Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

How to Dance Harlem Shake in Finland - Creating a Video Project

Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

How to Dance Harlem Shake in Finland - Creating a Video Project

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Making videos has become increasingly important in the lives of pupils and students. Scientific research has also increased recently (Cheng-Ting et al., 2011; Florez-Morris et al., 2010; Henderson et al., 2010; Hilton, 2011; Jarvis et al. 2011; Jensen et al., 2012.) It is easy to send videos to YouTube or Vimeo using simple applications and with a few mouse clicks. Basically, the whole world is the audience for video output when it is uploaded to the network. Countless numbers of different video materials are downloaded from the Internet every day.

Amateurs and enthusiasts also produce for the Internet more and more material that earlier was produced only by professionals in certain fields. This concerns the production of music, pictures, videos and different teaching materials. It provides meaningful opportunities and challenges. We can ask how a viewer can select the essential information

In principle, every photographer or video user can send videos to the Internet. Particularly the ease of sending videos makes it possible that on the Internet there are various kinds of video material. The simplest are video clips that have been sent by mobile phone, iPad or video camera and loaded to YouTube to be watched. On the ot her hand, the video can be edited and combined with almost unlimited number of photos, videos, clips, and music to create an artistic and ambitious video collage.

The purpose of this article is "to open" the world of the video maker. How does he or she d esign, execute and estimate the output that has been has made? What does the video maker think when making different decisions? Often video makers are interested in how their objects will be accepted. What objectives and goals a video maker set for the work? What kind of information do the outsiders see in the videos that are sent to YouTube? On the other hand, what kind of information does the video sender see when he/she creates a new account? These are questions that were asked in this video project taught to informant Mikko Halonen, who was the leader on this Harlem Shake video project.

1.1. Memes

It is the memes that are related to the Harlem Shake video product. The meme study is one topic of research. A meme is a concept that spreads via the Internet (Schubert, 2013). Further, the word meme was coined by Richard Dawkins in his 1976 book, The Selfish Gene as an attempt to explain the way in which cultural information spreads (Dawkins, 1989, 192). Internet memes are a subset of this, specific to the culture and environment of the Internet. Fads and sensations tend to grow rapidly on the Internet, because instant communication facilitates word of mouth transmission.

According to Dawkins (1989, 210), both the genes and memes spread despite whether they a re useful for a person. For instance, the musical memes have been examined by Jan (2007). Dawkins (1993, 210) states that "melodies, thoughts, refrains et cetera" can be memes: "When giving the name to his invention, he wanted to have the noun which includes the idea of the unit of the conveying of the culture, in other words of the unit of the imitating". The Internet has further been a source for the creation and propagation of many new memes.

1.2. Harlem Shake

Harlem Shake is an Internet phenomenon where in similar videos people dance to the rhythm of the Harlem Shake tune by Baauer. The structure of the videos is nearly always similar: one person begins dancing and after some time others join to the dance swinging indefinitely. Usually the clothing of the participants is imaginative. Nearly 50,000 different Harlem Shake videos had been uploaded to the Internet by the end of February 2013. The reason the videos are so popular is their simplicity and brevity, about 40 seconds (Vaarama, 2013). Frilander (2 013) says that the name that is heard in the videos has been borrowed from a dancing style that became popular at the beginning of the 1980s (Frilander, 2013). …

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