A different use of video in relation to the everyday and place. The context here is more pure anthropology research.
Introduction: Start with a place in this case a community garden space. Walking through the space. Four tours of the garden over two years. The position is that a place is made by movements through a space.
Theories of Place: Place written as being theoretical. Abbreviated from a slide: (Sensory perception; movement of people and things; changing environment; everday practices – materialities, socialities, biography, discourses) This lead to the idea of ‘emplacement’ – in this concept the person/people becomes central the foci for that place. Video captures these aspects…
Movement: ‘To understand everyday life we need to…follow people…everyday life practices as those people encounter them…Laundry as an example in a house, the flow movement of laundry and the relation to energy…Video (visual research) enables these movements to be followed documented…
Sensory experience: Recent anthropology theory suggesting that the senses ‘are not separable’…In everyday life learning happens in ‘non-verbal ways that are embodied, tacit and empathetic’ – (e.g performing, touching, inhaling).
Video and photography: Camera as an instrument…A frame, window, ‘prism’ – records the experience of the environment they are in – including behind the camera which is not seen the recorders experience. The notion of using video to get people to come on a journey, travel through a space. ‘Playing video back’…odd description as ironically it is ‘played forward’…
LEEDR project: In this project the word ‘tour’ is used in ‘home video tour’ a process of documenting energy use in a house. Working out how to make a room feel right, ‘sensory aesthetics’ – making a toddlers room feel right…The tour looks at how those everyday practices weave together. There is an interesting cross-over here in the WVA project in regards to touring a house, going on a tour of the location.
Slow City Movement, Cittlaslow: Promoting sustainable practices in cities. A transferable model across cultures, cities globally – seen as being experiential . Local uniqueness, what is validated in terms of each city, location. ‘Urban tour method’ using video, photos to record the tour. The guides are left to create that tour.
Quotes/terms from the presentation:
Visual research – Video, photos
research through places
experience of place
a place to walk through
how people engage with their environments
sensory aesthetics of place
theoretical and applied knowledge
Slow City Movement, Cittlaslow – Spain
Doreen Massey, For Space (2005) – Geographer (constellation)
Nigel Thrift – geographer, place
Tim Ingold, Perception of the Environment, Being Human (2007, 2008) – (meshwork and entanglement, ‘making lines through the environment)
Mark Harris 2007 Perception of the Environment
J.J. Gibson (affordances and movement)
Gathering in relation to video recording – Edward Casey, Essay in book Senses of Place, edited by Steven Feld and Keith H. Basso, School of American Research Press, Santa Fe, 1996 – Edward Casey The Fate of Place
Situating Everyday Life (Sarah’s book)
Introduction book – Space of Place Eds. Gill Valentine, Rob Kitchin , Phil Hubbard ,
‘Disappearing World’, documentary Granada
Book – Visual Interventions, Sarah Pink (2007) – Note some of the applied research projects in this book have similarities with the WVA project
Lok out for ‘Redrawing Anthropology’, Sarah Pink (inscribing, writing with a video camera)
Criticism everyday – Non-places: introduction to an anthropology of supermodernity, Mark Auge
Adrian Miles’ lecture on the Tom Sherman’s Vernacular Video reading. Starting with an overview of the two versions with the expanded version on nettime. Miles argued that the longer version clarifies ideas discussed in the first version but does not cover what he thinks is an important point. He discussed how differences between the two are useful in terms of understanding the reading, with the idea that both are as important as each other.
Then there was some evaluation of the context around the writing. Miles then pointed out that the writing style has connections with a manifesto. Sherman as an artist aims to produce as Miles states “an agenda for action”. In the context of the course IM1 there are certain aspects that are relative, with the aim to positively and constructively work with the ideas that progress thinking around the concept of a networked video practice. He stated from his perspective the critique, ‘is about building new things”.
Arts practice in this context is replaced with the media professional practitioner. Video outside of art has taken off in a broader sense, well beyond the walls of the white cube, art gallery. The reaction to this is for artists to meet this head on by making video art within these new environments, where that work considers the atttributes of what has become a (vernacular) video type style.
