What are artists and activists responses to the popularity of ‘user-generated content’ websites? Is corporate backlash eminent?
After years of talk about digital conversions and crossmedia platforms we are now witnessing the merger of the Internet and television at a pace that no one predicted. For the baby boom generation, that currently forms the film and television establishment, the media organisations and conglomerates, this unfolds as a complete nightmare. Not only because of copyright issues but increasingly due to the shift of audience to vlogging and video-sharing websites as part of the development of a broader participatory culture.
The opening night will feature live acts, performances and lectures under the banner of video slamming. We will trace the history from short film to one-minute videos to the first experiments with streaming media and online video, along with exploring the way VJs and media artists are accessing and using online archives.
The Video Vortex conference aims to contextualize these latest developments through presenting continuities and discontinuities in the artistic, activist and mainstream perspective of the last few decades. Unlike the way online video presents itself as the latest and greatest, there are long threads to be woven into the history of visual art, cinema and documentary production. The rise of the database as the dominant form of storing and accessing cultural artifacts has a rich tradition that still needs to be explored. The conference aims to raise the following questions:
How are people utilising the potential to independently produce and distribute independent video content on the Internet?
What are the alternatives to the proprietary standards currently being developed? What are the commercial objectives that mass media is imposing on user-generated content and video-sharing databases? What is the underlying economics of online video in the age of unlimited uploads? How autonomous are vloggers within the broader domain of mass media? How are cinema, television and video art being affected by the development of a ubiquitous online video practice? What type of aesthetic and narrative issues does the database pose for online video practice?