All too often the (theoretical) discourse on moving images and online video is out of sync with the actual field of video culture and its most current phenomenologies and developments. Therefore we want to gather videos of all shades with the help of “navigators,” people we trust to point out and profile some of the groups or constellations of video that make up the wild and divergent currents of video culture.
While English remains the default language for international communication, we also look for video cultures inside Russia’s Runet, behind the Chinese firewall and in African countries’ active social (video) networks. How to search by yourself without speaking Mandarin or Russian? How to get outside your filter bubble? What else is there beyond viral video and amateur clips posted by the evening news? What do new forms of video look like? Is it still the so-called amateur behind the camera, or do we find new notions of professionalism? How do different cultural uses of online media become visible?
To expand Video Vortex beyond the conference, we will augment the conference experience with video-related input of all sorts. Everybody has had personal and often erratic glimpses via channels, subscriptions, circles of acquaintance, specialized blogs, mailing lists, etc. Rather than static archives of edited files we find fragments, links and lists, enigmatic in unknown contexts. Tools and methods are as diversified as the forms of video culture itself.
We invited correspondents in Tokyo, Athens, Moscow, Lagos, Beijing and other places to observe and select videos from their local spheres, and to comment on their specific grammar. We are interested in video clips such as glitches, mashups, activist recordings, tutorials, news clips and media criticism as a way of understanding local politics, technologies, visual culture – and languages.
The conference will take place from 28 February to 2 March, 2013 in Lueneburg, near Hamburg.