Moving Images
Long Takes

Of the many categories for one-upmanship in filmmaking, a special place has long been reserved for any director who can pull off a ridiculously long take. The lengthy walk-and-talk shots in films like Preston Sturges's Miracle of Morgan's Creek (1944) are largely practical and cost effective, one may surmise, in that they make short work of long sections of script. Jean-Luc Godard helped push the long take up to the level of a bona fide political intervention—recall the supermarket shot near the end of Tout va bien, his 1972 collaboration with Jean-Pierre Gorin—and more recently Steve McQueen showed his mettle in staging an epic ten-minute encounter in a single long shot, a passing moment in his larger effort to neuter real political history via a cocktail of stylized filth and suffering rendered chic (Hunger [2008]).

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YouTube Play Shortlist Unveiled

The shortlist for Youtube Play. A Biennial of Creative Video was announced today. We received a wide range of videos, from experimental or abstract work and mashups, to animations, music videos, and narrative short films. The shortlisted videos include submissions from students, video artists, photographers, filmmakers, composers, video game programmers, a comedy improv group, an American Women’s Chess Champion, a Swedish rock band, a South African hip-hop group, and an Australian electronic music producer, among many others.

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The Vasulkas: Video as a Pure Signal

In an earlier post, Hanne Mugaas described the near-mythical arrival in New York of the Sony Portapak. That same year, 1965, Steina and Woody Vasulka also came to roost in the Big Apple. Their presence would prove equally crucial to the development of the city’s media art scene—not only through their own work, but through their founding of experimental venue the Kitchen, which is basically where the non-CBGBs part of the '70s happened.

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Screening Play

As a media platform, some of YouTube’s best qualities are its anarchic, associative character, its inherent eclecticism, and its easy accessibility. A user may flit from a fan-subbed anime clip to a homemade mashup of evangelical churchgoers (seemingly) headbanging to heavy metal band Slayer, from POV snowboarding footage to a clip from a Buster Keaton movie. As MoMA’s Kathy Halbreich pointed out in a recent issue of Artforum, a lot of people who do not identify themselves as artists are doing wonderfully creative things on YouTube.

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My Three Favorite YouTube Videos

"Miss Teen USA 2007 – South Carolina Answers a Question":

"I personally believe that, US Americans, Like everyone born after such dates beyond last, yet after 2001, might have recycled such past lives fast enough to show evidence of conjugated frontal memory exchange: As in, such abilities needed but not had: Must be applied were as to interpret ideological compression of such US American based Groups." This Quote, which was potentially said by Miss Teen South Carolina, written for her by an ambient agent, is fairly successful and I strongly agree with the gist of this statement. Which I understand to mean; Memory is contagious, Momentum is worthy, and if we don't learn how to curate and customize personal flow... we might just Digi-Loop Humanity into something language will wear as an accessory. Which might be cute: As a stepping stone. Either way Intelligence is in the air: Total Recall and then Edit.

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