Karaoke Video Pool
Alysha Seriani, Sepideh Saii, Pietro Sammarco
Karaoke Video Pool provided 42 high school media art students the technical and conceptual support to explore the notion of identity formation by collaboratively producing their own karaoke videos over 12 sessions in 2019. Each group of students chose a song and then paired it with visuals they created and edited to tell a story starring themselves. Part of the project design implemented a common pool of video footage that each group contributed to and drew from. The project ended with a karaoke party for all to enjoy the videos.
The project used hands-on studio experience to provide a myriad of entry points into exploring identity not as a pre-given thing, but as a complex process of performing within a social context. Students were able to experience firsthand the role media producers play in depicting various identities, whether reproducing or challenging stereotypes. The creative process itself was used as a way to challenge students to think and do identity.
Alysha Seriani was the lead mentor, with support from Sepideh Saii and Pietro Sammarco. Primary funding from the ArtStarts' Artists in the Classroom grant, with VIVO and Vancouver Technical Secondary providing all equipment and facility spaces. This project was coordinated by Pietro Sammarco.
Alysha Seriani is a media artist and educator and has been a proud VIVO instructor since 2017. Her practice revolves around horizontal styles of collaboration and learning and is informed by embodying intersectional feminism, intergenerational learning and queer joy. In 2019, she was a recipient of Telefilm Canada’s Talent to Watch program, and her first short film SOAK (2014) is distributed by the CFMDC. She developed a youth mentorship program and associate produced THE BODY REMEMBERS WHEN THE WORLD BROKE OPEN (2019) and has been a collaborator for many media artworks and films that have exhibited at film festivals and galleries around the world. You can check her out at alyshaseriani.com.
Sepideh Saii's videos have been shown in galleries and film festivals throughout Europe, Canada, the United States, and Japan. In 2014, she exhibited her film, Behind the Scene, at Whitechapel Gallery alongside artists Shirin Neshat and Bill Viola. Saii has extensive experience teaching film production at Simon Fraser University, Emily Carr University of Art Design, and the University of Oregon. In 2009, she received her MA in Fine Art Media at UCL’s Slade School of Fine Art in London, England. Currently, she teaches video production at Vancouver Technical Secondary School.
Pietro graduated from the School of Communication at Simon Fraser University, combining the fields of soundscape composition and media education. He records bands, does music and sound for film, and DJ’s karaoke. He’s also designed audio production workshops and mentored for a wide range of organizations, including VIVO, the Western Front, the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, and when serving as Resident Audio Expert for the the Vancouver Public Library’s Inspiration Lab. He is co-editor of Spoox Audiozine; was a member of local performance art group Norma; toured extensively as a trombonist with They Shoot Horses,