Video Vortex, short movie made by Havana

Posted: March 14, 2011 at 3:14 pm  |  By: margreet  |  Tags: , , ,

Havana is de newspaper of the Amsterdam's University of Applied Science. Last Friday a student of the Havana visited the Video Vortex conference and made a small movie.

Video Vortex #6: Call for Contributions

Posted: September 16, 2010 at 10:53 am  |  By: sabine  |  Tags: , ,

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: Video Vortex Amsterdam - March 11-12, 2011.

Video Vortex is coming back to Amsterdam! Having contributed to the dialogue about the ever increasing potential or online video through five international events since 2007, the publication of the Video Vortex Reader and the current production of a second one, the Institute of Network Cultures will host Video Vortex #6 on March 11-12, 2011.

Video Vortex #6 will include a conference, artist presentations (talks/performances/exhibition) and hands-on workshops.

Internet, visual culture and media scholars, researchers, artists, curators, producers, lawyers, engineers, open-source and open-content advocates, activists, and others to submit abstracts, preferably within the themes listed below.

Please send an abstract of a maximum 500 words outlining your proposed talk, and a short biography of a maximum 200 words.

SEND TO: rachel(at)networkcultures(dot)org

DEADLINE: Monday, October 11, 2010.

Video Vortex:
Institute of Network Cultures:
Sign up for Video Vortex Discussion list here:
Or email: rachel(at)networkcultures(dot)org



- Open Everything and the Challenge of Cash
What is the ultimate open video? What are the new ways to produce and distribute online video as open? And what are the limits of openness online? Why would you share your content or code, what’s in it for you? What are the key economic questions for video start-ups? How can they combine a culture of openness and sharing, while attending to the need to generate income in order to keep producing and pay the rent? What are some of the examples of best practice: what are they, who are they, where are they? Does government policy have a role, or should it be left up to the uneven geography of informational peers to generate new protocols for content distribution?

- It’s not a Dead Collection, it’s a Dynamic Database
Now that museums, distributors and TV channels have put their collections online, what is the next phase for these digitalized public archives? How can ‘the audience’ be involved, in order to avoid a dead online collection with zero comments? Moreover, what forms of social dynamism can be critically forged in the default rush towards greater participation? Who controls the database, and is there a role for designers in developing database aesthetics? How to jump through the hoops of copyright legislation, format compatibility and the spatial culture of consumption and production? Once collaboration comes into play, what impact do conflicting skill sets, different modes of knowledge production and varying social desires have?

- Attack Amateur Aesthetics!
This theme seeks to tackle the tenuous relationship between amateur and professional video production, particularly with respect to the question of ‘quality’. Have amateur and professional video grown closer or are they still in competition? Given Andrew Keen’s and Jaron Lanier’s critiques of amateur content, is it possible for the quality of video to be improved? How can cultural value or worth be understood in this expansive realm of video? What aesthetics, techniques, genres, structures, and so on, exist in the professional realm of online video, compared to the amateur? Now that professional advertising campaigns seek that ‘raw’ amateur look, and the amateur experimentation tries to produce high quality produced work, what should professional education in this field be aimed at?

- Art and Activism
What are the political and artistic strategies of online video? Are there powerful platforms available for videos in the realm of art and activism? How do artists and activists deal with and reflect on the nature of online video, with its guerrilla, amateur, viral, remix and lo-fi characteristics? How is online video being used as a (grassroots) political tool, and conversely the ways in which authoritative powers understand and use video against activist actions? What are the new ways of launching political content effectively when everything aims to be viral? And where is the radical and artistic answer to TED Talks?

- Big Players and the Politics of Appropriation
Who are the big players in the world of online video? How are corporations and governments using online video? What kind of guerrilla marketing strategies are companies adopting, appropriating amateur aesthetics and making use of the possibilities of online video for its easily viral nature? How are cinema and television companies dealing with the large-scale use of online and mobile video? And how to respond to the rise of 'national webs' and the new enclosures of the cable/telecom packages and TV set-top boxes?

- Platforms, Standards and the Trouble with Translation
This theme seeks to draw forth experts who will offer strong interventions regarding various platforms and channels proliferating on the internet that contribute to the ecology and culture of online video. These include, but are not limited to: Skype, streaming video technologies, Foursquare, Seesmic, Qik video, Netflix, immediate news channels online etc. The theme focuses on the problem of the translations across platforms that arise to due to conflicts in standards. The geo-cultural, and often the national, limits to open sharing of online content are also significant. How do users and producers get around the limits of these borders? How do they work under the radar or tunnel through the firewall in the face of censorship and content control? Or do people simply submit to the powers that be?


