“On vernacular as a cinematic genre”, Journal Interfaces

The 44th issue of the journal Interfaces contains a paper by Gala Hernández López entitled “On vernacular as a cinematic genre”.

 

It is available in Open Access in the journal’s site in the Open Edition platform.

 

Abstract: This article proposes a (re)definition of the qualifier “vernacular” applied to video. First, we draw a brief genealogy of the use of the term “vernacular video” in English and French academic literature. Next, we try to list the essential characteristics of the vernacular video while noting the “vernacularization” undergone by the videographic media in the first decade of our century. Then, we hypothesize a progressive process of artistic institutionalization of the vernacular video which may have taken place since the 2010s. Finally, we present three examples of cinematographic appropriation of vernacular videos, showing the appropriation of vernacular videos by the artistic authority, and we reveal the political and aesth-ethical stakes of these practises.

 

“Reinventions and new poetics of cinema in the post-internet era”, Contratexto

The 34th issue of the journal Contratexto has been edited by Gala Hernández and Alejandro Pena Morado and is entitled “Reinventions and new poetics of cinema in the post-Internet era”.

 

 

It contains, among others, an editorial note, “Getting out of scroll. Towards an offline gaze on the digital image” and a paper by Allan Deneuville on the film “Vie et mort d’Oscar Pérez”.

 

 

It is available in Open Access in the journal’s website.

 

 

Papers in pdf:

“Getting ut of Scroll. Towards an Offline Gaze on the Digital Image”, by Gala Hernández and Alejandro Pena Morado (Spanish).

“Óscar Pérez (1981-2018). Chronicle of a Death Foretold”, by Allan Deneuville (English).

Interview: Lina Majdalanie, stage director of 33 tours et quelques secondes

Interview with director Lina Majdalanie about the performance 33 tours et quelques secondes, directed by Lina Majdalanie and Rabih Mroué, inspired by the suicide of a young Lebanese activist during the Arab Spring.

 

Ervina Kotolloshi: The futur readers may not have seen the show 33 rpm and a few seconds. Could you tell us something about the origin of this show? What caused its creation?

 

Lina Majdalanie: In September 2011, a young Lebanese activist ended his life. It was the beginning of the Arab spring, long before the great disappointments, the euphoria was still at its peak. This suicide mobilized and shook the Lebanese society at the institutions’ level – official or not – and at the individuals’ level, including all ages and backgrounds… 33 rpm and a few seconds is inspired by this tragic act and the passionate comments that followed this act, debates that reveal the country’s problems, the contradictions of the Lebanese society and its political deadlock. This play allows us to reflect on the Arab revolutions, their impact on Lebanon, its paralysis, its inability to react and to undertake its own revolution.

 

Ervina Kotolloshi: During this show, the spectators have the impression to be in the main character’s bedroom, Diyaa Yamout who committed suicide. An empty bedroom where many devices (smartphone, personal computer, etc.) are turned on and activated during the performance. Why such a radical choice? Why did you decided to represent a performance almost entirely reconstituted and represented through the smartphone’s and Facebook page’s projection?

 

Lina Majdalanie: Throughout the show, the stage remains empty of any human presence, and represents the bedroom of the young man in question, where everything continues to “live”, to function, to vibrate, to communicate: the television, the fixed-line phone, the smartphone, the computer, his Facebook page, his printer, and so on. A whole world of technological and communication devices that do not need our real physical presence, devices that transmit us fragmented bits of information that are impossible to entirely understand. This choice is first in continuity with our previous works, where the virtuoso body of the actor has been abandoned in favor of an actor who only speaks, says, tells, reads… And the question of absence/presence has often been at the heart of our work, both in form and content. But it is true that here we go much further, a kind of extreme. The subject itself imposed us this choice: when we heard about this young man’s suicide, one of the things that immediately struck us was all the virtual or almost virtual agitation…His Facebook page continues to receive messages just like he was  still alive… The virtual modifies our relationship to body, our own body and somebody’s else body, the perception of time and space but also our relationship to death, reality, speech, language, private and public. What an upheaval!

 

Ervina Kotolloshi: In the lectureperformance Pixelated Revolution, your colleague, Rabih Mroué, says that the world is full of images – why do we have to add others? Is there a reflection on the richness of the generated content, the images, texts, videos published on digital social media? What is your reflection on all this continuous flow of content caused by the suicide?

 

Lina Majdalanie: The frequent use of existing materials in our works, the texts and images generated by real events, comes also and above all from the fact that, after the official end of the civil wars in Lebanon, many theater or cinema works, which were based on pure fiction, turned out to be so insipid, unconvincing, and below the force of reality, below the force of lived experience. Something was wrong with the fiction itself but not because of the artists themselves. Documentary was not a solution either. Working in these categories, fiction or documentary, even semi-documentary, did not work. Several artists understood that they had to embrace things differently from now on.

