No Andy Warholisms for our video activity, thankyou

The UK SWP's newspaper, Socialist Worker has been discussing ways to introduce multi media to its site by, as I understood, integrating it with Resistance Mp3-- but they've gone another tact and introduced video
This is an interesting move.
They have chosen to keep the videos under 10 minutes in length which means that they can utilize YouTube flash players to display them embedded on site.
While I think this is an excellent initiative they've chosen the rather sterile route of uploading footage of single speakers at rallies and such.
What's wrong with editing? There's this chronic notion on the left that because people will put up with a speech in real time they'll want to watch a video of it. Its' bad enough that the ACTU wants to run workers rallies that way by SkyChannel as though our collective presence on the day wasn't salient to the exercise. Anyone woudl think that we'd all only turned out to watch Kim Beazeley on the big screen.
Is there anything drier than that? Live isn't the same experience as the vicarious representation offered by a media representation of it. Maybe I suffer from too much attention deficit but I'd expect you'd want to do more with video than what is currently on offer from SW.
This is an interesting challenge for us lefties in that we are confronted with the prospect of harnassing web multi media tools but not having a clear cut route mapped out to guide us.
This usage of the web in this regard, is, after all, so novel.
For reasons of density of information content I think audio is a first choice primarily because being left isn't so much about being visual -- it's about argumentation, polemic and such. It's a didactic and rhetorical activity where subjective POVs are enriched (and if you like 'distanced') by the investment of information and referencing -- an activity often referred to as theorising. We Marxian types aren't offering emotional salves but (if I can be allowed the term) science.
So video although very useful isn't the whole box and dice and in some instances, not the preferable medium to utilize.
Video is an excellent documentary tool as we all know. In the hands of Pilger, Bradbury, Moore, Art Resistance et al it is a very powerful exercise, but if you want to share or publish it raw, it's not so useful as all that unless the subject warrants it. And a speech at a rally or in a packed hall is better shared as audio I think.
Any cursory watching of the six o'clock news will tell you what 'works' on screen. The networks are masters of the form and know so well how to orchestrate and manipulate the imagery within the confines of 90 second grabs.
Once upon a time Andy Warhol produced a film on the Empire State Building -- Empire(1964), which consisted of eight hours of footage of the Building in New York City at dusk.. Interesting? Not really. It was one camera in the same position looking up at the skyscraper. I think such Warholisms are what we should strenuously avoid.

Email RRN
Tour the Ratbag Radio Network
Send RRN an audio comment

Channels