It was – not surprisingly – an evening highlighting mixed messages and odes to mass media. The MTV Video Music Awards were sponsored by Clean and Clear and featured their #SelfAcceptanceSpeech campaign promoting kindness to oneself and others, yet much of the hype around the show focused on bullying from Nicki Minaj, Taylor Swift and host Miley Cyrus. Another sponsor was Truth, airing anti-smoking PSAs between pot-smoking cheers from Cyrus, Kanye West and Snoop Dogg. Plus there were the usual juxtapositions where feminism and sexual empowerment are equivocated with side boobs and mini-dresses, and where the same people trumpeting independence from corporate branding and media are the very same people who profit most from those enterprises. The list goes on.
Here at The LAMP, we broke the VMAs and used the evening to share remixes made by our students talking back to the barrage of mixed media messages embedded in music videos themselves. Teens in Queens and Manhattan broke videos like Swift’s Bad Blood, which went on to win Best Video of the Year, and Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk, which won for Best Male Video. Check out all six videos on our playlist below and let us know what you think, then make your own break at mediabreaker.org!