Miles stated: “…that Vernacular Video is a form of slang video.” It has informality, immediacy. This type of video is everyday and is not made for the specific requirements and protocols of a white cube gallery, for example. Instead it has an intimacy and is not about being an opus, a large-scale high post-produced artifact. The issue is whether video art can be produced at this level within this domain and still have a certain acceptable quality. A quality that distinguishes it from everyday video practice. Miles raises the point as to whether this type of content can be seen as being high end, rather than looked down as being amateur, low-fi and inferior. Part of the argument being whether slang and informal dialogue has a certain type of sophistication, where street language for example has complexities that have been developed and progressed over time.
Miles’ previous 12-second TV blog post as a reference to how atrocious this informal short video content can be.
I was thinking about twitter and how over time you develop better and better ways to work within the 140-character constraint and (share) the information you want to get out in a short form. This is not just how you write but also how you use links, the networked nature of this tool. This is a light bulb moment in terms of thinking about constraints and how for me having seen this tool as potentially another time-wasting fall into the banal – there is another side which is about practising with these social networking tools and seeing what is udner the surface. You only get that through use, obviously. It is bit like riding a bike over and over and getting to know the limitaitons and potential unknown capabilites that could be explored further. You learn to work within those constraints. In the end it is how you steer twitter to a position where it works for your needs. Stephen Fry on twitter is an example of this…
Also, Miles pointed out how twitter brings back for example, social conversation in the workplace. This is a good point and I have noticed already how it functions on this level even to the point where you can see varying networks emerging around people through the follow feature. Another aspect that is revealed through use and engagement.
The Skittles website example – www.skittles.com is as an example Miles used to demonstrate how a commercial company can utilsie social networking , with all the content added externally by the public using flickr, even to the point where the branding has been adapted to work on wikipedia. The Skittle example provides an example of the way Media is being altered significantly, all part of the shift to post-industrial media and a “radically different media ecology”.
On wikipedia some are critical of this experiment.
Sherman quote referred to at the end of the lecture from the section ‘Aesthetics Will Continue to Separate Artists from the Public at Large’. p.3
If artists choose to embrace video culture in the wilds (on the street or on-line) where vernacular video is burgeoning in a massive storm of quickly evolving short message forms, they will face the same problems that artists always face. How will they describe the world they see, and if they are disgusted by what they see, how will they compose a new world? And then how will they find an audience for their work? The advantages for artists showing in museums and galleries are simple. The art audience knows it is going to see art when it visits a museum or gallery. Art audiences bring their education and literacy to these art institutions. But art audiences have narrow expectations. They seek material sensuality packaged as refined objects attached to the history of art. When artists present art in a public space dominated by vernacular use, video messages by all kinds of people with different kinds of voices and goals, aesthetic decisions are perhaps even more important, and even more complex, than when art is being crafted to be experienced in an art museum.
What is relative with Sherman in regards to the earlier idea of “building new things”, Miles suggests is the idea of an engagement with the real-world, along with Shermans’s argument for ‘elegance’ which seperates out a media professional practitioner and video artist – “an informed practice”.
The question remaining is how to think about this idea of ‘elegance’ in relation to drafting a manifesto for networked video practice. What is elegant about slang, the vernacular, a street language? What do I like about Hip-Hop music? What is good hip-hop compared to bad hip-hop?
Rheingold also has notes on course he runs called Virtual Communities/Social Media
The Video Vortex Reader: Responses to YouTube was released last week as a follow up to the Video Vortex forums, conferences and exhibitions staged from the end of 2007 into 2008.
about the book: 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.
After years of talk about digital convergence and crossmedia platforms we now witness the merger of the Internet and television at a pace no-one predicted. These contributions from scholars, artists and curators evolved from the first two Video Vortex conferences in Brussels and Amsterdam in 2007 which focused on responses to YouTube, and address key issues around independent production and distribution of online video content. What does this new distribution platform mean for artists and activists? What are the alternatives?
