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Meme Media Karaoke

Meme Media Karaoke

The word, Karaoke, originated from Japan, was invented by Japanese Daisuke Inoue. “Kara” (カラ) using the Japanese reading of the Chinese character 空, means “nobody else”; “OK” (オケ) was the japanisation of the english word orchestra. The two words together means the “orchestra with nobody else”, which people sing alone with pre-recorded music. In 1981, Karaoke was introduced to Taiwan, it soon became a popular entertainment at that time. Various karaoke bars started to bloom everywhere in Taiwan, with all different features (audio system, song list, lighting system, etc.) .Karaoke prompted the first self made music video movement, as the stakeholders were concerned about things like copyright and the customers getting bored while singing in the karaoke box. They filmed a lot of meaningless videos to use as background while singing, such as exotic scenery, man and woman dating, animals and plants from nature, etc. This causes the videos to be randomly paired with the music, creating this absurd situation. From another point of view, this unmatching condition seems to imply the possibility of reconstruction of the sound and images that were separated for the original story.

“Meme Media Karaoke” is one of the cross disciplinary productions from my postgraduate studies at the Taipei National University of Arts. The exhibition hall used the Taiwanese karaoke style from the 80s-90s as reference. Through installing 16 sets of surround sound systems, as well as five 40” screens, experimenting with the sound, imagery and lighting, creating a different experience from modern karaoke. When the audiences enter the immersive space, they will feel the sound that has been reconstructed, as the surround sound, synthesiser, and coding has coordinated the space. With 90s Taiwanese soap operas as a base, combined with multiple social media assets: Instagram stories, TikToks, Memes or social media filters showing in the background as the video part of the karaoke.
Despite the changes to Karaoke culture over the past 50 years, even though the traditional karaoke boxes have gradually vanished, its spirit continues in a different way. In the era of self-media, anyone with a phone, tablet or microphone could have “karaoke” to their own.

© Tuan Mu. All Rights Reserved.


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