#10 Istanbul

Call for Participation: Video Vortex #10 in Istanbul, September 19-20, 2014




The 10th annual meeting of Video Vortex is to be hosted in Istanbul at three adjacent institutions all involved in this year’s topics: art, activism and archives. The two-day event of workshops, speaker-led sessions, discussions, panels and work on show will explore how video, art and activism criss-cross questions of recording, archives and archiving, and how working with these intersections can remotivate engagement from one to the other in important and novel ways.Video’s capacities for both recording and transmission has meant that it has moved into spaces of visibility and the visual in ways that contest as well as confirm the dominant meanings and effects, across different socio-political and cultural frameworks. Video Vortex 10 will consider different issues opened up across the histories, presents and futures of video, from ‘live on tape’ to ‘live streaming’, and from one paradigm of surveillance to another, exploring the ways in which early as well as recent and contemporary video technologies and practices contest accounts of normative realities by renegotiating boundaries between the live, the recorded or the streamed, challenging repressive norms via inventive modes of archival access.The interests and values of art and activism, sometimes taken to be in conflict, converge around this renegotiation of the meanings of video and the terms of its storage and use. As forms of data gathering enable new forms of covert observation, by the agents of states and corporations, how can video interrupt or divert these processes? Video Vortex 10 Istanbul thus aims to bring together those who, working with inventive ways of accessing, classifying or ‘declassifying’ video recordings and transmissions are seeking to reinvent the terms of freedom, across places and spaces of cultures, processes and practices of memory, representation and senses of future.–

Program Video Vortex #10, Istanbul

31.10. 2014

Friday / Cuma Meet Video Vortex

1400 Opening @ SALT BEYOĞLU

1415 Natalie Bookchin and her project LONG STORY SHORT, with Natalie Bookchin, Introduction by Lewis Johnson

“My current project in-progress, Long Story Short will be a film, an installation, and an interactive website. The film takes form as a composite group interview, drawn from and linked to an archive of 75 video diaries.

The interviewees are all are residents of Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area. Some are homeless, some are unemployed, and some are working at minimum wage jobs, and all are striving to escape from poverty. Most have never before shared their views and stories in public, let alone on video.

Instead of a single narrator, there are dozens, appearing in multiple frames of videos across a screen. This composite space – filled with speakers – suggests the scale and multiplicity of poverty in America – for every speaker, there could be numerous others. By imagining collectives and social bodies that may not yet exist, or are difficult to see in single video diaries alone, Long Story Short suggests political linkages, reveals affinities, and makes connections between unique experiences and points of view, revealing many of poverty’s narratives and the psychological states it can produce to be fundamentally shared.

Long Story Short makes a link between the rise in digital network culture and the drastic increase in poverty. Video diaries were made using webcams and laptops, and have the markings of that genre: its direct address, intimacy, informality, faces illuminated by the screen. These are some of the same technologies – high tech and digital – that ushered in hardships for low-skilled workers and their families in the first place, but here these tools amplify their voices.

Long Story Short draws inspiration from one the more promising aspects of network culture and social media – the shift away from a focus on single voices to that of many, and the expansion of who gets to speak in public and of what we consider to be expert knowledge. Yet social media has also produced a class of overly visible and a class of unseen – those whose stories and data are not worth much. Long Story Short provides a critical corrective, by creating a missing archive, jarring expectations, and making visible the limits of who we typically find speaking to us on our screens. It responds to our current moment of increasing and dramatic economic inequality, and explores how depictions of poverty and inequality might benefit from, as well as reflect on, current modes of digital and image mobility, dissemination, and display. It gives a platform to those who are mostly unseen, misrepresented or not represented in public, especially not in digital form. In doing so, it proposes a more social media.”

Natalie Bookchin will give an introduction, show about half an hour video of this work-in-progress and then discuss it further with the audience at Video Vortex.

1530 SCREENING – Rabih Mroué’s “Pixelated Revolution”, introduced by Ozge Celikaslan (Koza Visual)

Syria, 2011. In the streets, right in front of the eyes of the entire world, men are shot down and film their own deaths. Images of a revolution. Revolution of the image. A captivating theatrical lecture.

