Monday, October 31, 2005

for WATM

Outsider's Perspective on Videoblogging
mp3 7mb 5:17

As a videoblogger I've often wondered what others think this new wave of media. I've always been of the opinion that videoblogging is the next big thing. I'm ecstatic about new forms of independent media. Other videobloggers share my opinions. But are our views skewed since we are a part of this revolution? I asked Jared Lunkenheimer, a college student who does not videoblog, some of his opinions.

wearethemedia.com

13 comments:

Jordan Bowen said...

Is videoblogging a "revolution?"

I pardon your enthusiasm for your own media, and I think blogging can be a very inspiring outlet for expression. But - and I do not mean this to cause offense - it is not enough to look into a camera and express an opinion to call it "art." A lot of your output is great - I particularly enjoyed the classical music concert you filmed, and would personally like to see more of the world through your eyes in that vein.

Is videoblogging its own "revolution," beyond the general revolution of the Internet and its democratising effect on media? Let's not throw around words like "art" and "revolution" until we're clear on what qualifies for either.

A friend of mine linked to a videoblog on Metafilter and announced it "the future of television" with characteristic exuberance. One of the more wry comments was that "Quicktime is not the future of television."

My other critique is that videoblogging is a very immediate medium. The problem with immediacy in any medium is that time is usually not taken for revision, which has a diluting effect on that medium. A camera turned on your face while you express your thoughts is not necessarily more compelling than a very well-written, carefully edited article expressing the same thoughts. A montage of clips is merely a montage of clips if it is not organically perfected according to its own natural laws, which the video editor discovers through a careful process of editing. Otherwise the result has a disposable quality to it.

Immediate media can lead to laziness and does not cultivate real discipline in art. We are falsely led to believe that art can be an instant thing. It is not. Real artistry is a lifelong affair, a slow process of development.

I applaud your energy and use of the medium - make no mistake. And I hope you keep up the output and encourage others to as well. Perhaps this will turn out to be good practice for some future masterpiece. But if you're going to declare yourself an artist on your front page, which you are free to do, and if you are going to announce that videoblogging is a revolution, let us remind ourselves that "art" and "revolution" are not as easily come by as one might think.

Dooser said...

Revolution:
"a fundamental change in the way of thinking about or visualizing something"

Answer: Yes.

I pardon you
I fear you feel that enthusiasm is a fault.

Art:
"the conscious use of skill and creative imagination"
-OR-
"a branch of learning"

Rebuttal: Yes this is 'art.'

That's great that you commented the following: "Quicktime is not the future of television," but I fail to believe that I made any inclination as to my opinion on this subject and also that this comment is of originality.

"Immediate medium."
I'm sorry that you don't appreciate it's purity. The natural laws of my videoblog are nihil as it is my medium and I have chosen to create no laws. Also, the word 'natural' assumes "an essential relation with someone or something." That someone is me.

"Instant art"
I again am concerned in you apparent inability to see the beauty and art that is an infant.

"But if you're going to declare yourself an artist on your front page, which you are free to do, and if you are going to announce that videoblogging is a revolution, let us remind ourselves that "art" and "revolution" are not as easily come by as one might think."
Or, as you might think.

Bre said...

Nice comeback!

Jordan Bowen said...

Nice rebuke. :)

I perhaps touched to the quick. My main concern is that we are weakening art's authority by being too quick to call anything art. I, too, see that beauty abounds in the everyday world - it needs no special framing. Everything is art, yes - expositions of nearly blank canvases "worth" thousands of dollars in Chelsea galleries have tirelessly made this point for half a century in order to justify the lazy artist to his lazy audience.

But - art in the sense that we crystallise the subjective meaning of something, the purpose of art as a created object external to the artist but funded by his experience, art as in a deliberate striving to perfect this external creation with a real suppleness of vision and an articulate clarity: this is how we need to redefine art.

What I wrote above is that, as easy as it is to publish instantaneously our creations, we risk not developing the discipline it takes to make art which distills the geist of Time without being whored by it. The ease with which media is produced and disemminated means there is a great deal of noise around the signal of clarity and truth that art ought to be emitting. That signal is vital. If we allow ourselves to grow lax and accustomed to ease, and publish anything we like as soon as we like, we will only feed the noise and lose the signal.