Video Vortex #6 is organized as part of Culture Vortex, a research and innovation program on public participation in online cultural collections, organized by the INC and partners MediaLAB Amsterdam, Nederlands Instituut voor Beeld en Geluid, Netherlands Media Art Institute, Virtual Platform, and VPRO, and five participating cultural organizations. Culture Vortex is funded as a RAAK-Public program by the Innovation Alliance Foundation.
More info:

Celebrating 5 years of YouTube with the ‘YouTube Canon’

Posted: March 9, 2010 at 1:10 pm  |  By: sabine  |  Tags: , , , ,

Celebrating 5 years of YouTube, the city theater of Amsterdam and Upload Cinema presented the YouTube Canon, compiled by new media professionals (including the INC). The shows on February 22 and 23, 2010 were sold out entirely. After enjoying YouTube classics for two hours, the audience itself was subject of a YouTube video. One thousand people sang the Numa Numa song. Here's a world record to beat!

The event received a lot of media attention.
A selection:

Upload Cinema is an Amsterdam based film club that brings the best of the web to the big screen. Every first Monday of the month we present a fresh program of inspiring and entertaining Internet shorts. Each month theres a new theme. The audience can submit films via our website; an editorial team selects the best and compiles a ninety minutes program, which is screened at film theatres and special venues.

Video Vortex Reader II: Call for Contributions

Posted: March 5, 2010 at 4:01 pm  |  By: sabine  |  Tags: , , ,

In response to the increasing potential for video as a significant form of personal media on the Internet, the Video Vortex program examines key issues that are emerging around the independent production and distribution of online video content. With the rise of YouTube and alternative platforms, the moving image on the Internet has become expansively more prominent and popular. As a wide range of technologies is now broadly available, the potential of video as a personal means of expression has reached a totally new dimension.

Following the success of the first Video Vortex reader (published late 2008, second edition, 4000 copies in total), recent Video Vortex conferences in Ankara (Oct. 2008), Split (May 2009) and Brussels (Nov. 2009) have sparked a number of new insights, debates and conversations regarding the politics, aesthetics, and artistic possibilities of online video. Since these issues develop with the rapidly changing landscape of online video and its use, we want to open up a space once again for interested people to contribute to this critical conversation in a second issue of the Video Vortex reader.

Taking its lead from the first Video Vortex reader, and based on the issues raised at the latest three Video Vortex conferences as well as recent developments, possible topics include:

Theories of online video and Web cinema // Politics of online video // YouTube and the state of contemporary visual culture // Database aesthetics // Video art meets web aesthetics // Autonomous participatory culture for art and activism // Artist engagement with ‘user-generated-content’ sites: content and architecture // Changing modes of video distribution and what this means for artists and activists // Open-source and open-content initiatives // Alternatives to proprietary standards // Censorship and YouTube // The ethics and politics of indigenous knowledge and online video // The use of online video within government practices (election campaigning, censorship etc.) // Democracy, citizen journalism and online video // Social Cinema // Educational practices and online video in the classroom // New and changing economic models // Google, YouTube and the economics of online video // Commercial objectives imposed by mass media on user-generated and video-sharing databases // Effect of ubiquitous online video practice on cinema, television and video art.

Internet, visual culture and media scholars, researchers, artists, curators, producers, lawyers, engineers, open-source and open-content advocates, activists, Video Vortex conference participants, and others to submit materials and proposals.


We welcome interviews, dialogues, essays and articles, images (b/w), email exchanges, manifestos, with a max of 8,000 words. For scope and style, take a look at the previous INC readers (Video Vortex Reader, Urban Screens, Incommunicado Reader, MyCreativity Reader) and the style guide at:

This publication is produced by the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam and will be launched early 2011.

DEADLINE: May 10, 2010

SEND CONTRIBUTIONS TO: rachel(at)networkcultures(dot)org

Video Vortex:
INC readers:
Or email: rachel(at)networkcultures(dot)org

The INC reader series are derived from conference contributions and produced by the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam. They are available (for free) in print and pdf form on

Previously published in this series:

INC Reader #5: Scott McQuire, Meredith Martin, and Sabine Niederer (eds.), Urban Screens Reader, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2009. The Urban Screens Reader is the first book to focus entirely on the topic of urban screens. A collection of texts from leading theorists, and a series of case studies that deal with artists’ projects, and screen operators’ and curators’ experiences, offering a rich resource at the intersections between digital media, cultural practices and urban space.

