In the Video Witnessing cluster, we look at contemporary digital image culture beyond influencer content.
Online video has a strong position in the realm of truth-finding and eye-witnessing. In fact, we have seen a visual turn in this realm, where the written testimony seems crowded out by camera footage. Recent protests have been fueled by the viral spread of mobile videos, from the start of the Arab Spring to the recent death of George Floyd.
There are two conflicting trends occurring at the moment: on the one hand we see a proliferation of cameras and camera viewpoints with the emergence of drones, smart doorbells, and streetview. At the same time, we hear of the inflation of camera footage: the omnipresence of cameras has, for instance, not stopped police violence. Within this theme, we conduct critical research and experiments with recent technologies, including drones (‘the flying eyes’), streetview, ultra-short video (tiktok, snap), and synthetic images and the dreaded deep fakes.