Rabih Mroué @ SALT http://saltonline.org/en/727/rabih-mroue

1600 SCREENING – Peter Snowdon’s THE UPRISING and Q&A with Peter Snowdon

The Uprising shows us the Arab revolutions from the inside. It is a multi-camera, first-person account of that fragile, irreplaceable moment when life ceases to be a prison, and everything becomes possible again.

This feature-length documentary is composed entirely of videos made by citizens and long-term residents of Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya, Syria and Yemen. The film uses this footage, not to recount the actual chronology of events or analyse their causes, but to create an imaginary pan-Arab uprising that exists (for the moment) only on the screen.

1900 Meet Vortex (Place to be announced)

01.11.2014 Saturday / Cumartezi


Meetings & Talks & Discussions @ SALT GALATA

0930 Intro – Framing Video Vortex

Open Doors – “Cay ve Simit” / VORTEX #10 / Introduction to the Round Table Format / The Istanbul-Ankara Team

1000 – 1200 Session I – Ways Machines See with Boaz Levin, Adam Kaplan, Daniel Herleth, Facilitator: Ekmel Ertan

For the occasion of Video Vortex #10 we would like to present a panel revolving around the subject of machine vision. The panel is set to explore the nature of this prevalent mode of vision, not as neutral, or given, but rather as a contested and dynamic sphere, prone to be influenced by a variety of elements–philosophical, technological, political or economic. The conceptual infrastructure at the basis of digital video and images will be contextualised and historicised in order to further understand the biases and preconceptions they are inclined to.Adam Kaplan and Boaz Levin will present last person shooter (working title), a performative video­essay which explores machine vision by way of a series of scene’s reconstructed as 3d architectonic models. The models are explored by an invisible protagonists, using the familiar yet antiquated aesthetic of a first­person shooter. Accompanying the journey is a historical­essayistic narration.
The work starts with a reconstruction of the Assassination of Ahmed Jabari, a Palestinian militant who was killed by an Israeli drone, consequently launching the most recent war in the Gaza strip. The documentation of his assassination was filmed simultaneously both by Palestinian bypassers and by the IDF’s drone, these narratives were then uploaded to youtube and tweeted, in what was in effect a war of images.What follows takes place in a dream­like digital desert, where the case of the cuban missile crisis in the 1960s and it’s significance for the development of Satellite reconnaissance is evoked. The protagonists embodies a birds­eye­view, exploring the blind spots and prejudices of such a varying perspectives. Finally, the film concludes with a model and reenactment of a video shot by an american soldier in Afghanistan in a first person perspective, which depicted the moments of his injury in battle. The dramatic moment spread virally online, reaching tens of millions of viewers, and mediating a distant war.Daniel Herleth, who together with Boaz Levin wrote the text upon which the video is based, will contribute an essay titled Remote Images. The essay traces the development of the photographic image since the inception of satellite surveillance and until the digital turn, focusing on the role of photo analysis and interpretation in political processes. Herleth expands upon the historical context within which digital images and video gained prominence, exploring the implications of these “aesthetic” developments on the public sphere.Finally, the panel aims to contribute an array of perspectives, from both artistic and theoretical standpoints, regarding the ways videos and images are conceived, perceived, disseminated and archived under contemporary conditions.1215 – 1245 INTERVENTION I – Towards the clouding audiovisual aesthetics by Milena Szafir (Brazil via Skype)

This presentation aims to examine the Brazilian mobile live streaming from street manifestations (2006-2013) to discuss part of these possibilities of affective memorable – or remarkable – “immaterial distribution of storage and means of retrieval” as online audiovisual aesthetic representations. We will be pointing the array of aesthetic possibilities that can be placed under the concept “clouding audiovisual aesthetics”, in our PhD current writing description and analysis in challenge through the cinema montage & reception studies.

A specific art of cinema in the Post Remix Era – ie the images movement montage practices through rhetorical stance resorting to the enormous [un]found database material which can be appropriated on the Internet –, by examining the affective memorable (or remarkable) political live streaming to discuss these possibilities of effective clouding dialogical discourse through the huge flow of data sharing of storage as audiovisual aesthetic representations, the construction of meaning & senses. Thus, online databases and archives [memories’ shadows in the ‘public space’ of the collective minds] provide “us with our stock figures, our subliminal points of reference, our unspoken point of address” and “serve as ready-made commentaries on our contemporary and political lives”.

