Man With a Movie Camera: The Global Remake is a participatory, collaborative, and web-based video adaptation of Dziga Vertov’s 1929 film Man With A Movie Camera.
As Lev Manovich has argued, Vertov’s film is itself a database of loosely connected shots that synthesize a depiction of the working day in the early Soviet Union. Building on this database structure, Bard has created a platform where users may submit their own visual interpretations of any of the 1,276 shots in Vertov’s classic. Once uploaded, software developed specifically for this project selects from the submissions to collate a new version of the film, which is streamed on the site alongside the original with a soundtrack composed for the project by Steve Baun.
The images and videos in Bard's archive are often made on mobile phones; they may be either original submissions or lifted by users from the web. "One of my persistent concerns,” Bard writes, “is the question of access, the digital divide, who is included, who is left out.” In order to ensure that her submissions database includes images from a diverse pool of contributors in cultural, linguistic, and geographic terms, Bard commissioned twelve foreign correspondents based in Brazil, Lebanon, Israel, Columbia, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia, Japan, China, Korea, Mexico, and Thailand.
Interview with the artist by Evelin Stermlitz posted Dec 1 2008 on Rhizome.