Call for Theory: Video Vortex
International Conference
Date: 18-19 January, 2008 (new date!)
Location: POSTCS 11, Amsterdam

Organized by: Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam Polytechnic,  
HvA Interactive Media.

Deadline for submission of abstract (500-1000 words) and biography  
(100 words): August 14, 2007.


Reply date: September 7, 2007.

Further inquiries:

Sabine Niederer
Institute of Network Cultures
Rhijnspoorplein 1
NL-1091 GC Amsterdam
The Netherlands
t: (+31) 20-595 18 66
f: (+31) 20-595 18 40

Suggested topics:

- database theory
- software studies
- online video analysis
- YouTube criticism
- alternative platforms/open standards
- theory of participatory culture
- collaboratory data generation

Video Vortex: general introduction
In response to the increasing potential for video to become a  
significant form of personal media on the Internet, this conference  
examines the key issues that are emerging around the independent  
production and distribution of online video content. What are artists  
and activists responses to the popularity of ‘user-generated content’  
websites? Is corporate backlash eminent?

After years of talk about digital conversions and crossmedia  
platforms we are now witnessing the merger of the Internet and  
television at a pace that no one predicted. For the baby boom  
generation, that currently forms the film and television  
establishment, the media organizations and conglomerates, this  
unfolds as a complete nightmare. Not only because of copyright issues  
but increasingly due to the shift of audience to vlogging and video- 
sharing websites as part of the development of a broader  
participatory culture.

The opening night will feature live acts, performances and lectures  
under the banner of video slamming. We will trace the history from  
short film to one-minute videos to the first experiments with  
streaming media and online video, along with exploring the way VJs  
and media artists are accessing and using online archives.

The Video Vortex conference aims to contextualize these latest  
developments through presenting continuities and discontinuities in  
the artistic, activist and mainstream perspective of the last few  
decades. Unlike the way online video presents itself as the latest  
and greatest, there are long threads to be woven into the history of  
visual art, cinema and documentary production. The rise of the  
database as the dominant form of storing and accessing cultural  
artifacts has a rich tradition that still needs to be explored.

The conference aims to raise the following questions:

· How are people utilizing the potential to independently produce and  
distribute independent video content on the Internet?

· What are the alternatives to the proprietary standards currently  
being developed?

· What are the commercial objectives that mass media is imposing on  
user-generated content and video-sharing databases?

· What is the underlying economics of online video in the age of  
unlimited uploads?

· How autonomous are vloggers within the broader domain of mass media?

· How are cinema, television and video art being affected by the  
development of a ubiquitous online video practice?

· What type of aesthetic and narrative issues does the database pose  
for online video practice?

Conference website:

Discussion list:
This list is meant for all those interested in the topic, and will  
continue after the event in early 2008.

Institute of Network Cultures
t: +31205951866
f: +3165951840

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