YouTube: https://youtube.com/watch?v=ylGU0ZAQjIo
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View count:265,921
Likes:10,986
Dislikes:216
Comments:909
Duration:03:43
Uploaded:2015-05-12
Last sync:2018-04-28 14:00
The Art Assignment: https://www.youtube.com/user/theartassignment
Tameka Norris's Art Assignment: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmNKc4-zLOA
In which John and DFTBA Indianapolis office manager Zulaiha complete the artist Tameka Norris's art assignment "Become Someone Else," and along the way learn a little bit about themselves and each other. John puts on a hat to become a different kind of public-facing person, and Zulaiha wears a shalwar on a (failed) trip to get coffee.

NIGHT OF INFINITIES: http://nightofinfinities.co.uk
Tameka Norris: http://tamekanorrisart.com/
Thanks to Zulaiha! https://twitter.com/zulaihaha
And as always to Rosianna: https://twitter.com/papertimelady
And to Stan and Brandon for shooting the video!

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John: Good morning Hank, it's Tuesday. Given that the Quadragocon was a tie, I suppose that we're going to have to do a Quadragocon again in 2016. So I already started training. But unfortunately during my first training session I pulled my hamstring. I wish that were a joke but you can probably tell from the way that I'm walking that it's not. Anyway I'm gonna become someone else today. 

Okay I'm here on the Crash Course Government set. So Hank as you know Sarah and I have a show with PBS Digital called the Art Assignment, where we go around the country and we talk to contemporary artists and they give you an art assignment. One of those assignments, Tameka Norris's "Become Someone Else", has really stuck with me so I wanna try it today and I invited my friend and our office manager Zulaiha-

Zulaiha: Hey!

John: - long time nerdfighter to join and also become someone else.

Zulaiha: Yep.

John: So the idea is to like change one thing about your physical appearance and then take a before selfie and an after selfie of like who you've become in that process.

Zulaiha: Yep. Except I'm gonna cheat a little and change my entire outfit.

John: She's gonna cheat.

Zulaiha: Yep.

John: But I'm gonna play by the rules because that's who I am as a person. Okay so first things first let's take our before selfies. You're current you right now.

Zulaiha: Yep.

John: And then I'm gonna be current me.

(Singing) Selfie Interlude Music because people on YouTube really hate silence.

Zulaiha: Ding! So I'm going to change from my everyday regular clothing that I wear when I'm in "western clothing" that is, to traditional clothing that people like my mom wear everyday and just don't give two (censored out) about what people think, um because I have a lot of respect for people like that and who just don't care and aren't self conscious about that kind of thing. 

John: Do you feel self conscious when you wear hijab in public?

Zulaiha: No, surprisingly.

John: 'Cause you just- it's just- part of how you've always dressed

Zulaiha: Yeah, I'm just used to it by now.

John: So I am much more self conscious than you. I get recognized a lot when I go out and it makes me anxious. It's not bad, like I'm grateful to people for coming up to me and everything, but it's mostly what's weirdest is when people just like take pictures from a distance. I can feel them looking at me. And I'm very nostalgic for some reason about like 2007 to 2009 when everyone I would meet on the street were like nerdfighters. And it's terrible to be nostalgic for that time because of course in the years since many things that I like have happened. Like I have had children whom I am quite fond of and like my book became very successful and became a movie and stuff but anyway I'd still kind of like to become 2008 me and you know how I do that, Zulaiha.

Zulaiha: By putting on hat?

John: That's right. I put on a hat. 

Zulaiha Where are we going out to?

John: I thought we might go to-

Zulaiha: Coffee?

John: Coffee or Chipotle. So per Tameka's instructions we are now going somewhere, uh, dressed as our new selves. How do you feel?

Zulaiha: Kind of the same. This is what happens when I never go to Starbucks.

John: Uh, we forgot money, so Zulaiha's trying to download the Starbucks app. So our trip to Starbucks was completely unsuccessful. However we did go out in public and talk to strangers as someone other than ourselves, right?

Zulaiha: Yeah. Yeah. We did do that.

John: What was your experience?

Zulaiha: Um, I didn't feel that much different, to be honest. I think that's 'cause I associate wearing these clothes with my family and I act different around my family but I don't really act different around you or at work. Or maybe I'm just more comfortable wearing this kind of clothing than I though I was and I should just do it everyday.

John: Yeah.

(Singing) Selfie Interlude Music 

Zulaiha: How did your hat make you feel?

John: Wearing the hat does make me feel like someone else and someone I'm more comfortable being in public, so it's strangely effective.

(Singing) Selfie Interlude Music

Hank, what I love about the Art Assignment is that it makes me do and think about things I wouldn't usually do or think about. In this case it made me think about what's changed and what hasn't in the last few years. Hank I think some kind of loss is inherent to change but doing Tameka's assignment reminded me that I am always becoming someone else. So thank you to Tameka Norris.

Check out the Art Assignment. There are lots of great assignments and lots of great videos about contemporary art. Hank I wonder if you had to become someone else who you'd become? I'll see you on Friday. 

Oh wait! P.S. The wonderful people at Penguin UK are doing an awesome project to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust. It's got a Fault in Our Stars theme, so if you live in the UK or Ireland please check out nightofinfinities.co.uk Thanks bye!