These abundant audiovisual clouding live production – that institutions have classified pejoratively (ideologically) as ‘amateurism’ – wouldn’t it be a symptom of a change of roles (against those who are authorized to speak whereas others are condemned to hear)? There are some receivers’ waves which are crafting the response forms to break the mainstream media monologue. In other words, beyond Aaron Koblin and Chris Milk (the Google Labs) database interactive video or the found footage, essay film, telematic or remix aesthetic discourses, isn’t there a lack on the “new” audiovisual formats to face the complexity of clouding appropriation experiences? What about these chaotic-fuzzy TV & cinema’s grandchilds, the enunciatives subjectivities through intensive dataflow?

Therefore, towards the emergent clouding video aesthetics – with their immaterial and cognitive gestures through the live streaming political images and sounds as well –, how could we analyse these audiovisual online dialogues which manifest “the desire for immediacy”!? What does actually happen with this emergent aesthetics after the found footage & essay film, telematic & database aesthetics!? What’s about this chaotic-fuzzy cinema’s grandchild as enunciative subjectivity through the intensive flow data?

1245 – 1430 Session II – The Spectacular & The Power of Images with Oliver Lerone Schultz, Adnan Hadzi, Ersan Ocak, Paola Barreto, Facilitator: Ebru Yetiskin

Spectrals of the Spectacular (Oliver Lerone Schultz & Adnan Hadzi)

We know by now, that the social is also visually constructed, that there is a struggle for ‚The Right to look‘ and that social visions are projective, contested as well as fractal. We want to present the outcome of the ‘Spectrals of the Spectacular’ workshop, held at the Brazilian BTS (http://www.bts.re) conference, discussing how centralized visual event streams and orchestrations are producing alternative visual splinters, fractions and specters that also travel in fragmentary ways across the globe, making visible new landscapes and hidden horizons of meaning, i.e. ‚specters‘ to the current system and ‚mode of projection‘.

While we are interested in the geopolitical aesthetic of a (to be) pirated reality of the ‘non-territories’ which resist the address of the ‚national (interest)‘ and subsumption to the current globalized society of control and spectacle, we present some results from the ‘Spectrals of the Spectacular’ workshop, reviewing in an exemplary fashion the particular resistancies to the FIFA World Cup 2014, how they travel around and haunt the global imaginary and feed from and back to the non-aligned social intellect.

In this presentation/talk we aim at introducing some conceptual entry points into this longer term project, which in future engagements also wants to engage with the topic of pirating and (broken) projections around the New Global Spectacle and their relevance to a contemporary theory of the ‘moving image’.

Part of the reflection will be a discussion around reasons to organize this theoretical engagement by building a trans-local repository around ‚Spectrals of the Spectacle‘. We hold that a theoretical reflection of these spectralities is itself to take on the form of a decentral project, engaging with fleeting images and spectralities.

The Power of Images: Non-ficition Storytelling of the Gezi Resistance within a Co-Creative Act – Ersan Ocak

As an aftermath, several Gezi Documentaries are produced in Turkey. Most of them are screened in film festivals and activist/NGO meetings. Some of them are broadcasted online, i.e. online video documentaries of Gezi Resistance. The problem with these films is that, they could not satisfy the viewers, especially the ones who were in the Gezi Resistance as protesters. In this presentation, I will critically elaborate the reasons of the unsatisfactory position of Gezi Documentaries. Parallel to that, I will try to constitute a framework for the Nonfiction Storytelling of Gezi Resistance.

