This is a post on personal behalf.
I’ve made a new short/videoclip/fashionfilm, you might want to check out.
You can find more info on the Vimeo Page.
I have had heared about the role twitter & Co played in the revolutions of the arab spring, but this insider documentary about the war in Syria really gives you an idea how grassroot communication gives people hope in situations of oppression and fear:
Have you asked yourself this question before? Just 6 years after it’s birth online video is one of the major communication forms of internet culture. But what distinguishes video on the World Wide Web from other media like tv, video (art) or film? Which genuine forms and genres evolve on platforms like YouTube, Vimeo & Co? As I’m racking my brain about these questions in the preparations for my phd on ‘Aesthetics of Web Video’ I thought I do a small survery to hear what others think about the issue and to start a discussion. Of course I’m going to share the results, so please spare 5 minutes of your time and take part!
On Mirko’s tumblr I stumbled upon a NY Times article about Vincent Moon, whose work I follow for a long time. Famous for his Take-Away-Shows, which the Times credits him for to “have reinvented the Music Video”. While shooting those videos of musicians and bands he started travelling the world and became more and more interested in the relationship of music and culture in general. He slowly moved away from the short format of the Take-Away-Shows to longer and more diverse videos and films. His latest projects include An Island which “is an unconventional music performance film and an abstract documentary about a band and an island”.
Currently he is working on a “traveling visual album that lies in between music and cinema”, founded through a Kickstarter-Campaign:
What’s interesting about his development as an artist is, that he completely left his life in Paris behind himself, adopting a nomadic lifestyle for years now. When you see his projects, it seems like he becomes more and more interested in the process of his art&travel&life than in the idea of single artworks. His artworks are more about social interaction and cultural exchange that about a certain format or aesthetic. As he puts it in the NYT-article: “The 20th century was the century of archiving, and the 21st century is about experimenting. My point is exploring traditional sounds and playing with them. That’s what I’ve been trying to do with my films for the past years, taking traditions and not respecting them too much. I call it my quest of experimental folklore.”
Moon as only one example, I see a new type of artist evolving, which travels the world and explores local cultures, but uses the global web to communicate with his/her audience and also gets financed independently through the web (by crowdfunding/donations). Some more examples? Here you go!
Dj Pogo presents World Remix:
Kutiman: In This piece I didn’t browse YouTube, I actually wandered around Jerusalem, met with musicians and filmed them.
Oh, and important to mention is that the nomadic video explorers also benefit from the ever smaller, cheaper, more professional digital technology. If you want see what is technologically possible in terms of travel video these days check out:
Lernert&Sander are two directors/artists from Amsterdam, Netherlands, whose work I adore and follow for years. They have done two documentary web series, which were commissioned my Limboland.tv in dutch language. Some of the clips have been subtitled in english lately, check them all out on their Vimeo-Page!
‘How to explain it to your parents?’ is a documentary series in which 9 abstract artists explain to their mom and dad what their work is all about.
“The Procrastinators” are monologues about procrastination. Artists, writers and filmmakers tell about concentration, focus and the fine art of wasting their time.
This documentation presents some pretty interesting opinions on where art is heading in the future. It was produced by Gabriel Shalom and Patricia Kommerell of ks12 at the Transmediale exhibition in Berlin. They crowdfund the project, and as their are only to more days left the project is way under it’s financiation goal.
What are the defining aesthetics of art in the networked era? How is mass collaboration changing notions of ownership of art? How does micro-patronage change the way artists produce and distribute artwork? “The Future of Art” begins a conversation on these topics and invites your participation.
The internet is the dominant cultural memory of our time. Video hosting web sites like YouTube are cumulate enormous archives of moving images, nourishing the old story of the information overlaod. But indeed, structuring these archives is an important question, and besides technical developments in search algorhythms and semantics, the personal recommendation has become one of the most important organisation principles of web. Blogs, Playlists, Channels, Links and Likes have become important entry points, and as the archives of visual culture have become inexhaustible, access is no longer the paradigm but selection.
At this point the curator steps in and is confrontated with the new medium challeging his profession. Not only she herself has to find ways to discover the gems in this ocean of videos, but there are some demanding questions she has to deal with. First of all there are no proper terms for what categories of online video exist. On the internet the borders blur between commercial and private content, amateur and professional and there are no rules how to define their aesthetic qualities.
Read the article here!
Even made me download Google Chrome…
An ambitous interactive storytelling project of my most favourite music video director these days, together with Arcade Fire: The Wilderness Downtown!
Well, it’s maybe ambitious, but again it nurtures my growing scepticism towards interactive storytelling. Whenever the interactive parts disturb the linear narrative, the tension and atmosphere get lost. It feels more like an technology experiment, not like a vivid story.
It has been a little quite at FOLGE, the beautiful and intelligent video interview magazine, in the last month. This december FOLGE returns with a massive update of 4 interviews.
The new Interview partners come from such different backgrounds as writing, architecture, chocolate manifacturing and vegetable dealing. This diversity is one of the attributes which make FOLGE so special.
“It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to.” - Jean-Luc Godard
Watch this music video from Charlotte Gainsborugh and Beck, it’s directed by Keith Schofield. When I first saw it I was blown away! The video consist of a series of images, every single one telling a unique surreal story. The images are not connected in any way, I was trying to make sense of it, but you really cannot find a connecting concept…because their is none.
When I tried to find out more about the video I got to know that the director works in a similar way I do: He has a folder on his computer where he collects inspirational images from image databases like FFFOUND and other resources. He uses this folder as inspiration and reference when he writes a musicvideo treatment (as I exactly do it myself). So one day he came up with the concept of doing a metavideo about all these amazing pictures in his folder.
“the best music video in the world would be one where it was just a series of incredible, surreal scenes. Each scene would be vastly different, and we would never repeat the same scene.”
In my eyes the video is a meta-commentary on the net as an archive of cultural memory. In the tradition of found footage lots of cultural artifacts pass your way on the net, their origins either unknown or deeply hidden in remixs and remakes. The reapropiration of those visual entities into new contexts is what makes the net a place of a lively discourse, the users now being as literate with image and video as only text was used back in the days.
Interestingly, the director Keith Schofield is insulted to steal ideas from the pictures he used as reference points for his work. You can read the discussion at Antville, it’s very intersting to see such contrary positions on the question of artistic originality. I think is both ridiculous to claim that there’s no artistic originality in Schofields works as it is to claim the existence of artisitc originality at all. Schofield’s video clearly is a piece of concept art, (which is moreover executed stunningly beautiful in terms of props, lighting etc.), the concept itself being the new idea, not the single picture in it. Furthermore you should watch Schofield closely, he publishes all the treatments of his music videos on his website, what proofes that he has nothing to hide, what definately is not common in this industry where good ideas are a hard currency.
But the interesting question here is the one for artistic originality in general. Can any artist today create an unique piece, never seen before? Can a filmmaker create a love scene, without quoting thousands of love scenes he has in his mind? When I develop ideas, images come from my memory, I can’t locate if I they come solely from my imagination or from a movie or a picture or a story or a dream or my FFFFound folder… Who can? The web is the total archive, supplying the artist with the visual history of human mankind - don’t you think this changes the perspective?
If you’d like to dive deeper into the affair between artist, idea & appropriation in the commerical world see this presentation:
One more personal question remains: Why do I feel so emotionally attracted to a fragmented series of images wihtout any connecting sense?