Saturday, 12 March 2011

Video Vortex: Moving Images Beyond YouTube

Film Studies For Free is thrilled to present a link to the second of two Video Vortex Readers (both freely available online): Moving beyond YouTube (large PDF), which has just been published to coincide with the Sixth Video Vortex conference now taking place in Amsterdam.

The first VV Reader (Video Vortex: Responses to YouTube, eds. G. Lovink, S. Niederer (Amsterdam: Institute for Network Cultures, 2008) was previously flagged up by FSFF. And this blog also posted on the wonderful presentations (all available for online viewing) from the Fifth VV conference.

With its own interest in web cinema and digital film and video studies, FSFF is a great admirer of the work associated with Video Vortex and the Institute of Network Cultures. It very much hopes its own author will be able to attend next year's conference to catch some of this great work in person.

Here's the opening section of Geert Lovink's 'Introduction' (and below this, the Reader's table of contents), so that you can see the important issues raised and explored by this latest, excellent collection:
This second Video Vortex Reader marks the transition of online video into the mainstream. Staggering statistics of hypergrowth no longer impress us. Discussing a possible online video project for the first time in late 2006 in Melbourne with Seth Keen, the topic was still a matter of ‘becoming’. One collaborative research project, six conferences and two anthologies later, the Video Vortex project seems at a crossroads. Massive usage is not an indication of relevance. Heavy use does not automatically translate into well-funded research or critical art practices. Is the study of online video, like most new media topics, doomed to remain a niche activity – or will we see a conceptual quantum leap, in line with the billions of clips watched daily? So far, there is no evidence of a dialectical turn from quantity into quality. It is remarkable how quickly both pundits and cultural elites became
used to online video libraries containing millions of mini-films. In our ‘whatever’ culture nothing seems to surprise us. Who cares about the internet? Continuous technological revolution, from social networking to smartphones, seems to have numbed us down. B-S-B: Boredom-Surprise-Boredom. Instead of an explosion of the collective imaginary we witness digital disillusion – a possible reason why online theory has had a somewhat unspectacular start. The low quality of YouTube’s most popular videos certainly indicates that this platform is not a hotbed of innovative aesthetics.
           What are the concerns here? Was will das Medium? Are we condemned to fight over the exact percentage of user-generated content in comparison to remediated film and television material? Will online video remain a jukebox item that is passed from one social network to the next? Have we all switched from zapping to searching? Should we approach the potential of YouTube culture from the plasma screen angle? Is the final destination to be found in the living room, where the online video logic starts to compete with cable and free-to-air television? Is online video liberating us from anything? Instead of trying merely to measure this ever-changing field, we can also try to define future scenarios. Let’s dig into the destiny of online video and discuss three possible directions [...].
  [Geert Lovink, 'Engage in Destiny Design: Online Video Beyond Hypergrowth: Introduction to Video Vortex Reader II', in Geert Lovink and Rachel Somers Miles (eds), Video Vortex Reader: Moving Images Beyond YouTube (Amsterdam: Institute of Network Cultures, 2011) p. 9]

  • Geert Lovink, 'Engage in Destiny Design: Online Video Beyond Hypergrowth: Introduction to Video Vortex Reader II'
  • Stefan Heidenreich, 'Vision Possible: A Methodological Quest for Online Video'
  • Andreas Treske, 'Frames within Frames - Windows and Doors'
  • Robrecht Vanderbeeken, 'Web Video and the Screen as a Mediator and Generator of Reality'
  • Vito Campanelli, 'The DivX Experience'
  • Sarah Késenne, 'Regarding the Sex, Lies and Videotapes of Others: Memory, Counter-Memory, and Mystified Relations'
  • Gabriel Menotti, 'Objets Propagés: The Internet Video as an Audiovisual Format'
  • Andrew Gryf Paterson, 'From a Pull-down Screen, Fold-up Chairs, a Laptop and a Projector: The Development of Clip Kino Screenings, Workshops and Roles in Finland'
  • Jan Simons, 'Between iPhone and YouTube: Movies on the Move? '
  • Sandra Fauconnier, 'Video Art Distribution in the Era of Online Video'
  • Evelin Stermitz, 'ArtFem.TV: Feminist Artistic Infiltration of a Male Net Culture'
  • Mél Hogan, 'Crashing the Archive/Archiving the Crash: The Case of SAW Video’s Mediatheque'
  • Teague Schneiter, 'Ethical Presentation of Indigenous Media in the Age of Open Video: Cultivating Collaboration, Sovereignty and Sustainability'
  • David Teh, 'The Video Agenda in Southeast Asia, or, ‘Digital, So Not Digital’'
  • Ferdiansyah Thajib, Nuraini Juliastuti, Andrew Lowenthal and Alexandra Crosby, 'A Chronicle of Video Activism and Online Distribution in Post-New Order Indonesia'
  • Larissa Hjorth, 'Still Mobile: Networked Mobile Media, Video Content and Users in Seoul'
  • Matthew Williamson, 'Degeneracy in Online Video Platforms'
  • Andrew Clay, 'Blocking, Tracking, and Monetizing: YouTube Copyright Control and the Downfall Parodies'
  • Tara Zepel, 'Cultural Analytics at Work: The 2008 U.S. Presidential Online Video Ads'
  • Rachel Somers Miles, 'Free, Open and Online: An Interview with Denis Roio aka Jaromil'
  • Alejandro Duque, 'Streaming Counter Currents: ‘W.A.S.T.E’'
  • Sam Gregory, 'Cameras Everywhere: Ubiquitous Video Documentation of Human Rights, New Forms of Video Advocacy, and Considerations of Safety, Security, Dignity and Consent'
  • Elizabeth Losh, 'Shooting for the Public: YouTube, Flickr, and the Mavi Marmara Shootings'
  • Brian Willems, 'Increasing the Visibility of Blindness: Natalie Bookchin’s Mass Ornament'
  • Natalie Bookchin and Blake Stimson, 'Out in public: Natalie Bookchin in Conversation with Blake Stimson'
  • Linda Wallace, 'non-western and garland'
  • Perry Bard, 'When Film and Database Collide'
  • Cecilia Guida, 'YouTube as a Subject: Interview with Constant Dullaart'
  • Rosa Menkman, 'Glitch Studies Manifesto'
  • Albert Figurt, 'The Thin Line Between On and Off: a (re:)cyclothymic exploration'
  • Video Vortex Conferences
  • Video Vortex III in Ankara
  • Video Vortex IV in Split
  • Video Vortex V in Brussels 
  • Video Vortex VI in Amsterdam

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