The Withness (2011) Collaboration [video, objects, performance, sound, print]
"The Withness is a parafictional collaborative project I organized with a group of my students at the University of Oklahoma in 2011. During a semester-long course we developed a 45-minute video that was composed of a series of discrete vignettes. The project was broken into modules we collectively decided on; these included ‘affectively-charged’ media spaces. For instance, this page highlights ‘horror’, ‘wresting’ and ‘cuteness’. Additionally, we produced a variety of objects and media elements to accompany the primary video. These included a 130 book, video game, and electro-mechanical sculptures."
Above: The Withness [Horror Night] (2011) Performance, video, installation
"In this video for the horror module of the Withness we occupied an abandoned Navy medical barracks on an airfield located in Norman, Oklahoma. The airfield was originally built as a civil airport by the Nuestadt family and named for an uncle [Max Westheimer]. The U.S. Navy took control of the airport in 1941 and repurposed it as a training field during world war two. We discovered an underground generator facility and rooms marked with radiation warnings. The participants developed and performed highly stylized fictional narrative derived from horror movies in response to historical evidence from the site."
Above: The Withness [WrestleMania] (2011) Performance, video, installation 

"Responding to a mixture of ‘The World of Wrestling’ [Barthes, Mythologies] and Midwest USA WrestleMania culture, participants emulated a primetime, pay-per-view house party. Each member developed an avatar and supported their ‘character’ from the perspective of a fandom. Each supporter re-created their character in a WrestleMania video game and performed roles as player/ participants and avid fan. Additionally, we created a series mock-music videos to accompany the event."
Above: The Withness [Cuteness] (2011) Performance, video 

During the ‘cute’ day each participant appropriated a scene from popular culture, and re-staged it with a flare of humor and generally banal silliness. Each person pulled motivation from media experiences that stayed with them since youth. Aspects of the project during this module were developed along with a corresponding series of ‘auto-ethnographies’ that were self-published in a book documenting the whole project.
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