Friday January 18
09.30 Doors open, coffee and tea
10.15 – 12.30 Opening Session
Moderator: Geert Lovink
12.30 – 13.30 Lunch
13.30 – 15.30 Online Video Aesthetics
Moderator: Patricia Pisters
15.30 – 15.45 Coffee, tea
15.45 – 17.45 Alternative Platforms and Software
Moderator: Seth Keen
Philine von Guretzky
Tatiana de la O
Saturday January 19
10.00 – 12.00 Cinema and Narrativity
Moderator: Sonja de Leeuw
12.00 – 13.00 Lunch
13.00 – 15.00 Curating Online Video
Moderator: Vera Tollmann
15.00 – 15.15 Coffee, tea
15.15 – 17.15 Participatory Culture
Moderator: Monique van Dusseldorp
20.00-00.00 Evening Program: Video Slamming
YouTube made 2006 the year of Internet video. The video content is produced bottom-up, with an emphasis on participation, sharing and community networking. But inevitably, like Flickr being consumed by Yahoo, Google purchased YouTube. What is the future for the production and distribution of independent online video content? How can a participatory culture achieve a certain degree of autonomy and diversity outside mass media? What is the artistic potential of video databases and online filmmaking?
As video technology spun off from television, the mission was complete decentralization. Forty years later, video is a completely decentralized, digital electronic medium of tremendous utility and power — it is the people’s medium. Video is the vernacular form of the era and every person’s POV; the instrument for framing existence and identity. In the face of vernacular video, institutionally sanctioned video art necessarily attaches itself firmly to traditional visual-art media and cinematic history in attempts to distinguish itself from the broader media culture. In other words, art becomes conservative. Video art turns its back on its potential as a communications medium, ignoring the medium’s cybernetic strengths (video amplifies and steers social movement through feedback). As vernacular video culture heats up and spins toward chaos, artists will have to choose between the safe harbour of the gallery and museum, or become storm chasers in the broader media culture.
The presentation will be on a Labyrinth project in development, Home-Grown History, a software tool that is being developed at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, in collaboration with a number of partners. The Home-Grown History, software concept stems from earlier projects that combine personal and public archives to visually and aurally represent cultural histories of a particular place over time. In this latest incarnation, the software will be applied to the project Jews in the Golden State: a Home-grown History of Immigration and Identity that will work both as an on-line archive and traveling museum installation. The tool and concept can easily be applied to other communities. The concept is to facilitate the creation of a profound social space and structure for encouraging a productive dialogue between personal stories and public histories, in a way that will be useful and pleasurable to both the academic historian and the general public.
While the bourgeois conception of property has been characterized by anonymity and pure objectivity, today it seems to be the opposite way around: In the age of immaterial production, digital reproduction, and networked distribution – property relations need to be made visible in order to be enforced. Property exists first of all as imagery and rapidly becomes a matter of imagination. A contrary way of reading “imaginary property” could also be understood as the expression of a certain form of possession or ownership of imagineries: It opens up to the question: “What does it mean to own an image”?
Looking at the videos on YouTube, what aesthetics do we find? Is there a homogeneous style that mainly builds on eyewitness tv, candid camera formats and webcam diaries? And now that music videos and commercials increasingly resemble video art, can we define how artistic practices influence the look of online footage? Is YouTube a medium and platform in itself for art works, or is it merely used as a promotional device?
Detailing and Pointing
Aesthetically, video artists find themselves confronted with the need to decrease detail and increase the amount of close ups in producing video for small mobile devices. Media convergence forces a reduction of content towards a simplified movement in the object space. While cinema was, as Kafka claimed, shutting down the senses to transport the viewer to an illusionary space, nowadays the video artist is competing with the senses in creating immersive impact in a short span of time. In its objective to point, focus and shoot, this form of video art is closely related to short literary forms such as the joke, the fable, the aphorism, and the haiku
Karasek Speaks – The Aesthetics of Videoblogging
In the beginning of 2006, Tal Sterngast was invited to start a weekly video column for Netzeitung.de. “Karasek spricht,” as the column was called, ran from March 2006 till April 2007 and included 64 2-4 minute films. Conditioned by time, lack of funding and limited availability of copyright-free footage, Sterngast produced films aware of their trashiness, wider than a private diary and in constant communication with television and cinema. In this presentation, Sterngast will outline how this production, found footage and her background in film and fine art percolated into her work as a media artist.