 

Ervina Kotolloshi: Concerning the performance 33 rpm and a few seconds, has the creative process changed?

 

Lina Majdalanie: Our creative process has changed since a long time. We do not really rehearse anymore. (laughs) We put on the show the last few days. We take weeks, months to write the text, prepare the staging direction, the scenography, etc. Then in only 2 or 3 days, we rehearse and put on the show. For example, for this performance, creating the Facebook page, editing the video, etc. took us months of work. We did technical tests in our home. In all our plays, as actors, we are almost static on stage, we perform a little or at all. Often, we just read the text. So, we do not really need rehearsals. We are no longer interested in the acting, the quality of the acting, the style, the kind of acting. We do not care if we play well or bad, neither if we are spontaneous, natural, or artificial. We are on stage, as ourselves generally. Rehearsals in the last few days are mostly for the last timing coordinations, if there is something technically wrong…

 

Ervina Kotolloshi: I have a question about time. There is a clock on the stage that shows the real time which does not match with the time of Facebook publications and the time of the text messages received on smartphone, why?

 

Lina Majdalanie: It has to do with the different temporalities in which we live in simultaneously. We have voluntarily chosen that the reception of SMS is spread over one day (about 33 hours), the Facebook publications are spread over 33 days, the answering machine’s stockage capacity of the fixed-line phone is 30 minutes long, and the TV reports are spread over 30 weeks or 30 months, as we want. And all these different temporalities are represented in a one-hour show. We stayed around the number 30 or 33 because the vinyl record inspired us for the performance’s title 33 rpm and a few seconds.

 

Ervina Kotolloshi: Speaking about this show, you often say, the mediums offer different temporalities, they offer different narratives. Can you develop this issue?

 

Lina Majdalanie: First, each of these mediums comes from a different period of time. But also, each one has a different temporality. For example, the answering machine’s stockage capacity of the fixed-line phone is 30 minutes. But in reality, there are not necessarily 30 minutes of message(s) inside. Because somebody today leaves a 3 second message. Tomorrow, somebody else leaves a 4-minute message, etc. The answering machine, in its 30-minute stockage space, can thus contain different messages spread over one year or simply different messages spread over one day, or exactly a 30-minute message. Often, these are short messages. There are rarely long messages. Television pretends transmitting information in real time but there is an information’s retransmission every 30 minutes or every hour, depending on each channel. And the perception of actuality is very present but quite different from what it was a few decades ago, or even a few years ago… The actuality’s temporality is shrinking over the days. And as soon as there is a recent news, the previous new is no longer new. It becomes already obsolete. Therefore, the news’ temporality is increasingly fast, ephemeral, but also repetitive, retransmitted two, three, X times. Then, the information is outdated, old, worthless. On Facebook, the temporality is linked to current events as well, but in a different way. It has to do with my own current events. It is reactive, affective too. It is personal, subjective. And the information is not retransmitted every 30 minutes or every hour. It is fixed, it is up to us to search and find old publications. Temporality is completely different from television, if we have not seen a new publication, we have missed it. It is all over. In this sense, there are many different temporalities: duration and repetitiveness. The narrativities are also different: the kind of things told in each of these mediums are different. The relationship of reciprocity is also different: we dialogue via the telephone, and the conversation may diverge on several subjects or not; the answering machine is an one-direction medium,  often used to say: I’m at such place, call me back; the dialogue is supposed, hoped to come. On television, there is no dialogue, and it is focused on information. As for Facebook, it is a lot of things at the same time. The way of writing on these media is also different, the language, the sentence structure, the characters we use are different. The forms of narrativity are different. Facebook is not theater, it is not a dialogue, but at the end, it is a bit like a theater dialogue. In this sense, the mediums offer different narrativities from each other.

Ervina Kotolloshi: The books’ presence on stage is the presence of another temporality, I suppose …

 

Lina Majdalanie: Absolutely! Another temporality of production and reception.

 

Ervina Kotolloshi: Since you have just mentioned Facebook, do you think the platform represents an aesthetic space? A space where there are dialogues, characters, conflicts …

 

Lina Majdalanie: It would be absolutely another kind of theater. It is a bit like after the invention of the camera, it was a mistake to try to imitate the paintings language through the camera. The camera had to find its independence from the paintings. Then, the painters felt frustrated with the camera, they wanted to imitate photography and later they wanted to liberate themselves from this influence. It is another medium. Similarly, there is a theatrical aspect on Internet and Facebook, but it is certainly something else. It is quite different. I encourage people to see the differences rather than the similarities. Always. Do not look for how they are similar, but how they are different. I find this particularly important and interesting, finding the specificities and characteristics of each medium, each artist, each generation.

 

Ervina Kotolloshi: When you wrote the play, did you immediately add pictograms, spelling mistakes, abbreviations, capital letters?

