Monday, 8 February 2010

The New 'Cinema of Attractions'? Andrew Clay on Web Cinema

'Web cinema: Mind the Gap!' by Andrew Clay

Film Studies For Free was extremely impressed by the quality of the above presentation, one of a number of excellent papers (all now online) given at the latest Video Vortex conference in Brussels.
[In t]he past two years, the [Video Vortex] conference series - which focuses on the status and potential of the moving image on the Internet - has visited Amsterdam, Ankara and Split, growing out into an organized network of organizations and individuals. Time for an interim report, perhaps. [VV] asked some participants of the first Video Vortex editions and publication, as well as new ones, to reflect on recent developments in online video culture.
Over the past years the place of the moving image on the Internet has become increasingly prominent. With a wide range of technologies and web applications within anyone’s reach, the potential of video as a personal means of expression has reached a totally new dimension. How is this potential being used? How do artists and other political and social actors react to the popularity of YouTube and other ‘user-generated-content’ websites? What does YouTube tell us about the state of contemporary visual culture? And how can the participation culture of video-sharing and vlogging reach some degree of autonomy and diversity, escaping the laws of the mass media and the strong grip of media conglomerates?
In the videoed paper embedded above, as in his wonderful essay 'BMW Films and the Star Wars Kid: 'Early Web Cinema' and Technology' in the 2008 collection Cinema and Technology, Andrew Clay takes an in-depth look at the current state of online cinema. He asks what will happen to web cinema as we shift from learning to see and how to feel to learning how to participate in this new electronic space of modernity?

In the talk, Clay examines many important 'participatory media' issues such as the phenomenon of cinematic 'prosumption' and the rise of the digital 'caméra-stylo'. His talk is wonderfully illustrated with clips. You can also read some of his brilliant work on these issues in the article linked to below:
FSFF thinks that it is well worth keeping an eye on Andrew Clay's work: he is currently Senior Lecturer in Critical Technical Practices at De Montfort University, Leicester and programme leader of BSc (Hons) Media Technology in the Faculty of Computing Sciences and Engineering.

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