Far from Impact
Creating impact with video. It must be YouTube. Hit that score! Come & see the impact of my doing with video. Nothing new that is. Actually, it is exactly what Elem Klimov did (superbly), as so many filmmakers before and after him, with his warfilm ‘Come and see’ (1985). As a consequence, the main character in his film was left with only one last option: to shoot at the film images themselves. And so he did. Impact creates impact, if nothing else. Things to be done and to finish with. How then does YouTube make us look for ways out of this logic of war, technology and images? At what point do we start to understand? And make?
Making Violent Practices Public: An Analysis of User-generated Video Content
In May 2007, a YouTube video acquired ephemeral celebrity status in the Greek media. It was first ‘discovered’ by the national indymedia site, then broadcasted over and over again by all mainstream television stations, and finally thoroughly ‘analysed’ by the lifestyle media. The video portrayed the ’soft’ torture of two ‘illegal’ immigrants by the police officers of a local police station in Athens. The video was ‘directed’ by one of the officers who took part in the torture, -he later accepted responsibility for his role- and leaked to YouTube by a self-styled ‘ninja’ blogger, who claimed that he received it by an ‘anonymous source’ as an MMS on his mobile phone. The uproar soon died out after a number of similar videos were uploaded to YouTube. Regardless the specific details of this ‘national’ media event, it reflects the ambiguous relation between user-generated video content and violence. To use Walter Benjamin’s terms, user-generated video content might be –in some instances- law-breaking but seldom if never law-founding. It becomes, instead, part of an individualistic project, where a ‘private’ attachment to violence is made public. This public-ation of violent incidents serves primarily the purpose of restituting individual agency. What user-generated content gives to users is primarily the illusion of being the active directors of this content and in this capacity of those who control the fate of certain narratives.
This session will investigate developments in the field of open source software in creating alternatives to proprietary software like Windows Media Player. Through investigating Peer2Peer alternatives and open licenses, both users and programmers aim to create a truly distributed network, in which content can freely float around without having to use centralized servers and sign strings of user agreements.
Video Social: Amateur Video and Virtuosity in Collaboratively Produced Media
This presentation discusses difficulties of collaborative video, as well as potentials for directly competing with traditional media institutions. The promise of a “new” media is outlined, to threaten the “old” in peer-produced video, dispersed and accelerated via the Internet as a collaborative space for production, blurring the line between production and consumption. As more collaborative networks and tools become commonplace the components will be in place for collaborative produced media projects to stand apart from and compete with institutional media.
Open Source Ways of Producing, Distributing and Promoting Online Video
Spirik will present alternative ways of producing, distributing and promoting online video using free and open-source software like the 3d modelling/animation app Blender and open-media platforms and tools. He will show a selection of his own online video works.
Philine von Guretzky
Bridging the Gap: Redefining the Platforms for Moving Image
Introducing the online gallery, www.tank.tv, dedicated to showing established and emerging video artists not only side by side but also in different contexts. Recent developments have been making video art more available, thus blurring the boundaries of traditional categories this art form has put itself in. Is it time to open the predefined spaces, but how open source can art go?
