Technology is expensive so we try and take care of it; but sometimes things break. Most technology is no longer made to be repaired, as it is cheaper to replace it entirely. This is particularly true of display technology, as once a screen is cracked or broken there is little one can do to fix the damage. Many users desperately seek help online, making videos of their broken television sets or computer monitors in the hopes of a solution. Others give in to the inevitable and take the opportunity to unleash their anger on the broken technology.
Following the Seven on Seven photos we posted this morning, I thought I'd share a link to the idea proposed by Ryan Trecartin and David Karp during the conference, Project Ten. The site allows users to anonymously upload 10-second clips, which can be navigated by three tags. (Note: Project Ten is in beta form, and they aren't allowing public uploads yet.) The concept is to create a browsing experience that mimics the jump from user to user found in ChatRoulette, opening up the clips to anything at all, not just those captured on a webcam. The limit on the number of tags also allows a rudimentary means of creating narrative as you move through the videos. Project Ten seems like it has the potential to become a gigantic, collectively authored version of one of Trecartin's films, which in my opinion, is totally, totally cool. I'm really hoping that they fully develop the site!
From April 7 to 11, during the closing days of the 2010 Images Festival, Toronto hosted nearly three hundred scholars, artists, curators and students at the Ontario College of Art & Design for the second International Experimental Media Congress. This was not the second “annual” Congress—second coming would be more appropriate. The first was convened more than twenty years ago, in 1989 as the Toronto Experimental Film Congress. Many (I can’t count myself among them) remember how political and generational agendas met in a polarizing clash of mythic proportions around the 1989 gathering. A significant group of detractors put forward an anti-manifesto and some to this day remain turned-off to the original event, as well as to the difficult project of exhuming it.
While 2010 had its fair share of deficiencies, two that I’m told plagued 1989—a limited canon and lack of women—did not make waves this year. According to filmmaker Barbara Hammer, who presented a performance in Toronto in celebration of her newly released book chronicling her life and work, "I was at the last EMC and the big complaint was gender inequality. Corrected!” However there was at least one notable casualty: “we lost the raucous edge of complaint and challenge we had twenty years ago.” I would agree that this “congress” was missing the kind of audacity, theater and conflict found in most houses of representatives. Although it was ostensibly not an academic conference, generally it felt like one. Most panelists delivered tidy presentations and the overall experience was managed and mannered, with moments of noise and inspiration. On the plus side of this, the week was smooth and friendly, with an engaging film festival and relevant exhibitions providing content for the evenings. I came curious and left satisfied.
The 3D film is by no means a new technology, but post-Avatar, it's had quite a renaissance as of late, and everyone is jumping on board. In 2009, YouTube introduced a 3D player for their videos, making it easier for users to opt for the effect, and a search for "anaglyph" on Vimeo turns up hundreds of videos. It seems that alongside mainstream Hollywood's current fixation with 3D exists a parallel surge in 3D clips, ones of a more homespun variety. This post assembles some of those videos, which pair the whiz-bang of 3D with kittens, landscapes, scenes from video games, and much more.
A site-specific artwork that auto-generates films based upon narrative data collected from Facebook profiles. Using a combination of status updates, YouTube uploads and video portraits, the work looks at people in Barrow-in-Furness from a range of different perspectives, each one a form of surveillance.
The project uses status updates and demographic profiles, from Facebook users who live in Barrow, to automatically generate video narratives. Data from Facebook is combined with related footage from YouTube and selections from a database of video portraits to create one new video each day. The result is a dynamic snapshot of how we fit into the network of stories that we participate in every day. The videos evolve to keep pace with how we change, both individually and collectively.
On gaming, gear, and tech sites across the net one can find threads asking users for ratings and approval on their equipment. A simple search for "rate my rig", "rate my setup", "rate my collection", "rate my gear" will return hundreds of these images and videos. From snapshots of elaborate home entertainment centers to short videos displaying one's own modded gear, a sense of pride and showmanship pervades throughout. The threads and video clips speak to the social and performative nature of collection, as well as a competitive consumerist drive, and offer a glimpse into the lives, homes, and obsessions of geeks of all kinds.
Testament is a series of collective self-portraits made up of fragments from online video diaries, or “vlogs”. The project consisted of a series of chapters, each of which focuses on a collectively told vignette, story, proclamation, or meditation on topics such as identity, the economy, illness, politics, the war, or work. Testament explores the formal and conceptual consequences of online video viewing and sharing, while analyzing contemporary expressions of self, and the stories we are currently telling online about our lives and our circumstances. Clips are edited and sequenced like streams and patterns of self-revelation and narrative that flow and dissipate over space and time. As in a Greek chorus, a choir, or a musical symphony, individuals echo, respond to, contradict, add refrains, iterations, and variations, join in, and complete solo narrations. The series reflects on the peculiar blend of intimacy and anonymity, of simultaneous connectivity and isolation that characterizes online social relations.
Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) Technical Coordinator