Smeechy previously GLTI.CHed with a fox

Following our day of workshopping and discussion of GLTI.CH Karaoke at Syntax, fellow artist/designer/videosmith Smeech was left “wondering if the text in karaoke could be made subject to some of the other systems of language collection and manipulation.”  He writes on his blog:

The Karaoke event is a space that celebrates naffness and mistakes – through the video, the backing tracks, and of course the performers. But it is also a communal space – a collective endeavor. GLIT.CH karaoke extends this communality by creating karaoke events between cities and continents using streaming platforms such as Skype and Live Stream. The cross-cultural meets the low-tech, creating even more room for happy accidents in the translation and performance of the karaoke.

I have only recently started to use subtitle files, incorporating them into Youtube videos and DVD Studio projects, but they strike me as an deceptively powerful and simple format. Taking words that should accompany a video, and simply structuring this with timecode text creates something that can be played back dynamically. It uses no extra ‘coding language’ as it were, other than the timecode itself, and can be accessed via a text editor.

I created my original subtitle file (.srt file) using subtitling program called Jubler, to punch time code, and copy and paste lyrics, whilst playing back the video on MPEG streamclip. It was a bit laborious, but it was straightforward… creating our own versions of the subtitle track is easy from this point. For instance, Trine, a poet, decided to take the lyrics and respond to them using found material. Tim Brunsden put the original lyrics through Google translator, turning them into Slovakian and back. This was then pasted into the .srt file using text edit:

The so-cool! fruits of Smeech’s labors–and by extension Trine and Tim Brunsden‘s–can be found here on Smeech’s blog.  If only YouTube would recognize it as the appropriation it is and not the copyright infringement it isn’t long enough for us to actually experience it.