John McGrath (University of Surrey, UK)


This paper explores transmedia storytelling (Jenkins) in the work of Anderson, primarily focusing on the music video for “O Superman” (1981) and motifs that reappear in Heart of a Dog – a film she wrote, directed, co-produced and scored (the soundtrack of which was subsequently released on Nonesuch). I will also look at her installation at Park Avenue Armory entitled Habeas Corpus, a work that focuses on Chadian Guantánamo Bay prisoner Mohammed El Gharani. Both of these 2015 works are complimentary in that the former project looks at death through the lens of personal fragments and footage while the later invokes an exterior focus to address many of the same themes. As Anderson describes: “for me these two completely disparate projects aren’t really that different …[t]hey’re both about how you tell stories, and what they mean, and how you create a world with them.” Anderson offers a form of affective transmedia that arises through developing repetitions and re-combinations of both musical and visual material that fundamentally complicate the traditional idea of music video as a discrete audiovisual form. I present a taxonomy of repetition for transmedia and multimodal analysis of popular music video.