Still frame from Fred Parke, Faces, University of Utah, 1974.
On June 19 of this past year Miley Cyrus released a video for "We Can't Stop," the lead single for her fourth studio alum Bangers (2013). Directed by Diane Martel, the video was the first step in a massive rebranding effort by the young singer, who has transformed herself from a Disney teen starlet into a bad-girl human Tumblr. The video largely consists of the young star partying with friends, intercut with a number of visual non-sequiturs that resemble scrolling through the popular microblogging platform. The video, album, and subsequent MTV video music awards performance have sparked a number of interesting debates online and in popular press concerning sexuality, race, and appropriation. Watching the video for the first time, I was shocked, though not at the twerking or the tongue or the dancing bears. "Did you see that?" I yelled as I paused the video. "I think that was the CGI face from Fred Parke's 1974 University of Utah dissertation research." And it was.