religious to the atheists, vloggers from across the United States find themselves juxtaposed with like-minded thinkers.
In effort to preserve the memory of angry vloggers, Gagnon captured flagged videos on YouTube and archived them prior to their deletion from the server. Gagnon succeeded, and captured nearly twenty two minutes of sheer American disturbia. Phrases like ‘the end of the American economy’ and ‘the downfall of America’ run throughout the DIY political analysts’ monologues. Ranting about American politics and the myth of the American dream, these vloggers share another common denominator: their YouTubed videos got deleted for content misuse.
In a critique of censorship, the director resurrects lost content from the internet. Why does it matter? Of the project, Gagnon says: ‘I was watching video on the Internet and I noticed that certain homemade clips were flagged for their content. As they were disappearing from free hosting sites, I started to save and edit them in a capsule format. Working in a grey zone about copyright, I nevertheless fulfill the authors’ will to contextualize their situation by grouping their videos together and more importantly diffuse/preserve their messages.’