Blog Post #1 – An Analysis of the Augmented Reality App “Dubsmash” in Pertaining to the Theory of Performativity

In 2014, Mobile Motion released the augmented reality “AR” app referred to as “Dubsmash“. The app was created by Jonas Druppel, Roland Grenke and Daniel Taschik, as a video messaging app for IOS and Android devices. (Dubsmash, Wikipedia) The app allowed users to choose an audio recording or soundbite from movies, shows, music, and internet trends and record a video of them dubbing over the selected audio. (Dubsmash, Wikipedia) Additionally, users could download their own audio clips, as well as add filters or textual animations to their recordings by way of individualizing the user content. (Dubsmash, Wikipedia) Those individuals then have to save their clips to their devices, in order to share them via other messaging apps, such as Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, and Messenger.

Overall the development of Dubsmash offers a fun and innovative approach to video messaging in the 21 century, though; the apps overall mechanics lack the indifference and substance needed to remain popular amidst society. And so, the augment reality app, Dubsmash quickly became unpopular in the eyes of the masses. However; despite the apps deficiencies, and lingering presence amidst society, the general conception behind the AR app Dubsmash, brings into question a new realm of digital communication. A realm in which particular augmented reality apps such as Dubsmash uphold the ability to extend ones cognitive thought process with regards to the incorporation of various elements of  “performativity” and “Performative Utterances”.

This view offers an additional perspective regarding the development and use of this AR app, as a result of the alteration of one’s conscious perception of a particular individual through Performative interactions. For example, the simple creation of a “Dubsmash” video, in which an individual takes on the role of  performing for an audience by portraying the vocal sounds of another individual outside themselves while upholding their own physical appearance; alters one’s conscious perception of that individual within the video. Since, “performativity” and “performative utterance”, represent a particular aspect of analysis found within the study of communication, wherein the social interactions of the everyday individuals have the ability to change as well as alter the social reality in which these notions are defining.

Though the action of portraying a performance by way of gestures, words, or identity truly only becomes acknowledged when validated by others own perception of the information deposited. Thus, this form of an augmented reality app extends oneself as well as others cognitive thought process through Performative interaction. Furthermore the AR app “Dubsmash” withholds the ability to extend ones cognitive thought process, as “Dubsmash” withholds the ability to transports your consciousness to another realm as you subliminally take on the role of a new character, outside the realm of one’s physical body. And so, regardless on one physical consciousness, in the realm of augmented reality the lines between reality and fantasy become blurred as one is amused by this other sense of being. Thus tricking ones cognitive thought processes into perceiving the altered video as though if it were a cohesive recording of a single individual.  

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