INC Reader #4: Geert Lovink and Sabine Niederer (eds.), Video Vortex Reader: Responses to YouTube, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2008.
The Video Vortex Reader is the first collection of critical texts to deal with the rapidly emerging world of online video – from its explosive rise in 2005 with YouTube, to its future as a significant form of personal media.

INC Reader #3: Geert Lovink and Ned Rossiter (eds.), MyCreativity Reader: A Critique of Creative Industries, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2007.
The MyCreativity Reader is a collection of critical research into the creative industries. The material develops out of the MyCreativity Convention on International Creative Industries Research held in Amsterdam, November 2006 (no longer available in print; pdf online).

INC Reader #2: Katrien Jacobs, Marije Janssen and Matteo Pasquinelli (eds.), C’Lick Me: A Netporn Studies Reader, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2007.
C’lick Me: A Netporn Studies Reader is an anthology that collects the best material from two years of debate from The Art and Politics of Netporn 2005 conference to the 2007 C’Lick Me festival (no longer available in print; pdf online).

INC Reader #1: Geert Lovink and Soenke Zehle (eds.), Incommunicado Reader, Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2005.
The Incommunicado Reader brings together papers written for the June 2005 event, and includes a CD-ROM of interviews with speakers (no longer available in print; pdf online).

Video Vortex V: Brussels, Belgium (November 20-21, 2009) was organized by Cimatics festival 2009 in cooperation with the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam and supported by KASK (Faculty of Fine Arts, University College Ghent) and the Center Leo Apostel (CLEA).

Video Vortex IV: Split, Croatia (May 22-23, 2009) was organized by The Department of Film and Video at the Academy of Arts University of Split and Platforma 9.81, in collaboration with the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam.

Video Vortex III: Ankara, Turkey (October 10-11, 2008) was organized by Bilkent University Department of Communication and Design, in cooperation with the Institute of Network Cultures.

Planned Events: Video Vortex Budapest (Oct. 2010), Leicester, Amsterdam (March 2011), Croatia (September 2011).

Video Vortex V – Day 2 – Artist practices: (sub)versioning

Posted: November 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm  |  By: margreet  |  Tags: , ,

(Sub)versioning - the contraction of the Situationist ’subversion’ and the common IT practice of ’versioning’ - might best describe the practice of the artists in this session. They approach online video as a means for subtle restructuring of existing popular media and as a basis for investigating new modes of constructing and relating meaning brought about by the Internet.

constant dullaartThe first artist is Constant Dullaart (NL) Dullaart. He is an artist and teaches at the Gerrit Rietveld academy, and curates several events in Amsterdam such as the Lost and Found evenings.

Constant shows various work of himself and other artists he admires.

Contemporary semantics, overview of the undermentioned


Chris Coy

chris coy


Joel Holmberg (active on nestnet / prosurfers)


Dennis Kopf – Bootyclipse (2007)

In the summer of 2007, a German rapper and a debutant net artist Dennis Knopf opened a channel on YouTube that he named Bootyclipse. Every video broadcasted on that channel consists of those candid moments, prolonged to 40-60 seconds. Dennis has collected fragments from more than twenty videos where a girl who is going to shake her booty in front of a camera has not appeared in the frame yet, and looped these moments, leaving the music to play in real time.


Martijn Hendriks, collected only the comments of the video of the hanging of Saddam Hoesein


Constant Dullaart

Shows a video of trying how to stabilize a earthquake in China. The first comments were that Constant should not have used a disaster to make a video out of it. Afterwards he received a lot of compliments.


Harm van den Dorpel


abert figuriSecond speaker in this session was Albert Figurt (IT) He was born 28 years ago in Italy, where he studied piano, cinema and mass media theories. Before leaving his homeland, he worked as director and screenwriter, both for TV and on independent projects. Ever since the spring of 2007 he lives in Amsterdam, co-operating in theatrical-musical projects and working as a free-lance video editor and filmmaker. He loves to put theory in practice, but also to act theoretically.

Download here the lecture of Albert.


As last Constant Dullaart shows recently developed own work.

