Monday, February 11, 2008

Rights, permissions, cameras

Since this is a blog it can get personal at times so I think it is ok to cover experience as well as views on things like adding instruments on top of a sax.

There is a long term project to have something like an Exeter TV. This would have a cable or satellite and record / promote live performance in the region wherever that is. Meanwhile there are some YouTube clips. Previously I have worked with text through blogs and citizen reporting such as OhmyNews. Still photos can be an extra for text or a guide for future video.

A problem is how to build awareness of what is now possible with digital technology. The budget for cable or satellite would require some local understanding. YouTube samples could help here but for some people it still seems that YouTube has a suggestion of low quality or something to be avoided.

During Animated Exeter I had hoped to take photos in some sort of real time. As in making stuff available within my own memory of the events. The connection of Cory Arcangel and YouTube suggested a suitable thread. I did get permission to publish on this blog photos from the launch of the show at Spacex. See December 19th.

Problems seemed to start when I took photos at the event in the Black Box and then requested permission to video the lecture / performance. Apparently this requires communication with Cory Arcangel and this has yet to happen. Meanwhile I have tried to befriend him on MySpace and email through the website. As I understand it from Saturday the MySpace page is not really active.

The photos themselves are quite boring. Graphic saying "black box" and a poster with a still from YouTube. That's about it. The event was a film with the soundtrack out of sync. Someone else can maybe explain what it was about. So for me at the moment the most interesting thing about the photos is that I cannot get permission to put them in this blog.

What was a still from YouTube becomes a controlled graphic once used in publicity.

copyright will789 / OhmyNews

I did get permission a couple of years ago to photograph a film projector on a plinth at the Spacex Gallery. There was other content obviously but this was the only thing that could be photographed. What struck me was that all the digital kit was hidden in the ceiling or somewhere but the film projection had special lighting. My guess is that in the gallery world the analogue technology is still the choice to aim at. How else to explain the way "A New Canvas" was presented? Computer animation from the '60s is preserved on film and curated to the point that shows are fairly rare. I will now try to stop this grumpy mode and keep on topic.

Topics through some more photos

Here is a still from I think there is a connection between the "new canvas" approach and the demoscene. As I am going out of time anyway I might as well go back to this. Or forward. There will be Breakpoint in March.

Tim Brennan under old Exe Bridge

Copyright will789 / OhmyNews

I also did a story for OhmyNews around the "North". There is a buzz around mobile phones but somehow this ends up as images displayed as if they were watercolours. I am still not sure what sense this makes. What is the value of images on Flickr? From what I have discovered about Turner his painting was often linked to publishing projects through forms of printing. So what is lost through making images widely available?

On Saturday I asked Cory Arcangel what he thought about YouTube. It turns out he likes YouTube and thinks the absence of critical art writing about it is because it is so new. He rejected my suggestion that his work implies any lack of respect for what is on YouTube. Maybe my concern should be more for the way his show is described.

The Animated Exeter catalogue and website mentions "the massed ranks of hundreds of online amateur instrumentalists" and continues - "Given the popularity of video sharing websites, the web is now home to countless homemade videos of people showing off their instrumental skills."

Then again, some people are just showing off and leave the soundtrack alone. Quite right too.

Anyway, back on topic someone in the audience suggested that the people sampled by Cory Arcangel should be pleased to be now part of "high art". Maybe someone could explain how this works. The Phoenix could probably sell tickets to a selection from YouTube that was rehearsed and had few technical problems. All it needs is a blurb with some convincing words.

And another thing. Probably the main reason why it will prove impossible to get permission to video anything over the next couple of weeks is the possibility that children will be in the shot and there is a legal requirement for releases from proper authorities. This has become a major issue. I recently met a grandfather who had been refused permission to video a school play. It is now usually the case that film of schools on TV news is shot from a distance or out of focus. I am not sure this is entirely positive. It may make young people seem more of a threat.

Anyway here is a BETT photo from my Flickr set

So it may be possible to process some examples that are a blur to start with. There could be some tests for further consideration. Maybe some details of paving stones.

Meanwhile there will be workshops on how to be a video DJ. If and only if some of the results turn up online and some of the video DJs wish to build a cult of personality it could be possible to link to images etc. Suggest tag "DROID2008". There will be a famous event on Second Life. Or if the technology falls over, we can all make our own camera record and then do an edit.

No comments: