Archive for the ‘Digital Found Data’ Category

“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?

I don’t know if we can but at least now there’s hope.

Listen to the clip without the picture, thereby it even get’s more scary.

Via Blowup.

An artistic visualization video that extracts and compares words, in realtime, by decoding rss feeds of 3 different news websites. The text is then decomposed and separated according to words frequency. The resulting structure interacts in real-time with audio frequencies, being partially sequenced. Video patch sends back triggers to audio section, generating audio-video interaction feedbacks. Words extracted and decontextualized are constantly remixed in the patch, obtaining new meanings or creating a kind of subliminal messages. Everytime the patch runs, structures, camera movement and the latest news change, making it an unpredictable experience.

Created with VVVV, by Lanvideosource.

Weezer’s music video for their new single Pork and Beans fetures lots of YouTube Stars like Chris Chrocker, the CokeMentos guys or Miss Teen South Carolina.

“There are now approximately 30 million surveillance cameras in the United States generating more than 4 billion hours of footage every week. And the numbers are growing. The average American is now captured over 200 times a day, in department stores, gas stations, changing rooms, even public bathrooms. No one is spared from the relentless, unblinking eye of the cameras that are hidden in every nook and cranny of day-to-day life. By shooting his feature entirely from closed-circuit viewpoints (but actually shot with Hi-end cameras - the “dirty” look was created in post-production!), director Adam Rifkin wants to bring forward the question: “who are we when we don’t think anyone’s watching?”

via Diagonal Thoughts.

Next To Heaven’s Rob Parrish retires to his video laboratory and downloads public domain films from He then writes and records short monologues based on the images from the films, and then re-edits the films to the newly recorded narrations. The result: Unique short videos (aka “video bonbons”) that are full of flavor!”

via NewTeevee

Brusells based ARGOS centre for art and media is organizing a conference called “Video Vortex: Responses to YouTube“, where I will contribute a speech on “The Artist moving (through) the web - new forms of artist’s production and distribution on the Internet”.


“Over the past years the moving image has claimed an increasingly prominent place on the internet. Thanks to a wide range of technologies and web applications it has become possible, not only to record and distribute video, but to edit and remix it on-line as well. With this world of possibilities within reach of a multitude of social actors, the potential of video as a personal means of expression has arrived at a totally new dimension. How is this potential being used? How do artists and activists react to the popularity of YouTube and other �user-generated-content� websites? What is the impact of the availability of massive on-line images and sound databases on aesthetics and narrativity? How is Cinema, as an art form and experience, influenced by the development of widely spreading internet practices? What does YouTube tell us about the state of art in visual culture? And how does 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?”


The conference is part of the Open Archive #1 program from 29.09.-10.11.2007, which will feature ARGOS extensive collection of video works and media art.

The guys at pirate cinema berlin have pulled off an new movie database called 0xdb, which connects lots of different data available on the net.

“The 0xdb is a rather unique kind of movie database. It uses a variety of publicly accessible resources, like search engines and file-sharing networks, to automatically collect information about, and actual images and sounds from, a rapidly growing number of movies. What the 0xdb provides is, essentially, full text search within movies, and instant previews of search results.”

The part of the quote which should call for your attention is “full text search within movies”. If you type in a sentence, the database shows you every movie where this sentence appears and even the particular scene!


Further amazing features are an visualition tool for every film and a connection to google maps, which show you locations, where the movie was shot.


Read a detailed review at Know Future.

Dennis Kopf has done some re-edits of some YouTube-Clips - see them here. A very intelligent artist’s comment on the usage of YouTube.


“Users have powerful tools for publishing and distributing content at their fingertips, and they show us:
Ass. Wiggly, bare, fat, American ass. Regardless wether its motivation emerged from the overload of casting shows, or music videos showing dancing titts in slow-motion; people tend to use YouTube to show what they can do, and boy can them gurls shake dat booty meat. Instead of getting distracted by the hot underaged ass jigglin to crunky beats the viewer can now reflect on the whole format of these home-made booty clips. Naturally the question arises wether the low-brow use of the given tools is what media firms are trying to achieve; or isn’t there a reason why TV is so stupid?”

Link via OH!

On the first look arranging three YouTube videos next to each other seems pretty odd, but as I was exploring the You3b site I recognized the potential of it.


The combination of three thematically connected or contrasting videos can be quite interesting. (See Metanoise as an example). Changing the volume of the single clips even gives you more variations, therefore it almost feels like a live djing tool. If you guys find more interesting montages on the site, let me know.

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