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Re: <nettime> Vernacular Video (expanded version), Tom Sherman 2008
Damian Stewart on Fri, 28 Nov 2008 19:30:38 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> Vernacular Video (expanded version), Tom Sherman 2008

Tom Sherman wrote:

> ... Extreme sports, sex, self-mutilation and drug
> overdoses will mix with disaster culture; terrorist attacks, plane
> crashes, hurricanes and tornadoes will be translated into mediated
> horror through vernacular video.

you lost me at that sentence. not in the sense of, i don't understand, but
you lost me in the sense of, i've heard this before, and i'm not going to
join you on this particular oh-so-deeply-postmodern (sorry) examination of

> If one wishes to be part of
> the twenty-first-century, media-saturated world and wants to communicate
> effectively with others or express one's position on current affairs in
> considerable detail, with which technology would one chose to do so,
> digital video or a pencil?


who am i communicating with? if i'm communicating with the people i care
about, them i'm going to use pencil. if i'm communicating with 'everyone
else' or 'the world' or whoever else might be watching, why would i do it
with short bits of video? there's a built-in sense of denial that sets in
with short, snappy video. bred on advertising we tune out anything with a
crisp message. it's easier to just not believe it. that's why bafflement
and confusion is important: if we're baffled, it means we don't know what
to do with it - it also means we don't know how to tune it out.

> Artists must embrace, but move beyond, the vernacular forms of video.
> Artists must identify, categorise and sort through the layers of
> vernacular video, using appropriate video language to interact with the
> world effectively and with a degree of elegance. Video artists must
> recognise that they are part of a global, collective enterprise. They
> are part of a gift economy in an economy of abundance. Video artists
> must have something to say and be able to say it in sophisticated,
> innovative, attractive ways. Video artists must introduce their brand of
> video aesthetics into the vernacular torrents. They must earn their
> audiences through content-driven messages.

maybe the point of being an artist is to actively _dis_engage from this
world. i work outside of institutions (not really by choice), more or less
throwing myself to the wind and seeing what happens - currently, quite
literally on the other side of the world to the place i call 'home', bank
balance continuously pitching toward zero but somehow always lifting itself
back up at the last minute, but nothing at all what you'd call stability. i
recognise, however, that this is a life of luxury, and that the overall
effect of the individuals acting in it towards me is the creation of a
situation where i can basically do what i want to do and get paid for it,
not with money but with gifts of kind. what do i owe in return? i need to
be disengaged. not the institutional kind of disengagement, where the act
of my engagement or the act of my disengagement would be irrelevant either
way, but a worldly disengagement that frames itself in a kind of fruitful
opposition to that with which it disengages. i need to be able to look in
and say, yes, very nice, but, what about (reaching over to tweak something)
/this/. i see your vernacular and raise you an emotional.

damian stewart | skype: damiansnz | damian {AT} frey.co.nz
frey | live art with machines | http://www.frey.co.nz

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