ReMediating Identity and Bluster

This make started out more ambitiously.  I was thinking about what I might do when the news of Chris Christie’s announcement of his presidential bid came on the radio.  Much of the coverage was focused on Christie’s history of bluster and temper, and I got thinking about the ways in which the public might tolerate that sort of behavior differently were it not a white male in a business suit and neatly pressed shirt.

I wanted to play with words, visual representations of identity, gender, race and identity.

And some apps.

Among things he said:

America is tired of handwringing and indecisiveness and weakness in the Oval Office.

I spent some time looking for ways to create voice syntheses — to  rip the audio off the videos of the speech and then literally change the words coming out of Christie’s mouth into accented and gendered voices to play with how we (I) might respond differently to the same words coming from speakers of different identities.

I gave up on that after seeing that it would take me too long and/or cost too much to get access to decent voice synthesis software (and who knew — there are such sites for business use).

Seeing others in #clMooc use ThingLink and then Plotagon,  I remembered that I had Tellagami on my iPad.

So I made some different characters saying the same sentence from Christie’s speech.

(it seems that ThinkLink doesn’t want to embed here).

I had fun, even while the final project seems pretty limited in the end.

And I’m putting it out there anyway.  Make and move forward.

Things I learned:

1.  The accents in Tellagami beyond standard Adult American English are pretty limited.

2. While Tellagami offers choices of 7 different emotions, all the characters sort of seem to be on the same dose of Valium.

3.  I downloaded what was supposed to be a large image (via Google search parameters) of Christie, so am disappointed by the quality.  Duh. Check image size after download next time.

4.  If I was going to do something like this again, it could be fun to have collaborators don symbolic elements of costume/accent and act out different emotions on video.

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3 Responses to ReMediating Identity and Bluster

  1. Amanda says:

    I tried Tellagami last semester and was similarly disappointed. Gender and ethnicity are very limited. I get that it’s a free app, but still.

    Love this idea of remediating Christie. He’s got so much that could use remediation. 🙂


  2. professorjvg says:

    Yes, Amanda. Disappointing. And I paid to get more options but that just meant more conventional gendered hair styles :).


  3. karen says:

    Thanks for sharing your reflections. I appreciate the “Make and move forward” sentiment. And I think that the idea of having collaborators act out different versions of this would be great.


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