When we look at anything there is always room for interpretation. Whether it is a commercial on TV or a book you are reading. There is always room for interpretation depending on the person. Interpretation is an important tool when it comes to learning and in our mashups. As we have talked about in class everything can be interpreted differently such as a “+” can be seen as a cross, an ‘x’ or a ‘t’ all depending on who is looking at it. This all ties into the mashups we have been watching and talking about in class. A quote from Sean Hall’s book This Means This, This Means That, perfectly describes what a mashup is. “Usually, when a message is difficult to interpret, we look beneath the surface for the deep structures, unconscious foundations, hidden symbols, and underlying patterns that may support it.” I love this quote because when we are making mashups we aren’t supposed to be outright showing the viewer the message we are trying to get across. The viewer’s job is to watch the mashup and decide what the underlying message it. An example of this is in the mashup Postgrad American Dream.
This is a great example because there are so many interpretations. In class on Thursday when Prof. Wolff discussed this mashup he asked the class to shout out words that came to mind when we watched this video. Some words that popped up were: crying, sad, debt, crash and burn, and jobless. These were all different interpretations that students in the class came up with. One student started of with one word and that made other students think of other words and soon the whole class was shouting out different words that the video made them think of. One clip in the mashup Postgrad American Dream was when the man was pushing a rock up a hill.
This image can be seen as many different things, in the literal sense it is a man pushing a rock up a hill. When put into this video it can be interpreted as a college student struggling to get a job after graduation, or it is a postgrad student struggling under the weight of their bills that are piling up. The next part of this clip is shown as the man not being able to hold the weight of the rock and it falls down the hill. This can be interpreted as the post grad not being able to handle the stress and loosing it.
When we see something like this different things are going to pop into everyones mind based on experiences. Some one who got a job right out of college might not be able to understand the message that this video is sending because they didn’t have a hard time getting a job. Or someone that has a small amount of college debt may not know what its like to feel like your are drowning in debt. Everyone has different experiences in life which leads them to have different interpretations.
From what I have seen not only in this classroom but in other classrooms and in elementary schools classrooms interpretation is important to learning. Because everyone sees things differently there are more opportunities to learn. If a teacher asks a broad question every student in the class will have a different answer. The reason teachers ask for multiple people to answer the same question is because everyone has a different view of the world. One person might say something that sparks something in another persons head, which sparks something in another persons head. This chain reaction is important because it brings a deeper level of thinking into the classroom and helps take each interpretation of a topic to the next level.