Domain Name Readymades by Constant Dullaart


Video the disagreeing internet


With the video mentioned aboven Constant is mentioned in the list as Google hacks, while his video is not really a hack.

On the disagreeing video, there is now also the agreeing internet. Not made by Constant though.

New project:

disease disco

Video Vortex V – Day 1

Posted: November 23, 2009 at 4:06 pm  |  By: sabine  |  Tags: , , , ,

System Flaws and Tactics

Screen shot 2009-11-21 at 15.54.53 Video Vortex V
After the opening speech by Bram Crevits (Cimatics) and Geert Lovink (Institute of Network Cultures), the 5th edition of Video Vortex kicked off at the amazing Atomium in Brussels.

The first session addressed System Flaws and Tactics. This session was inspired by the inherent errors, disabilities and restrictions of online video technology that often conduct our behaviour but can also provide inspiring new insights. Liesbeth Huybrechts and Rudy Knoops gave the first presentation of the day, titled 'Playing that video'. They work at the School of Communication and Multimedia Design (C-MD) in Genk, Belgium, where they lead the research group Social Spaces, on the topic of social, societal and spatial issues, using the internet as a tool and interface.
Video Vortex V Video Vortex V

After pointing at the rules of play and playground, and building on theory of tactics and strategy as defined by De Certeau, the presenters explored the diffuse difference between work and play in the age of new media. Knoops pointed out that Google employees get to spend 20% of their time 'playing', i.e. working on their own projects. In his recent work, Julian Kuecklich refers to this conflation of play and labour as 'Playbour'. Knoops and Huybrechts showed impressive work by the C-MD students in Genk, and called for play as a critical tool, and encouraged a practice of tactical play.

Video Vortex V
Next up was Brian Willems, who lectures in media culture as well as British and Irish Literature at the University of Split, Croatia. In his talk, titled 'Blindness: the inability of YouTube to read itself', he argued that online video often demonstrates blindness,as theorized by Paul de Man, Agamben, and Proust, and rather than being readable. He presented two cases of online video: The Rodney King Story, and Natalie Bookchin's installation 'Mass Ornament', which was presented by the artist herself at the Video Vortex conference in Split (2009).

According to Willems, the Rodney King story demonstrates how difficult it is to read video. In the video, King, lying on the ground, tried to get up when the police attacked him again. The police later stated that they considered his standing up as aggressive behaviour. The video does not clarify whether this was indeed the case. Therefore, Willems argues the video demonstrates its blindness. In this respect, the work by Natalie Bookchin is equally hard to read. Inspired by the chorus lines of the Tiller Girls, she selected and sorted YouTube dance videos so they form a chorus line, through montage, soundtrack and composition. Willems pointed out that the amount of screens, layers and motifs makes this video hard to read, and therefore confronts you with its illegibility or blindness.

Video Vortex V Video Vortex V
Rosa Menkman, artist, VJ and PhD candidate at KHM presented her Glitch Studies Manifesto, in which she called for a more drain approach of technology studies, which includes the study of its flaws and failures:
1. The dominant, continuing search for a noiseless channel has been, and will always be no more than a regrettable, ill-fated dogma.
2. Dispute the operating templates of creative practice by fighting genres and expectations!
3. Get away from the established action scripts and join the avant-garde of the unknown. Become a nomad of noise artifacts!
4. Use the glitch as an exoskeleton of progress.
5. The gospel of glitch art sings about new models implemented by corruption.
6. The ambiguous contingency of the glitch depends on its constantly mutating materiality.
7. Glitch artifacts are critical trans-media aesthetics.
8. Translate acousmatic noise and soundscapes into acousmatic video and videoscapes to create conceptual synesthesia.
9. Speak the totalitarian language of disintegration.
10. Study what is outside of knowledge, start with Glitch studies. Theory is just what you can get away with!

The session ended with a presentation by the artist Johan Grimonprez, who guided the audience through his You-tube-o-teque. And while the sphere of the Atomium was shaking because of an autumn storm, grimonprez created his own whirlwind, going from the history of the remote control and the invention of zap-proof commercials, to hitchcock pastiches and the swine flu vaccine scandal from 1976. (
Video Vortex V Video Vortex V

Video Vortex V in Brussels 20-21 Nov, program online

Posted: October 11, 2009 at 11:58 am  |  By: sabine  |  Tags: , , ,

Video Vortex V: The Moving Image Online
Location: Atomium, Brussels
20-21 November 2009

Video Vortex V is organized by Cimatics festival 2009 in cooperation with the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam and supported by KASK (Faculty of Fine Arts, University College Ghent) and the Center Leo Apostel (CLEA).

