This morning I was browsing through the digitized video and audio files that the Virtual Vietnam Archive at Texas Tech University has placed online and decided to make a “mashup” of some of the materials there.
I call it “Milk & Passion in a Time of War.” It contains a discussion about milk, expressions of passion, and the conversations and videos that it is based on were all created during the Vietnam War.
The background “score” or “soundtrack” comes from a recording of “ghost sounds” that were used in psychological warfare. They contain the sounds such as funeral music, wailing and gunfire, all of which have been distorted (or played in reverse) to create eerie sounds.
The bits of conversation between the man and woman, meanwhile, are from “audio letters.” During the Vietnam War, this husband and wife recorded messages to each other on cassette tapes and then sent them to each other so that they could hear each other’s voice.
Finally, the people in the videos are not the same as the people whose voices we hear. This short film is meant to be creative, not documentary. However, I do think that “remixing the past” like this can serve as a way to explore and think about the past in ways that make sense in, or fit with, our digital age.