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Television transformation

September 12th, 2014 · references

Recent book publication that examines the transformation of TV. (rmit ebook)


Distribution Revolution is a collection of interviews with leading film and TV professionals concerning the many ways that digital delivery systems are transforming the entertainment business. These interviews provide lively insider accounts from studio executives, distribution professionals, and creative talent of the tumultuous transformation of film and TV in the digital era. The first section features interviews with top executives at major Hollywood studios, providing a window into the big-picture concerns of media conglomerates with respect to changing business models, revenue streams, and audience behaviors. The second focuses on innovative enterprises that are providing path-breaking models for new modes of content creation, curation, and distribution—creatively meshing the strategies and practices of Hollywood and Silicon Valley. And the final section offers insights from creative talent whose professional practices, compensation, and everyday working conditions have been transformed over the past ten years. Taken together, these interviews demonstrate that virtually every aspect of the film and television businesses is being affected by the digital distribution revolution, a revolution that has likely just begun.

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25 voices – participatory student project

September 10th, 2014 · Teaching

Zoomslide in NZ put me onto this 25 voices project:


25 university students collaborated with 25 teenagers in a participatory journalism project geared towards telling the stories of young people in Grahamstown, South Africa. Situated in the Eastern Cape and home to one of the top tertiary institutions in the country, Rhodes University, the small town is often referred to as a ‘student-town’, dismissing those who live here, survive here, those who call it home and keep it running beyond the fleeting students and academics.

These short films exist as a snapshot of Grahamstown. A neatly-packaged record of the struggles, successes and growing pains of local teens whose lives are personally affected by issues including alcoholism, divorce, animal abuse, homophobia and sexual violence to name but a few.

Rhodes TV journalism students were paired with learners from the Upstart Youth Development Project and together
25 documentaries were brainstormed, produced, edited and reviewed. These films will be shown to influential figures, who have the power to fast-track change. They will also be screened at local schools and at Rhodes University.

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Video tools and systems – book

September 7th, 2014 · references


The Emergence of Video Processing Tools: Television Becoming Unglued, (Intellect Books, 2014) co-edited by Kathy High, Sherry Hocking and Mona Jimenez.

The Emergence of Video Processing Tools presents stories of the development of early video tools and systems designed and built by artists and technologists during the late 1960s and 70s. Split over two volumes, the contributors examine the intersection of art and science and look at collaborations among inventors, designers, and artists trying to create new tools to capture and manipulate images in revolutionary ways. The contributors include “video pioneers,” who have been active since the emergence of the aesthetic, and technologists, who continue to design, build, and hack media tools. The book also looks at contemporary toolmakers and the relationship between these new tools and the past. Video and media production is a growing area of interest in art and this collection will be an indispensable guide to its origins and its future.

e-version in rmit library

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K-film – Digital Humanities in the BeNeLux Region

September 4th, 2014 · i-doc

Screen Shot 2014-09-04 at 10.26.38 am

Interview example of a K-film, by Dr. Ben Miller “Digital Humanities in the BeNeLux Region

All told, it’s comprised of approx. 30 short interviews. Structurally, it promotes diversity of opinion in the early stages of the film (the first 3-5 videos), then more focused exploration of a single topic in the latter stages (the last 2-3 videos

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September 3rd, 2014 · projects

Almost at the very end of the PhD…starting to surface after keeping things simple and focused for a long time. Looking at planning ECR and getting the publishing happening. It is an interesting transition in terms of defining a new focus. In the meantime plenty going on…

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I have a 7000 word article developed from the ‘Digital/Documentary/Audience’ forum held in Canberra in 2012 as an adjunct to Visible Evidence XIX conference at ANU. The article is part of the Documentary as Sense-making collection for Studies in Documentary Film journal.

Developing an article and possibly a video work for an ibook (anthology) with the ‘New Documentaries: New Methodologies’ panel (thanks to Adrian Miles for bringing this together) from a recent conference presentation in Screen Explosion: Expanding practices, narratives and education for the Creative Screen Industries, ASPERA 2014. My paper ‘Transformed practices: What is a documentary designer?’ was adapted from the oral presentation/examination of my PhD.

Produced a draft video work DEAD TV (cancel delete) for MINA MOBile Innovation Network Aotearoa screenings, which is in review process.


Working with NFN research group (rmit nonfiction lab) on a collaboration with CREATIVE ECOLOGIES LAB at Macquarie University.

Wrote this Video Vanilla project up yesterday for the (rmit nonfiction lab). Something to expand from with new projects…


Video Vanilla is an initiative that aims to explore the emerging role of the ‘documentary designer’. Rapid technological changes and transformations in media practice require new approaches towards documentary production. Design as a process responds to problems that arise through change, which is why it is a key feature of many practices associated with the fast-paced development of online and mobile media. There is the potential for documentary practitioners to develop new skillsets and work in varied contexts across platforms. Using practice-led research to engage in a range of collaborative projects, Video Vanilla intends to provide insights into the development of documentary practice.