On November 20-21 2009, Cimatics festival is hosting the 5th Video Vortex conference. Two years after its first edition, Video Vortex returns to Brussels, this time hosted in one of the great icons of mid 20th century modern architecture: the Atomium.

The past two years, the conference series - which focuses on the status and potential of the moving image on the Internet - has visited Amsterdam, Ankara and Split, growing out into an organised network of organisations and individuals. Time for an interim report, perhaps. We asked some participants of the first Video Vortex editions and publication, as well as new ones, to reflect on recent developments in online video culture.

Over the past years the place of the moving image on the Internet has become increasingly prominent. With a wide range of technologies and web applications within anyone’s reach, the potential of video as a personal means of expression has reached a totally new dimension. How is this potential being used? How do artists and other political and social actors react to the popularity of YouTube and other ‘user-generated-content’ websites? What does YouTube tell us about the state of contemporary visual culture? And how can the participation culture of video-sharing and vlogging reach some degree of autonomy and diversity, escaping the laws of the mass media and the strong grip of media conglomerates?

More info:
Conference Programme
Practical information (Location, tickets)
About (about VV, about Cimatics)

Der Lauf der Dinge at Interactive Media

Posted: September 9, 2009 at 1:11 pm  |  By: sabine  |  Tags: , ,

This video shows the start of the new schoolyear here at the School of Interactive Media, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Students of the Technology, Design and Interaction course opened the year with a collaboratively made "Lauf der Dinge" (literally translated as "the course of things", a kinetic line of everyday objects.

V1 TDI Kinetische Kickoff 2009 from kopo on Vimeo.

To read more about the topic of kinetic line videos (made famous by the artists Fischli & Weis in 1987), please read Thomas Elsaesser's piece: "'Constructive Instability,' or: the life of things as the cinema's afterlife," in the Video Vortex Reader: Responses to YouTube, by Geert Lovink and Sabine Niederer (eds.), Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2008, pp. 13-31. This reader is available for download as a pdf here.

Video Vortex Split pictures

Posted: May 25, 2009 at 2:45 pm  |  By: sabine  |  Tags: ,

The INC delegation just got back from the Video Vortex event in beautiful Split, Croatia.
Video Vortex Split - Opening Video Vortex Split - Opening

A big thank you to the organizers for arranging this fruitful conference and exhibition: Dan Oki, Miranda Veljačić, Toni Mešrović, Dinko Peračić and Sandra Sterle, the Film and Video Dept. of the Acadamy of Arts at the University of Split, Platforma 9,81 and the Institute of Research in Architecture (both in Split). And of course a warm thanks to everybody else who contributed to this event: speakers, artists, moderators, crew and everybody behind the scenes.

To all of you who'd like to stay informed about the topic of online video and the future Video Vortex events in Brussels, London and other places around the globe: please join the Video Vortex mailing list.

We have uploaded our pictures to If you use Flickr too, please add your pics to the Video Vortex group.

Video Vortex Split, program updated

Posted: May 13, 2009 at 1:47 pm  |  By: sabine  |  Tags: ,

The Video Vortex program has been updated! Check out the updated program here.

Video Vortex 4 includes contributions by: Perry Bard, Natalie Bookchin, Maarten Brinkerink, Vito Campanelli, David Clark, Dagan Cohen, Cym and the Aethernauts, Alejandro Duque, Albert Figurt, Stefan Heidenreich, Jasmina Kallay, Sarah Késsene, Lev Manovich, Dalibor Martinis, Gabriel Menotti, Ana Peraica, Valentina Rao, Shelly Silver, Jan Simons, Amir Soltani, Antanas Stancius, Evelin Stermitz, David Teh, Vera Tollmann, Andreas Treske, Saša Vojković, Nenad Vukušić Sebastijan, Linda Wallace, Paul Wiersbinski, Kuros Yalpani, and Emile Zile.

Organized by the Department of Film and Video at the Academy of Arts University of Split and Platforma 9.81, in collaboration with the Institute of Network Cultures in Amsterdam.

Hope to see you in Split on 21-23 May!

Photo by Marilyn Cvitanic

Photo by Marilyn Cvitanic