• išleista knyga

    (teminis numeris)

  • MEDIJŲ EKOLOGIJA (teminis numeris)

  • PARAŠTĖS (teminis numeris)

  • ATEITIS (teminis numeris)


  • skaitomumas

    • 9 prisijungę dabar
    • 2934228 nuo 2005 m. sausio
  • nuorodos

    Tactical Media – Technology Of Visibility

    | 2007-10-24 | 09:28
    temos: mokslas ir technologijos,taktinės medijos,VMS

    This text is based on the presentation made in VMS3 in 17th of October, Vilnius.
    Tactical media’s effectiveness is measured against its documentation and representation in the mass media. The documentation of the event is necessary to make the event visible which raises the question; in what way is it visible?
    Moreover, do media activists have their own form of representation? Do they use quotidian and standard conventions of representation? Does their practice require specific codes of representation?

    The goal of tactical media artists is to communicate their ideas with the widest possible public. We might ask if regular media channels can achieve this.

    In relation to documentation, I can express two reasons for its importance to tactical media practice: 1) Their events last for relatively short time and the only way to learn about them is to look at photos, videos and texts (often on the Internet). 2) Meaning and importance of the event is measured by resonance in mainstream media. In other words we can say that event occurred if it was furnished with mainstream media coverage.

    The aesthetics and ethics of documentaries have been under examination since the 1960s. Bill Nichols in his book Introduction to Documentary (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2001) distinguish six documentary models, the: poetic, expository, observational, participatory, reflexive and performative. I am interested in an explication of the expository, participatory, and performative forms. They summarize conventions of representation and differ from each other. Though individual works can combine genres.

    Expository documentary directly addresses the issue that is, the world we all share and experience as “real”. Once sound became established, it adopted the classic ‘voice of God’. (Rabiger M. Directing the Documentary. Focal Press. Elsevier Inc. 2004)
    This model of documentary makes the basis for the dominant codes of representation in the media and supposes an objective view: the actors don’t react to the presence of the camera; the camera is at eye level, it remains stable not to reveal its presence and to create ‘natural’ pictures; the voice remains behind the screen; the interviewers corroborate the discourse of the voice behind the screen; the video and photo material is arranged in a linear story.

    Participatory documentary interviews or interacts with its participants and uses archival film to retrieve history. Its deficiencies are intrusiveness, expressive faith in witnesses, and a tendency to produce naïve history. (Rouch Jean, Morrin Ed. The Chronicles of the Summer)

    Performative documentary describes human issues not in the abstract, disembodied way of Western philosophic tradition, but gives them weight subjectively as “concrete and embodied, based on specifics of personal experience. Films draw on memoir, performance, dance, and incantation to convey what it feels like to be black, gay, and angry in a racist and homophobic society. (Rabiger M. Directing the Documentary. Focal Press. Elsevier Inc. 2004)

    Wide distribution of video cameras has democratized the process of video production and made possible reflexive and performative models of documentary. The subjective camera is used (the camera is unstable and mobile); the process of production is visible to the audience; all speakers are represented on the screen, there is no dominant narrator). Usually media uses expository conventions for representation; even new media tends to imitate the ‘natural’ or ‘objective’ form of representation. It shares some similarities with virtual museums. The Internet sites of many museums, now a standard part of museum representation, are often organized similar to the museum’s physical display and categorization systems; and as such are instantly recognizable. This makes the technological platform user-friendly, and potentially audience attractive. Does this logic work with tactical media? Benjamin Cope mentioned in a seminar that:: ‘Tactical media rely to a large extent on available new technology that bypass traditional media, but does this mean we too easily accept that mainstream media are dominated by empty nonsense when we should be fighting to have our voices heard in the wider public sphere’.


    Usually documentation of events is instant and spontaneous, I mean without definite settings. As for example in the case of documenting the events caused by closure of European Humanities University in 2004.

    The chronicles of conflict between EHU and Belarusian authority can be read on the web site (http://en.ehu.lt/about/history/conflict/)
    In May 2004, without indicating a reason, the Ministry of Education delayed the decision to renew EHU’s license for educational activity. This caused a week-long suspension of the University’s operations. However, owing to extensive publicity and active support from the international community, EHU was successful in obtaining a license. The EHU University Corporation again refused to agree with the Ministry’s demands to remove the Rector. The authorities then took a new approach to resolving “the EHU problem.” The Presidential Administration of Belarus demanded that the University vacate their building, which housed most of EHU’s academic and research divisions and provided space for classes. Several days later, the Ministry of Education revoked the University’s license for academic activity due to deficiency of classroom and office space.

    The accompanying video clip shows the two day-long protest against the authorities’ decision to close the university staged and lead by students, with lecturers and staff at the beginning of August 2004. Before the event there was widespread information disseminated about criminal responsibility if the protest was to be held on the street. As such the students decided to stage the protest in front of the University building to avoid an illegal action that risked incarceration. In this way the action demarcated an invisible border between the building and street; the legal and illegal. During the event any person State representatives were not visible amongst the protestors. I mean people in the uniform. Though many ‘normal’ looking and unidentifiable men could be seen in the crowd. However this caste of men displayed tell-tale signs — being strongly-build body and crew-cut —which signaled to every student and lecturer that these guys were KGB staff. It was attempt to exert invisible control over the event.

    It is interesting that except for the participant’s photos and videos there are no traceable documentary evidence is left from the protest against EHU closure and encroachment on academic freedom in the beginning of August. The video initiated by the lecturers and students is the document of invisibility. We can’t compare it with mainstream media coverage, even though cameramen are seen to be present, because nothing was screened. And Belarussian newspapers and magazines elided the EHU closure, only referring to it in a transcript of a long presidential speech at Brest State University.

    How it was filmed

    It is important to mention that during the event it was difficult to think about how the event was being filmed. The cameraman was invisible because they were incorporated into the university community. As the camera was small and the shooting was realized without a tripod the frame is dynamic and unstable. There is no interviews, even when cameramen is taking close-ups the actor/participant doesn’t pay attention to the camera. It is common feature in documenting events and could be explained that according to documentary codes the invisibility of camera is the condition of verisimilitude, the sign that everything on the screen is an immediate (‘objective’, ‘natural’) reflection of the event. On the contrary the play of actors for the camera according to documentary codes is a falsification, is fake. To carry conviction this code is used very often as ‘natural’ way of representation as in the case with virtual museums.
    It is possible to say this video relates to the performative model (in its spontaneity) as the cameraman and editors were involved at the event without a view to defining clear history but representing their perception at the event. Even so, we can identify symbols that stress the dramatic effect of the event in synch with the expository mode.

    It is worth comparing the Participatory and Performative models of documentary, to critically reconsider their ‘naturalness’ as they often pretend at immediacy and objectiveness. The shooting, or revelation, of the camera on the screen can also add another dimension of verisimilitude (‘reality effect’) which is different from that typically used in mass media. ’Reality effect’ used in participatory model is not homogeneous to the expository one and could create another dimension of visibility for media activist events.

    temos: mokslas ir technologijos, taktinės medijos, VMS |

    « | | »

    nėra komentarų »


    turi būti prisijungęs, kad galėtum komentuoti.