Contributors: Tilman Baumgärtel, Jean Burgess, Dominick Chen, Sarah Cook, Sean Cubitt, Stefaan Decostere, Thomas Elsaesser, David Garcia, Alexandra Juhasz, Nelli Kambouri and Pavlos Hatzopoulos, Minke Kampman, Seth Keen, Sarah Késenne, Marsha Kinder, Patricia Lange, Elizabeth Losh, Geert Lovink, Andrew Lowenthal, Lev Manovich, Adrian Miles, Matthew Mitchem, Sabine Niederer, Ana Peraica, Birgit Richard, Keith Sanborn, Florian Schneider, Tom Sherman, Jan Simons, Thomas Thiel, Vera Tollmann, Andreas Treske, Peter Westenberg.
Alejandro Adams, Preliminary Notes on Web-hosted Cinema, http://www.braintrustdv.com/essays/web-hosted.html
There is nothing unique about returning to early film theory in an attempt to delimit the creative uses of digital video technology. Comparing the infancy of the first manifestation of cinema with the infancy of its successor is as natural as it is profitable. Invoking, as I will, the elaborate investigations of early theorists such as Béla Balázs and Rudolf Arnheim is a way to clarify my own observations concerning digital cinema in general and Web-hosted cinema in particular.
I got his reference from AM’s blog who posted a few notes on the article.
From book description:
Video is an electronic medium, dependent on the transfer of electronic signals. Video signals are in constant movement, circulating between camera and monitor. This process of simultaneous production and reproduction makes video the most reflexive of media, distinct from both photography and film (in which the image or a sequence of images is central). Because it is processual and not bound to recording and the appearance of a “frame,” video shares properties with the computer. In this book, Yvonne Spielmann argues that video is not merely an intermediate stage between analog and digital but a medium in its own right. Video has metamorphosed from technology to medium, with a set of aesthetic languages that are specific to it, and current critical debates on new media still need to recognize this.
Full reference: Yvonne Spielmann, Video, The Reflexive Medium, MIT Press: Cambridge, Massachusetts, (2008) First published in German (2005)
Following is my immediate response to the opening presentation by Tom Sherman at the Video Vortex conference in Amsterdam. Vernacular Video: Nine Lives of Video Art. I made lots of notes as it was inspiring to see Tom speak in the flesh. In condensed form what interested me where these concepts, which could be developed more (and checked for accuracy) when the video recordings of the event are released and published on the INC website.
His view on the evolving death and resurrection of video art in its many variations as part of adjusting to developments in technology and the changing politics of the art scene. My understanding is that with the growth of what he called “video culture”, for example through YouTube, there is a real risk of video art being obliterarated. This ties in with the change in practice where video production and distribution is accessible to all rather than a few artists.
Historically, he pointed out that video has always been a medium of “process rather than product”. Also he stated that “…many of the challenges of video has been the semantic challenges…”. These are concepts that I would like to expand on as they tie in I think with his later point on video art needing to react to the Internet. Some quotes taken from the end of the presentation that follow this concept:
“…[disregards the] potential as a communication medium ignoring its cybernetic strengths”
“…video art will be the response to the web.”
“…as the web delivers plurailty it must deliver video art”
The concept that the term ‘new media’ is what he called commercially motivated not only for business but also for art institution funding and education purposes. The term provided the potential to pigeon-hole certain activities for the purpose of establishing “marginal” funding and as he described was seen as “a set of technologies that filled the space between other technologies”. It is interesting from my point-of-view that this term is now loosing the aura it had and in Australia has been made obselete (Feb-March 2005) by the arts council and folded back into visuals arts. In Australia and perhaps elsewhere there seems to be a kind of hiatus around the term ‘new media’, with the expectation that like the arts council example new media will be seen as part of existing established disciplines. Perhaps this is a display of maturity or new media is looking death in the eye?
The characteristics of ‘vernacular video‘ where outlined. These I have written about before in a previous post as part of extending some of these ideas and locating examples that are familiar. It is interesting to make a connection here between the text based characteristic and the Japanese Nico comment videos shown in the last presentation of the event by Dominick Chen. What is new is Sherman’s concept of a video being effected by the process of messaging. Tom suggested that, “the desire for interactivity will transform into message exchange sites”. I look forward to seeing more of his thinking and writing on this concept.