Project examples include: software customisation of an interactive documentary authoring and publishing system, a partnership with an international NGO to create an interactive video website documenting an aid program in Colombia, an interactive documentary system with integrated locative media functionality, an audiovisual production framework for documenting anthropological research in Timor Leste.

Thinking about things I can utilise from my PHD for text publication and developing some new creative works. I would like to extend the media design focus.

Picked this up yesterday and like the way Umberto works from practice examples. Beautiful book.


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Mobile Media Making in an Age of Smartphones

September 3rd, 2014 · mobile videography

Mobile Media Making in an Age of Smartphones
Edited by Marsha Berry, Max Schleser

Book summary:

With the rise of smartphones and the proliferation of applications (“apps”), the ways everyday media users and creative professionals represent, experience, and share the everyday is changing. With the overlay of location-based services, these experiences and representations are providing new social, creative, and emotional cartographies. This collection discusses the prospects of the proliferation of mobile and digital filmmaking opportunities, from videographic citizen journalism to networked, transmedia collaborative filmmaking and photography, and the embedding of filmmaking and photography in social media practice. The contributors reflect on emergent creative practices as well as digital ethnographies of new visualities and socialities associated with smartphone cameras in everyday life.

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Invent to learn

August 27th, 2014 · this and that

The other night I went to an ‘Invent to Learn’ workshop at my daughter’s primary school, run by Dr. Gary Stager who lives in the LA. I decided to blog it here because I liked his idea of “learning by doing” and the connections that can be made with a studio model in media. From Gary’s website:

Using technology to make, repair, or customize the things we need brings engineering, design, and computer science to the masses. Fortunately for educators, this maker movement overlaps with the natural inclinations of children and the power of learning by doing.

Gary introduced the parents and children to Sylvia (now 12) who got involved with the maker movement (on wikipedia) 4 years ago and her show ‘Sylvia’s Super-Awesome Maker Show’. –

At the workshop I learnt about some great initiatives for children to invent and make things which can be used separately or crossed over with each other. Most of these are initiatives out of universities, research centres and not-for-profit groups. These include:

Squishy Circuits – “The goal of the project is to design tools and activities which allow kids of all ages to create circuits and explore electronics using play dough.”

Pro Bot + Thymio – “an affordable educational robot” – “Thymio II is an open hardware and open source project, with its design available under a creative commons license and its source code and programming environment available as LGPL.”

Makey Makey – from about on the makey makey website – “We believe that everyone is creative, inventive, and imaginative. We believe that everyone can create the future and change the world. So we have dedicated our lives to making easy-to-use invention kits.”

MaKey MaKey – An Invention Kit for Everyone from jay silver on Vimeo.

Hummingbird – “The Hummingbird Robotics Kit is a spin-off product of Carnegie Mellon’s CREATE lab.”

Turtle Art
– “TurtleArt lets you make images with your computer. The Turtle follows a sequence of commands. You specify the sequence by snapping together puzzle like blocks.”

Arduino – (from introduction page) – “Arduino is a tool for making computers that can sense and control more of the physical world than your desktop computer. It’s an open-source physical computing platform based on a simple microcontroller board, and a development environment for writing software for the board.”

Lego wedo
– “LEGO® Education WeDo is a fantastic, simple-to-use cross-curricular tool that enables students to learn, construct and then bring their models to life using intuitive drag-and-drop software.”

Scratch – “With Scratch, you can program your own interactive stories, games, and animations — and share your creations with others in the online community.”


Invent To Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary S. Stager

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August 20th, 2014 · video art

I like the idea of video letters…


Video was a radical medium in the hands of the activists, performance artists and pirate TV makers of the ‘60s. It helped rewrite relationships between artists, audiences and mass media, effectively changing the world. So how are video artists orienting themselves against the complex backdrop of networked technology, smart phones and prosumers of our current world? Our extended panel of artists, curators and video brains will turn their minds to some of the crises and opportunities facing video art in the internet era.

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Interview with Matt Soar

August 20th, 2014 · i-doc

Intermedia Art, Lost Leaders, and Korsakow: An Interview with Matt Soar

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Video Vortex 10 – Istanbul

August 20th, 2014 · video vortex

The email callout for Video Vortex 10 – Istanbul

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.

We thus particularly welcome talks, presentations, round tables, workshops, and especially works that relate to the theme outlined above. The deadline for submission of abstracts and proposals is 15th June.

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Interactive documentary engagement

August 20th, 2014 · i-doc

Clicking on the real: telling stories and engaging audiences through interactive documentaries.

Comments in new documentary list by Bettina Frankham.

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2014 Newcastle ASPERA presentations

August 20th, 2014 · i-doc

Two of the panel members presentations from ASPERA Newcastle conference.


Hannah Braiser – “I SEE YOU” K-FILM”

The title of my presentation:
Keen, Seth. “Transformed practices: What is a documentary designer?” Screen Explosion: Expanding practices, narratives and education for the Creative Screen Industries, ASPERA, Australia Screen Producers and Educators Association, Newcastle, Australia, 2014.

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