Christopher P. McManus presents Got It, an interactive video installation that explores a common speech habit and how it acts as a catalyst for non-communication. Contemporary power brokers, both established and aspiring, use the “Got It strategy” to speed through conversations and extract information relevant to their own interests. Information flow in conversations is usually random-conversations can be far ranging and spontaneous. Got It limits the possibility of tangents and automates conversation to focus on the basic elements of identification (e.g., what do you do for a living?, who do you know?) and self-promotion (i.e., how can you help me?). The use of “Got It” in conversations may seem a neutral placeholder but its ubiquity promotes the ways of the taskmaster, the bad listener, and the jerk. In this piece, viewers are encouraged to experience a conversation with a “Got It” man. This character is a projected head made from the composite characteristics of hedge fund managers, contest reality show judges, and stock photographs of multi-taskers. The installation consists of a projected looping video, constructed screen, microphone, mixed and amplified audio, and reflective floor decals.
McManus sees Got It as an intervention. “Got It” is everywhere and simply accepted. Christopher’s intention is to exaggerate a bad speech habit by having the viewer experience its deaf and deficit effects.
Christopher P. McManus is an experimental video-maker and sculptor. He holds degrees from Yale University and Georgetown University. Currently, Christopher is an adjunct faculty member at Moore College of Art and Design, teaching video, animation, and electronic media art history.