From Ghost Cinema to Live Cinema – Paola Barreto

Ghost Cinema is a series of site specific AV interventions that take place in urban spaces menaced by capitalistic speculation and gentrification processes. It is conceived as an assemblage of audiovisual materials such as video footage, photographs, newspapers, testimonials, drawings and others, in order to create a remix that awakens the spirit of the place where the performance happens. In this way it can be understood as a collaborative media ritual, in which the force of shared memories has vital effects.
In Video Vortex #10 I will present a documentation of some interventions, particularly the one held in May at Aldeia Maracanã, an indigenous terrain in Rio de Janeiro under dispute since the preparation for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. At one hand, we have groups interested in the maintenance of a symbolical and historical place; at the other, the new administrators of Maracanã Stadium and its surroundings, claiming for the indigenous terrain to be theirs, planning the construction of a parking place at this privileged spot.
The building supposed to host an Indigenous University, or Multiversity, as proposed by its inhabitants, was brutally evicted by State Military Police, which occupies it since the end of 2013. Its destiny remains uncertain.

While projecting and performing around a camp fire, singing and dancing to the ancestors, among smoke, images and spirits, Ghost Cinema celebrates the political potencial of open air live cinema, as a contribution to the urgent indigenous debate in Brazil.

1430 – 1500 Snacks & Chats

1500 – 1530 INTERVENTION II – Albert Figurt

What exactly is a music video? A visual stream that “illustrates” a pre-existing audio content? A short cut that follows the pace of a song? An emotional trip evocated by sounds? A videorecording of people playing instruments in unusual locations? And what happens to this already slippery balance in the era of proliferating DIY videoproduction (where a lot of famous youtube stars are somehow musicians or music- related)?A reflection on the fruitful match of multi-tasking and multi-instrumentalism, the helical proliferation of audiovisual mash-up, the rise of videosong (as opposed to the ordinary videoclip, where narration or look is more important than pure expertise or creative cleverness), and ultimately on what loop-stations / audio sampling procedures / standards & covers / renovated love for theremins & ukuleles can metaphorically teach us about life [on the web?] in 2014..

1530 – 1700 Session III – Video Generations. Artists Round Up with Baris Doğrusöz, Hale Tenger, Didem Pekun, Facilitator: Lewis Johnson

The questions directed at the artists and the round table participants: a) What part has video played in your practice and in what ways does this concern remembering or memory? b) How do archives play a part in your work? How do you think that the programmed functioning of digital archiving – of video, but also of any other digitized materials – have changed ways of viewing, thinking, remembering and senses of future?

1715 – 1745 INTERVENTION III – Istanbul Do/Redo/Undo : Waters, Streets, Faces by Nezih Erdoğan

Images from the past with sound and music of the present form a different meaning than their own; the space of te past is tied to the perception of today. The contemporary call to pray that extends into the Bosporus sky and the current voices of guilds echoing in the narrow streets create a chaotic atmosphere that resembles the lines of Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, neither within time, nor entirely outside of it. Do-redo-undo is not only an English title, it also marks the punctuation in music, the notes as they are called in Turkish “do”, “re”, “do” (“C”, “D”, “C” in English). It strives to behold the variety of sound and music along with the variety of the old and contemporary lives of Istanbul.

Istanbul Do/Redo/Undo does not only aim for an awareness of the present city through a historical perspective, but it also indicates that archival footage can gain new ways of expression and artistic practices through a contemporary medium like video.

1745 – 1945 Session IV – The Archive: Preserving Now & Then with Ahmet Gürata, Sebastian Lütgert, Jan Gerber, E. Belit Sag, Alper Sen, Shaina Anand, Facilitator: Ozge Celikaslan

Check out: The first 5 days of Gezi – https://bak.ma/ and http://turkishcine.ma

2000 – 2100 Outro – Video Vortex 11 UK

with Adnan Hadzi as round table facilitator

(Live streaming will be announced.)

03.11.2014 – 04.11.2014

Monday – Tuesday / Pazartezi – Salı


Bootcamp with Sebastian Lütgert and Jan Gerber @ Bilkent University

Starting @ 1340 in FB114 on Monday, 3rd (MFA Graduate Lab), Bilkent GSTMF, Merkez Kampusu

December / Aralik 2014 & January / Ocak 2015


Works by Yetkin Yilmaz, Ahmet Said Kaplan, David Guez, Endam Nihan, Ezgi Kilincaslan, Gonca Gumusayak, Cornelia Sollfrank, Video Occupy, and others …