Show-In-A-Box, WordPress Video Distribution System
Many video creators are shy of the web since they want to make sure their work looks good online. Being artists themselves,Jay Dedman and Ryanne Hodson know that presentation is very important. Being media activists, they also know that using open source tools and sane copyrights are also important. WordPress is a blogging tool they’ve been using to run videoblogs for a few years now. Over time Dedman and Hodson begun to develop and use some tools that make WordPress better suited for video. Show-In-A-Box was created to bring these all together and create the ultimate videoblogging platform. They are making custom WP plugins to better manipulate video, original themes that better showcase video and have video tutorials and a strong community to help guide newbies to creating their own videoblog to document the world around us. Many examples of what online video can look like using free and open tools will be shown.
info on showinabox.tv
Tatiana de la O
Independent Media Sites
In the current environment, the first independent media sites are looking to the 2.0 trend with two different attitudes: On one side, they want to learn to network the different producers better, and help spread the good material. On the other side, the narcissism and individualism of the blogosphere is seen as counter-productive by most of the activists-programmers that work on open platforms. The not-so-digital videoactivists use many 2.0 platforms and we fail to make them understand why we don’t like them, while not providing a good choice. Which are the differences? Why does indymedia have fewer users than facebook? Do we need more facebook-like users? Why is so hard to use free platforms and how can we change that?
Do fragmented video databases lead to new narratives and genres? Does a database like YouTube evoke new media skills or rather contemporary conditions such as ADD? Against the latter, scholars have put the ability of users to reassemble short stories into larger new narratives. The bricolage is assembled by the end-user, not the producer. Does this add up to a new cinematic experience?
“Constructive Instability’, or The Life of Things as the Cinema’s Afterlife?
If avant-gardes have traditionally been about bringing art and life together, then today’s avant-gardes will need to redefine what is meant by art but also what is meant by life. Art may be able do without the ‘artist’, yet it cannot do without (media) technologies, and thus has to be seen in the broader context of the ‘artificial’ in all its contradictory semantics. Similarly, ‘life’ can no longer be defined by either ‘nature’ or ‘culture’. In its bio-political dimensions it joins technology, as technology becomes more biological. But life is also assimilated to ‘art’ in the sense of ‘artificial life’, when the term covers ‘emergent’, ‘distributive’ or ‘complex adaptive’ systems. What role, then, for the moving image, poised between artificial intelligence (montage: animating the inanimate) and artificial life (numerically capturing reality)? This presentation takes another look at the cinema’s beginnings in chrono-photography and its afterlife on Youtube, where avant-garde artists, high-end advertising, children’s television, maths classes and telethons in Groningen may not have the answer, but sure enough expand the scale and range of the question.
Cinema as a Research Database
What makes film a data base medium? Digitized 35mm film is easily fragmented and distributed as photography, sound files, text exports, scenes and visual layers. Interesting research on this disintegrated cinematic context starts for example when digitized author-director films are placed in separate video channels on a single editing time line. How does a platform like YouTube relate to the well mapped film museum on the web, and does this add up to a new cinematic context or merely a battle of daily news and artistic history?
Videovortex: the Linguistic Re-turn?
Sites like YouTube and Flickr have done more than boosting a DIY film and photography culture: they are transforming film and photography in profound and unexpected ways. Most surprising perhaps, is that videos and photos – especially those taken with mobile phone cameras – are taking on communicative functions that used to be associated with linguistic utterances. This has less to do with the severing of the indexical link between a photo and its object by digital technologies than with new practices of distribution and use of images made possible by new means of communication. In the midst of an era that has often been characterised as “the visual turn”, “visual culture”, images seem to take a “linguistic turn.”
From 16mm film and video to the Internet and back, artists have always used the moving image to produce critical and innovative work. This session will explore early examples of Internet video and investigate how artists and curators have responded to the YouTube challenge. Online video databases seemingly are the ideal artist portfolio online, with unlimited uploads and a massive audience. MySpace is inhabited by bands and musicians, but why don’t video artists and filmmakers occupy YouTube? On the other hand, where would this leave the curator?
Curator as Filter / User as Curator
The great response to online digital media archives, video art databases and DVD projects show that there is a need felt by curators, researchers, scholars, the general public or even artists for access to video art beside the traditional publication formats. However, only a few art museums, galleries, distributors and artists offer viewing copies, video trailers or video documentations online. Even if the number of online video projects is generally growing, video community websites as YouTube, Google Video, Blip.tv or Revver create a much larger number of video content everyday and also point out the difficulties of full access. This situation asks new questions: How to deal with large digital archives today and in the future? How should we curate, present and mediate these archives? In what sense can online video formats and platforms provide a better or even new way of access to video art and documentations? What role do videoblogs and artist websites play in mediating video and art? What is the function of museums, galleries or distributors regarding a developing online video market?
