Formal Analysis: JayZ Picasso Baby

Jay-Z is an artist that has the goal of integrating other artists into a world of self-expressed unity. In the digital narrative ‘JayZ-Picasso Baby’ on Vimeo, this unity is what called me upon my choice for this analysis. I will be honest and tell you that this piece I will be writing about does not automatically stand out as digital media. The video is on Vimeo and it portrays Jay-Z as a catalyst for action that some artists take. This action is intimacy and vulnerability that catches people’s attention. I chose this piece because it introduces a technological era of expression that viewers can take in and interpret for the development of the mind. This video is placed on the web where the medium and the viewer can connect and bond. This bond exists through the digital realm as a collection of film that have been brought together. I will dissect this video and explain its fit as a digital media piece while also expressing its meaning through its use of digital media.

In this video, Jay-Z hosts an event where many different types of artists come together to interact and share a part of themselves with one another. In doing this, Jay-Z has a venue that is very small. He wants to make the space intimate and close because this forces people to get closer and connect. This small confine contains a big amount of energy that people feel more of than if they were in a bigger space. Jay-Z wanted to bring the different worlds of art densely together. There is a separation from the art and the viewers that he felt inclined to bridge back together with this event. With this venue, there are no expectations of where time will take the people who are participating. As the event takes place, Jay-Z starts singing ‘Picasso Baby’ and the whole crowd goes crazy. The momentum is sensational as he performs in the small room. The people start singing along, clapping, and dancing. People surrounding Jay-Z proceed to go into the middle and start interacting with him, doing various acts. Some stare intently into his eyes and move with him while others dance and sing along. People really get into it and feel the happiness and love in the air. Everyone in that room who interacted and performed was art. The people made themselves art through the use of music. The people were themselves and that is art. Expressing how, why, and who you are through what you do in this medium is art in my eyes.

This video is published to the web on an internet site called Vimeo. This video exists online in the web and there only. This experience that the people went through who were a part of the video had a different set of events than the people who viewed it on Vimeo. The videographers captured the moments they felt were most inspiring and best suited to be seen by viewers. Therefore, the moments caught on camera are a different experience for the viewers. Jay-Z has a certain message that he wants to demonstrate to the onlookers. The content of this message is tailored to what is chosen instead of the events that naturally proceeded one after another. These events in this video are realistic phenomena that happened to be captured to inform an audience. The accessibility of this piece warrants people to watch it wherever there is Wi-Fi. Technology of this age plays a huge role on what a big population of people can watch. This idea of art is now a public media interest brought to the forefront of people’s minds through this narrative.

In a music video, you have a whole cast that is taught what to do and how to do it. There are people hired to perform a specific action that is staged. The artist who sang the song acts to sing it while creating an attention grabber throughout the video. The artist could dance, act out a scene, or even talk. There are camera men who film to put this piece of work out there online to freely be watched or bought to be watched at any given time. The way in which Jay-Z’s video can be watched is much more limiting than that of a music video. Jay-Z put his work out only on Vimeo, whereas Beyoncé’s ‘Ego’ music video for example can be bought on Amazon and iTunes. As this music video is bought, it no longer exists in the computing world on the web. There is no need to look up ‘Ego’ and find it on a website when now one can just go in their Library on an iPhone and watch it without having to stream its contents. ‘Picasso Baby’ is restricted by its ability to be viewed. This aspect makes the video a digital media item more so than a music video could ever be because of it’s existence on the web.

There is also an interactive process that is presented as well in ‘Picasso Baby’. The music that is being played brings me into the video. I feel like I am there experiencing everything that the people in the room are experiencing. The different vibes and emotions people portray and act out are contagious. I feel everything they feel. As a human being, I have the capacity to empathize and ‘Picasso Baby’ allowed me to do that. Even though there was nothing I could click on or respond to with the drag of my mouse, I had the pleasure of singing along with the video and bobbing my head to the beat. That is a different form of interaction which is dependent upon what people like and find interesting. The video put out on Vimeo will attract its type of unique audience that brings out a specific type of interaction based off of its medium. This medium is accessed online to a particular audience in which Jay-Z beautifully brought to the people.

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