Messmer’s Musings is a series of video essays about Art & Culture, originally published under the name “The Hand Book” in 2015. At this time (I’m quite proud to note) canonical pioneers of the YouTube video essay such as Nerdwriter1 were still primarily presenting in the medium of vlogs, while those who included animation, such as CGP Grey, were still in slide-show mode. I can honestly and proudly say that my visuals were ahead of the curve in the land of online non-fiction video. Despite this, the content itself was anything but interested. My choice of 3D animation and motion graphics, after all, had been a conscious decision to hide my young, inexperienced age. And it showed. At the best of times, the videos were nothing but basic intros-to or observations-about a broad topic; rarely could they synthesize a wide variety of information to create a new perspective, let alone present remotely unique ideas themselves.
That’s not to say there aren’t some gems. My video on “How Cultures and Languages Perceive Colour” was - as far as YouTube commentary at the time was concerned - quite a unique and interesting observation. (I still think that Cyan, Azure, and Yves Klein Blue should be considered distinct hues (even if I didn’t know how to pronounce them at the time).) And it’s easy to draw a clear connection between the neutral, bridge-building tone of my “Helvetica vs Comic Sans” and “What makes something art?” videos, and my future political content. And perhaps most importantly, it laid the foundation for a new project, “This Here Vancouver”, which itself would gow into to my future cultural and political essay work.