SFotD: Gangnam Style Without Music Creates Profound Unease

By  · Published on October 3rd, 2012

Why Watch? It’s not this column’s intention to promote wacky memes (despite our appreciation of cat videos from 1890), so please trust that this particular video is something that bends a wildly popular piece of culture into something a bit more challenging. On the surface, YouTube user Moto2h has used simple sound editing techniques to transform something we’ve all heard way too many times, but the experience of watching “Gangnam Style” without the music is completely uneasy. It’s a sonic cousin of “Garfield Minus Garfield,” and I’m pretty sure it creates the kind of existential crisis that Kafka would tear his hair out about.

Admittedly, it’s hard to explain why. Maybe it’s a case of the familiar being made alien, but it seems more likely that this video crawls up into the range of experimental genius by exposing the grand absurdity not only of this single music video, but inherent in the artform at large. Without the glue of the song to unite the images, they become impossibly disconnected, and the editing becomes almost wholly unintelligible. It’s something fun twisted into something deeply, deeply bizarre.

Hat tipt to Andrew Sullivan for featuring it.

What will it cost you? Only 4 minutes.

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