Blog Post 11.5: Questions for Friday’s Class

Hi everyone,

Here’s a thread for our preparation for talking with filmmaker Eric Fleischauer in Friday’s class. As a reminder, alongside the film you should read the article by Miltner and Highfield in the packet and this Teen Vogue article on reaction gifs and digital blackface. Then you should post at least two questions (or clusters of questions) before our discussion Friday: one question should be for Fleischauer himself, since we’ll do some Q and A time with him– it can be about his process, his work, the film, his views, etc. The other should be a generative question or set of questions that we can take up with him in response to his film, these readings, and the gif as an appropriative unit of digital culture. See you all soon!

19 thoughts on “Blog Post 11.5: Questions for Friday’s Class”

  1. Question for Fleischauer: Alright, someone has to ask it. Do you pronounce GIF with a hard ‘g’ or a soft ‘g’? With that out of the way, what was your process for GIF selection? Did you go from script to searching for GIFs, or did you get inspired to use certain GIFs for the film when you naturally saw them on the internet?

    Question for Everybody: What about the GIF allows you to identify on a personal level with what is depicted as opposed to other things? Is it the length? The repetition? The content of a GIF? What makes it so attractive to specifically you?

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  2. Question for Fleischauer: Why did you choose to work in Gifs? Why did you choose to make the film silent? Was the music that Professor Tinkle created what you envisioned accompanying your film?

    Question for Class: Do you feel that there are other digital communication tools that allow us to appropriate culturally, artistically etc. in the same way that gifs do?

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  3. Question for Fleischauer: did you feel more strongly like a curator during the film-making process or a creator – or a hybrid of the two?

    Question for class: what about the arrangement of this film, from chaos to relative structure, recalls our discussions about the archive (as far as contextualization of information, vastness of information, etc.)?

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  4. Fleischauer: Have you used any of the gifs in your movie in everyday life? Is there one or several in particular that has special meaning for you?
    Class: Given the memetic nature and relation to popular culture of reaction gifs, to what extent are gifs a reflection of societal communication and to what extent do they shape societal communication?

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  5. Question for Fleischauer: I can imagine the whole experience of the film to be very different as a silent film. What were your thoughts behind the decision to make it silent? And then, what compelled you to provide live music alongside the screening?

    Question for class: Do we think gifs are a lasting form? Or are they more of a fad that will fade in a few years?

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  6. Question for Fleischauer: If you were to make the film today, what aspects would you do differently? Also, do you prefer the seapunk or vaporwave aesthetic more?

    Question for class: Does the addition of music change your perception of the gifs?

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  7. For Fleischauer: What is the significance of the title? Why twohundredfiftysixcolors?

    For class: My biggest experience of gifs is as clips taken from pop culture – more of a fandom phenomenon than anything else. I think there was one Parks and Rec gif in the film, but other than that I didn’t notice much from popular films and TV. I found it surprising that so few of the gifs in the film were recognizable, and I’m wondering what the rest of the class’s thoughts are on this.

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  8. For Fleischauer: How did you choose to order the gifs (various themes) for the film? What did you want to achieve in the chronology?

    For class: Were you able to pay close attention to the entire film? What was the effect on your attention span to watch 95 minutes of curated gifs? Did the music help you focus and connect?

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  9. Question for Fleischauer: Is there something that sparked or birthed this idea/what is the “why” factor for this film? What do you think tracing this evolution is important?

    Question for Class: Is there a way to deracialize gif culture? If not, do we think it will progressively become more violently racial and out of control?

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  10. Fleischauer: Certain themes that are recognizable to internet culture (such as cats and pizza) seem to appear throughout your film. Did you actively search for these themes while creating the film or did they seem to appear as you were finding them? Also what sites and/or apps did you use to find all of these gifs?

    Class: Thinking about gifs in terms of performance, how does ones use of a gif in a conversation influence that flow or tone of the conversation. Do you find they are used more often at the beginning, end, or middle and are you more likely to use gifs with people you know?

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  11. Fleischauer: Why did you choose to include such creepy images and creepy music?
    Class: How does using “black lingo” on social media relate to using black reaction gifs? Is this much worse?

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  12. Fleischauer: What did your selection process look like? What are some of the qualities you looked for in the gifs that made it into the final film?
    General: What is the significance of the looping quality of GIFs? It may be relevant to talk about this in relation to vines, which are also looping videos, only with sound.

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  13. Fleischauer: What was the selection process like? First, How’d you narrow it down to 3000 GIFs? Next, musical selection? Why the looping and 3 frame repetition?
    Personally, this film felt like an endurance/ tolerance test where you sit in front of and get inundated, so what was the original intention of the film and I guess making this so long?

    General: How do you perceive the history of a GIF? We spoke about Memes in the sense of history, but also life-span; what would that look like for a GIF?

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  14. Question for Fleischauer: How have audiences reacted to this film? Have there been any negative responses?

    Question for Class: Were you able to recognize some of the gifs from the film? Either the gif itself, the pop culture it was taken from (such as movies and tv shows), or perhaps from the type of website it would be used on?

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  15. Question for Fleischauer: Why did you feel the need to explain your acquisition process/that these are unoriginal gifs in the first place?

    Question for Class: What were the gifs that most caught your eye and why? What does this say about our current culture ie why did people laugh at the cats?

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  16. Question for Fleischauer: Many of the GIFs in the film looked like they predated 2007; they had the aesthetic quality of something that I remember seeing as someone’s online signature on a forum board. Why did you choose to primarily include these GIF’s, and not the more glossy 60fps GIFs we see on a site like reddit?

    Question for Class: What is the aesthetic significance and the cultural politics implicated by the looping aspect of the GIF?

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  17. Fleischauer: Do you find any of your chosen GIFs offensive? If so, why include them?

    Class: Were you able to pay attention for the entirety of the film? Were there segments that made it hard to keep focused? Any segments that brought you back into it?

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  18. Question for Fleischauer: How was your work shaped by the fact that GIFs are an art form that is mainly used for interpersonal communication?

    Question for the class: is there a way to police/stop digital blackface?

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