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Death Effects

Olivia Dunbar »


The soundtrack in Death Effects is a recording of Miley Cyrus' "We Can't Stop" as it is streamed on the artist's laptop from Youtube. This version captures the delays and glitches in the streaming audio, recording the speed of data buffering as well as the audio track itself. The same technique is used to gather the images and simple animations in the video's background - hours of searching for specific content on generic right's free media sights like Shutterstock result in screen captures that become the ambient moodboard behind the scrolling text.

In this song Cyrus sings "It's my mouth, I can say what I want to". And it is the claim to personal agency that at the same time affirms and denies the very possibilities of this agency. The line renders the agony of agency, or the individual power of speech and action in a necessary and inescapable co-dependency. Mine is conditional to yours. I can say what I want to as long as there is someone listening to what I am saying, acknowledging my presence. My mouths, my voice, my body are presences as long as the ‘I’ is in relation to a ‘You’, to the other. There is nothing I can really possess.

The condition of being in relation as form of agency brings about the question of a different libidinal economy, in which we give rather than own; we live in proximity, give ourselves and share in intimacy, freely, in excess beyond any form of possession.




grafisches Element