>that you don't appreciate it's purity.

I rarely appreciate purity. ;)


The definition you provided of a "revolution" will not suffice. A revolution is a fundamental paradigm shift. The Internet itself fundamentally shifted that paradigm ten years ago - you are riding its coattails.

Even by your provided definition, it is questionable whether videoblogging will change how "we" visualize or think about something. Montage has been around for eighty years - see Vertov's Man With a Movie Camera, an early Soviet film with no words that nonetheleess expressed very profound ideas by juxtapositioning buildings and people and crowds and machines.

The "blog" itself may be something of a paradigm shift, which lets anyone be a public scribe. It's definitely a more fluid form of public media without the fetters of corporate ownership and code of journalism. It's certainly done a lot to advance the political process in the last year or so.

I challenged you on this because I wanted you to have to defend yourself on why your videoblogging should be considered art. Again, I often enjoy what you do. But if you are an artist who will not be censored or discouraged - and great! we need more of them - it's time to articulate why that is and what for.

You may hate me now (I know I'm being a dick on this), but I think it's good to have this discussion - particularly in a culture that seems to have lost a sense of the value of art and letters. I need not go into how dangerous that is for maintaining freedom of thought in our republic.

Dooser said...

The definition you provided of a "revolution" will not suffice.

That's a rediculous thought. The definition straight from a dictionary will not suffice. Granted there are various definition, but how are you to determine what I meant by a word I used?

I don't feel I should have to defend myself. Especially about something that you choose to watch, listen to, or read. No one forced you to visit this site.

Jordan Bowen said...

You're no fun. I expressed already my admiration for what you do. I just want to emphasize that art is as much about the process as it is about the result.

Just because your work is sincere doesn't mean it should be immune to criticism. The right to criticize is the best part of a free society. We have to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We shouldn't assume that our works are sacred just because we made them.

You asked for comments from people outside the blogosphere. You got the dialogue you wanted - don't shy from it.

Dooser said...

You're no fun.
Thank you.

You asked for comments from people outside the blogosphere.
No, I didn't. I asked Jared.

Jordan Bowen said...

What, we have to wait our turn? Didn't mean to interrupt your programming.

Dooser said...

Way to listen. To yourself for one. You stated that I asked for the opinions of 'people outside the blogosphere'. This is in fact incorrect. Check the text buddy. That's what's so great about things on the internet such as this, everythings right here. So when you're wrong, I just ask you to refer to the archived texts, audio and comments. :D

I'm done. Honest mistakes are fine, but when you're blatantly wrong and attack and criticize me for it, that's when I'm finished.

Jordan Bowen said...

Wasn't a direct quote. My comments were not meant to be taken as any opening of hostilities. I wanted you to justify the remark that videoblogging is the "next big thing" (now that IS a direct quote).

But if "Comments" are only here for words of encouragement, fine. Keep up the adequate work! :)

The Faux Press said...

Loved the interview and what Raymond did with it.

Your comment space is not the forum for the academic discussion Mr. Matheny wants to have and I'm sorry he chose to try to begin one here.

Tut-tut, Mr. Matheny.

Anonymous said...

"I pardon your enthusiasm for your own media...But if "Comments" are only here for words of encouragement, fine. Keep up the adequate work! :)"

God, what an asshole.

"I challenged you on this because I wanted you to have to defend yourself on why your videoblogging should be considered art."

Wasn't it the interviewee who brought this up?

Jordan Bowen said...

>Your comment space is not the forum for the academic discussion Mr. Matheny wants to have

This reminds me of when a friend of mine had a paper returned to him by his professor that said "This is something you would discuss with your friends in a coffee shop - it has no place in an academic paper."

If dissent is not welcome under "Comments," why not just call it "Compliments"?

Mediocre minds want nothing more than mild agreement - the rest is "academic discussion." As if serious debate should be confined to academics rolling about in the dust of history.

And yes, I may be an asshole, but isn't it time we demanded something more of "art" than lazy crap?

Carry on.