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:
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 nonprofit Tribeca Film Institute in New York is joining Amazon.com to create a digital marketplace for films and videos that have been stuck in archives with limited circulation or have been otherwise unavailable through conventional retail and Web outlets.”
Sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? What’s really compelling, is that the service offers free of charge transfer from video to digital formats, and very cheap rates for film to digital transfers (approx. 672$ for a 90 minute feature). Moreover the producer/director can set the price for rental or dvd sales on Amazon.
But with all web distribution services the same question rises: How to spread the word on all these beautiful independent films and video works? Reframe tries to reach an educational and institutional audience, but also uses the power of social web functions, as users on the site can curate thematical collections and lists and share those with each other.
YouTube has opened an indie film screening program called YouTube Screening Room. They’ll release 4 films every two weeks, both animation and real action short films, featuring award winning high quality movies. YouTube really steps away from it’s regular distribution methods, for the program it drops it’s 10 minute limit and experiments with a higher video quality. Moreover, all screened indie short films take part in a revenue sharing program. What’s really thrilling is, that you can buy the films directly from the page via direct download (1.99$) or DVD. Looks like a new distribution channel for the indie film industry?! Submit your film to firstname.lastname@example.org
From the first batch of films I deeply enjoyed Miranda July’s “Are you the favourite person of anybody?”
What’s interesting is, that Atom films tried to push exactly the same idea for about ten! years and finally failed and has become a sub brand of comedy central. YouTube has a much bigger audience so I’m quite excited that they might can create more awareness for indie films.
What I don’t understand is that YouTube constricts the community tools for the Screening Room. You can’t embed the films, there’s no option for commenting or bookmarking them. Haven’t those tool been the key to YouTube’s success? So why do they make a step backward for distributing indie films?
New Art TV is specialized on contemporary art video cotent. Their categories include Exhibiton features, Studio visits, Performances and Collections.
I think specialized channels with a clear profile and high quality content will become quite succesfull soon. Concerning New Art TV, I’m very curious what’s their business model. As far as I understand they only distributing the cotent from their own website. I’m going to write the makers and email to find out more.
More Movie Distribution news:
The Internet Movie Database, a Amazon subsidiary, is the world largest information portal about movies, serving a 50 million visitors each month. IMDB has aquired Withoutabox, the definite support system for filmmakers, organizing festival submissions and preparing marketing material. Withoutabox has agreements with 3000 festivals and around 150 000 filmmakers.
It looks like a perfect marriage because it brings film lovers (IMDB) and filmmakers (Withoutabox) together. And Amazon definately brings in the money for some serious moves in Independent Movie Distribution.
Lot’s of things happening around alternative movie distribution and production lately, so let’s start the week with some news:
“Have you made a film you think the world should see? FROM HERE TO AWESOME is a discovery and distribution festival that might be the perfect system to get your film blasted to audiences in theaters, living rooms, online and via mobile phones.
All filmmakers are welcome to be a part of the festival. There are NO submission fees, and filmmakers retain their rights while receiving revenue directly from the distribution outlets. A wide range of major promotional partners and distribution platforms are on board. All we need now is your film. Please submit ASAP to give the festivalâ€™s audience time to vote your film into the April Showcase.
FHTA was founded by DIY filmmaking pioneers Lance Weiler (The Last Broadcast, Head Trauma), Arin Crumley (Four Eyed Monsters) and M dot Strange (We Are The Strange).”
…and once again, all the great photos in this entry are made by the very talented Anne Helmond!
And on yet another rainy morning in Amsterdam (not surprising, you get used to it after a while!), full of curiosity and hopes for the day, I went to the second day of the Video Vortex - Responses to YouTube conference. I was hoping that today would be more fruitful than yesterday, and indeed, what a pleasant surprise! Well, call me selfish, but instead of giving a general overview I will focus on the session that was the most interesting for me personally: Curating Online Video.
On a rainy morning in Amsterdam (that demanded lots of coffee!), the Video Vortex - Responses to YouTube Conference was kicked off at Club 11. I will be blogging on the conference for movingweb, but I was also there because I have been involved with the project through my work at the Netherlands Media Art Institute where we made an exhibition with the same title and related topics. Well, the program of the conference is quite extensive, and I was very disappointed by some of the presentations today (that seemed unprepared, unfocused, had nothing new to say…a total contrast with the first Video Vortex conference in Brussels!). So I will focus on the gems of today’s presentations!