It’s all to easy to be swept into the hype of centralised social networking sites and content distribution platforms such as YouTube and forget that so-called ‘Web2.0’ is the marketer’s answer to the truly open file-sharing potential of the Internet. It is worth remembering what artists did in response to the emergence of increasingly commercial television channels and how they first used the web for ‘broadcasting themselves’. Tied to these experiments is the key question of the role of the curator in supporting and sustaining independent practices within an increasingly homogenized media landscape. How are these 2.0 platforms being used to market and distribute information about art projects, and does it work? This paper considers what other open models of practice are available to curators for preserving independent practice, discussing wiki-enabled voluntary programming of moving-image based organisations such as the Star and Shadow Cinema (Newcastle).
Online Video, Tradition and Audience
As part of the Video Vortex online video curation panel, the session colophon text asks why video artists have not embraced online distribution methods like YouTube and Google Video. To this curator, the question is not so monolithic – i.e., why ‘video artists’ have not wholeheartedly accepted viral media, as the tradition of video art practice has been expressed in many terms; grass roots, art world, festivals, etc. In addition, the mutability of digital video creates additional challenges of cultural niche, intentionality and audience of stunning complexity. For this presentation, we will consider the functions of videoart from Antin’s seminal essay through multiple sites of distribution and critical discourse regarding the cultural functions of video art, such as PortableGallery, MySpace, DVBlog, P2P sharing, RTMark’s ‘$29.95′, the contemporary art market, viral video and others.
Home-made Content and the Arts
At the moment the obvious trend in technology based creativity (in terms of delivery and style) is towards home-made content – YouTube, Flickr, MySpace etc. The empowering nature of ubiquitous technology means that anyone who wants to can create something for public consumption and show it on it’s own specialised ‘gallery’ space on the web. This DIY aesthetic can be witnessed across associated digital-based arts – particularly music (myspace and itunes), photography and film – and enables artists to connect directly and instantly with their audience. This is less likely to happen or with as much success with say, oil painting and the other traditional ‘exhibition’ arts. What does this mean for curators of media arts? And how does it affect our relationship with the other arts?
Web 2.0 promises new levels of participatory culture in which all users are producers, sharing their homemade content with their networks of friends. In this utopian approach, the user has the potential to overcome centralized top-down media and create dialogue. To which extent can this be considered citizen journalism? Is the increased user participation a sign of a new socio-political culture or is it a mere special effect of technological change?
Video Piracy and Independent Cinema in South-East Asia
Video piracy and independent film might make strange bedfellows from a Western point of view. But in Southeast Asia the rampant video piracy here has important consequences for the digital independent film movement, which is currently emerging in the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand. Due to relatively cheap digital video, an independent cinema is up-and-coming in a region that was previously dominated by local commercial productions and the standard Hollywood-fare. Film makers such as Raja Martin, John Torres and Law Diaz in the Philippines, Amir Muhammad and James Lee in Malaysia, or Martyn See in Singapore have started to create films, that simply could not have been made even a decade ago, when local film production in these countries was dominated by commercial film studios and television stations. The highly sophisticated pirate networks in South East Asia, and the independent video phenomenon have some remarkable similarities in terms of the consequences for independent cultural production.
Avi and DIVX art
After the appearance of the Ubuweb archive, containing an exotic Modern video collection, artworks of contemporary artists such as Matthew Barney, Marina Abramovic and Harun Farocki started to become available. This (”Napsterisation”) phenomena, that caught the commercial domain of popular culture first, is slowly but surely distributing the once “elite” culture to unknown viewers. Despite the elementary “what” to search for, more important for a new art public is actually “how” to search. Arttorrents blog is one of the comprehensive entrances to the artworld, providing “free tickets” or torrents. Still, this new public knows how to search for movies or videos, but has become immune on the resolution barrier. Instead of screening resolutions, preview resolutions are common place.
