<videovortex> Video Vortex Amsterdam 2011 - Session Ideas Feedback

Rachel Somers Miles rachel at networkcultures.org
Thu Jul 22 15:04:45 CEST 2010

Dear All,

Here at the Institute of Network Cultures we’re starting the planning  
for the big Video Vortex event here in Amsterdam next March 11-12,  
2011, held at TrouwAmsterdam. The event will consist of a conference,  
an exhibition, parties (of course), workshops, screenings and so on.

We’ve started to draft a preliminary template of session themes and  
rough session titles for the conference, and wanted to ask for your  
input. What do you, the Video Vortex community think?

Do you think the proposed sessions are interesting approaches?
Do you find something less interesting or important?
Is there something crucial missing? What is urgent/emerging and should  
be discussed?

The official call for contributions, with a more detailed explanation  
of sessions, for the conference will be going out mid-September, but  
we wanted to get input from the Video Vortex list/community on these  
tentative session themes before posting it.

To get the conversation going, reply to the Video Vortex listserv

Also take a look at the new face of the Video Vortex blog.

Looking forward to your responses,
All the best,
Video Vortex Amsterdam 2011 Team



1. Open Everything:
What is the current state of the art of open source, open content,  
open video, open and alternative platforms, etc. with respect to  
online video practices? What issues are faced, tackled, arrived at,  
explored, remedied when considering, and working with open practices?  
This session will be concerned with both editing software and delivery  
systems, codecs, hardware, platforms and issues of open video itself.

2.  Youtube as Archive or the Question of Dynamic Database vs. Static  
With a massive and diverse assortment of videos, is Youtube indeed an  
archive, or is it something else? If it is an archive, what in fact is  
it an archive of; is it a collection of videos, or an archive that  
represents little vignettes of cultural interest, whether memes,  
historic moments, tv show clips etc.? And is anyone archiving Youtube?

How are Youtube and other sorts of online video collections (whether  
institutionally owned or not) understood, practiced, used, designed,  
and reflected upon in terms of the opposition between the dynamic  
database and the static collection? And does such a stringent  
opposition actually exist? In the context of Youtube as a potentially  
dynamic database and a place of heavy social commentary and  
participation, is there interesting theory around the usefulness of  
creating channels on Youtube? How are people using the video lists  
they create, and what can been gleaned from this? How does all of this  
relate to the era of comment culture?

3. Beyond Keen and Lanier: Critique of the Amateur:
This session seeks to deal with some of the following questions:
Is the era of appropriation over – is remix just a deadly boring  
routine rather than a creative source of inspiration? Are we beyond  
remix? What is next? A return to a true and pure 'authentic' image  

Are the amateur and professional indeed in competition in the realm of  
online video? What should the role of art education be to overcome and  
understand the barrage of amateur work that is easily created, shared  
and presented? What kind of art literacy is required, how are art  
education institutions dealing with this, or are they, and what kind  
of language exists to discuss a separation between the amateur and the  
professional artist, and is this required? Are there art education  
institutions discussing the production of video for online purposes,  
and if so, what kinds of issues are tackled, and technical training  

The professional world of advertisement has fully integrated itself  
with the amateur approach, such as playing with remix culture and  
invoking a feeling of rawness. Should we aim for professional  
standards that really engage with the world of online video that don’t  
just build on professional standards of television and film – and what  
would these be – is it indeed the interactive capabilities of online  
video that make these professional structures different from those of  
tv and film? What techniques, structures, genres etc. exist in the  
professional realm of online video, compared to those of the amateur?

4. Video Activism Online:
Examples and explorations of online video as a form of activism,  
including both online portals and platforms that offer a space to post  
important human rights issue videos for example, and the ways that  
people in various locations around the world are using video as a  
tactical tool for political mobilization. This will consider both  
those that use video as a form of grassroots activism, and the ways in  
which authoritative powers, such as the police, understand and use  
video against activist actions. Furthermore, this session will explore  
the ethics of online video in the context of considering the issues  
and implications related to posting and making certain kinds of video  
material available online.

5. Big Players in the Game of Online Video:
This session will examine the big players in the world of online  
video. How are corporations and governments using online video? For  
example, what kind of surreptitious practices like impersonating  
grassroots organizations and guerrilla marketing are companies  
adopting for commercial purposes, appropriating and making use of the  
possibilities of online video and its easily viral nature? How are  
governments and officials turning to, and using, online video etc.?

6. Artist Perspectives:
What’s currently on the minds of artists making use of, or engaging  
with, online video? What kinds of issues are they dealing with and  
what kind of work is being made? This session is also interested in  
exploring how professional artists understand their position in  
relation to the expansive amount of amateur work being created and  
presented via online video and remix culture.

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