Toward Digital Prochronism: How to Share Creative Processes
Creative works produced, shared and reused on the Web are proliferating massively, reaching a critical mass where the end-product aesthetics is yielding to the rise of inheritability of process. This situation, resulting from the emergence of collaborative platforms of the Web 2.0 flux, can be understood as a naturalization of such communication modalities as remixing or mash-up, especially in relation with the Free Culture movement i.e. Creative Commons that have spread legal plasticity of creative data. In this prospect, the idea of prochronism – a term coined by Gregory Bateson in his discussion of ‘pattern that connects all living things’ – can be applied to digital contents (let it be text, sound, video or even software) or to any agent / entity / organization (e.g. musea, art centers) to evaluate and share the embryological processes as creatively valuable information. This transition involves the following characteristics:
from an individual-based authorship to a more massively anonymous one, from synchronous liveliness to asynchronous peer-production, from revision history to time-based process of creation (prochronism).
The presentation will discuss the above themes along several web projects started in Japan.
Much like poetry slamming the use of short video fragments has become a dominant mode in visual culture. Where are the video files found and how are they used and played with? Is ‘video slamming’ the new way of watching audiovisual files? This evening session is all about the new ways of watching, using, and playing with moving images, such as scratching, sampling, mixing, (meta)tagging and recommending.
21.00 Presentations of video databases and VJ software: Killer TV, Rosa Menkman, Tatiana de la O, Emile Zile, Sam Nemeth.
KillerTV is interactive television on the internet. At live broadcasts, you can share your views or react on anything said or done on screen through the website, as well add your own material, be it text, sound, image or video footage. KillerTV is a testbed: a work in progress. It regards content and technology as intertwined. KillerTV broadcasts a wide variety of lectures, discussions and talkshows about e-Culture, together with partners from all parts of society. KillerTV records in the HD-format and makes this online available with the aid of ISP Surfnet, apart from our regular program on the Killersite.
21.30 Short Break
21:40 Video Performances
Emile Zile: 0 views. 0 comments. 0 responses.
In his presentation for the Video Slamming event, Emile Zile will perform a live mix that samples the rich vein of YouTube-mediated grief and mourning. Webcam tears. Low-resolution confessions. Factory-preset templates. This presentation intends to focus on the face and voice, analysing the modern act of performative grief in online video databases.
Tatiana de la O
With the use of several Pure Data libraries to play videos and mix them to the rhythm of the music, Tatiana de la O presents a harsh selection of video loops from indymedia, youtube, archives, and video classics from Maya Deren, Dziga Vertov and others. Her goal is to create a processing machine able to take and show any kind of video stream, a tool for quick communication processes, using the computing power of the machine to adapt to different kinds of video sources and music. The libraries used are: pidip (Yves Degoyon) – pdp (Tom Schouten) pdp_colorgrid (Yves Degoyon & Lluis Gomez i Bigorda), maxlib (Olaf Matthes), pd unauthorised (Yves Degoyon).
Rosa’s interests revolve around inverting the default use of new media technologies, both hard ware and software-wise. During this Video Vortex VJ set, she will make a collage of ways in which this can be accomplished within the video medium, focusing primarily on the concept of the glitch. The English term ‘glitch’ means a malfunction or an error and is generally used to indicate a small defect within a technology. Some of the glitches she will show happened
accidentally, while others are triggered on purpose. To Rosa, a glitch is a form of machine poetry; a way to vocalize the internal workings of a technology.
DJs: MINX PILOT & T. HIDEOUS
23.00 Start of Club11 night Telescope with Dj’s: Mountain People (Mountain People, Zurich), Olaf Boswijk (Telescope, Amsterdam) and Mark Buning (Stadtkind, Amsterdam). Visuals and slides by Dadalights.