 

Lina Majdalani: Often immediately. When we look at Facebook, users write like this. Sometimes we were wondering why such a sentence is written in capital letters, why such a word is written in capital letters. The users who wrote in capital letters, gave us the impression that they wanted to shout, to scream. What we write also depends on how other users read, the way of reading changes from one user to another, they may add anger to their reading or other feelings. In our case, the generated content is not pronounced but written, therefore, we are wondering about the way a content should be read, what was the author’s intention: sarcasm? Bitterness? Aggressiveness? Anger? We also thought that the spectators, during the show, would be reading all the time and that there wouldn’t be an actor to set the right tone, it would be nice to juggle around with content layout and to give a bit of relief to the content, a bit of meaning. In any case, we took a lot of posts shared on Facebook and kept them as they were. When we added things, we tried to do the same thing as the shared publications. We really do not know anymore what is real and what we have invented.

 

Ervina Kotolloshi: You just said that while reading everybody can add his own personal interpretation. As a result, the spectators’ experience changes from one to the other …

 

Lina Majdalanie: In each work, in each recipient, this is partly inevitable, and this is what we try to do through all our creations, to trigger the personal interpretation of spectators on what is happening. And especially in this show, everybody adds its own tone, its own rhythm to the user-generated content reading. It is an individual relationship, within a community of equal citizens, each one is unique and singular. Everyone must receive the show in their own way, freely. For us, this is particularly important. This is our way of applying what Brecht said about dividing the public. This is important for us, in a country like Lebanon, where we often forget our individuality in the face of the unique voice of the community. In Lebanon, the aim is not only to divide the public into social classes, but also to separate it from its community and its ideological habits.

 

Ervina Kotolloshi: A real fact inspired this performance which generated a lot of content on the Lebanese activist’s Facebook page. Does the Facebook page of Diyaa Yamout, the main character who committed suicide, still exist?

 

Lina Majdalanie: Yes, yes… Facebook at least until now has not deactivated this account. I do not know if the parents have taken any steps to deactivate the account and stop people’s jibber-jabber.

 

Ervina Kotolloshi: Did the main character, Diyaa Yamout, really film himself, using his smartphone, before his suicide?

 

Lina Majdalanie: He actually filmed himself to prove that he was not killed. To prove that it was a free act. He announced his suicide online, he sent an email to his friends. He also filmed his suicide using his smartphone so that the police would know, during an after-the-fact investigation, that he committed suicide, but he did not upload his latest video online. But what interested us is the way this suicide politically shook the Lebanese, the chain reactions caused by this suicide, and what this reveals about the political, social, religious mentality of the Lebanese, the contradictions that exist between them, but also the personal contradictions of each one of them. So, we did not do any research to find out who this young man really was, we did not want to be in a voyeuristic intrusion into this young man’s life. We were satisfied with TV reports, his Facebook page, his blog, etc. Although we have mutual friends, we did not go to our friends’ house to ask them about him. We did not want to go into a psychological or sociological analysis of this young man’s life. What interested us is how an act committed by a young man activist shook the country, his friends, the power in place in Lebanon. A reflection on how social media are impacting the world today. We used a lot of generated content, a lot of real data.

Ervina Kotolloshi: But the activist’s Facebook page has been recreated and the reports have been re-filmed?

 

Lina Majdalanie: Yes, everything has been reconstituted. The content of the reports is played by actors, but the texts are reconstructed almost in the same way as the reports transmitted on television, except the third report. The content of the third report has been a bit theatricalized and reduced because it was longer. The reconstitution of the two other reports have faithfully respected: the structure, the shooting, the editing, the content of the real reports.

 

Ervina Kotolloshi: Did you consult any book on social media when you wrote this play? For example, you mention Marc Augé during the show, and his theory on non-places?

 

Lina Majdalanie: No, we did not consult books, but we thought a lot about Augé’s non-places, which we had already read, when we wrote this play. However, we did not know Facebook (we do not use this medium) and we decided not to do “scholarly” research on this. We wanted to sign in and discover this world. And to create a direct relationship with it, to have our own impressions, without the intermediary of the other people’s ideas, or rather we wanted to avoid preconceived ideas, even if they are very valid. This is our way of working, we first approach things on our own. Then we will see what other thinkers, researchers, writers think. We prefer not to discover the world with other people’s ideas. We like to confront the object; we like the personal approach. We are never completely virgin, we already carry within us our own readings, our own ideas, our own knowledge. We are already nourished by readings, but I prefer to do specific research after creation, or after the personal empirical research. The aim is not at all searching for some kind of virginity or an authentic original truth, but it allows us to approach better the specificity of any case we are working on, then approaching the Lebanese specificity, then approaching… It is like growing circles.

 

Ervina Kotolloshi: Your show questioned the spectators on actor’s physical presence on stage and the principle of here-and-now in the theater.

 

Lina Majdalanie: We often talk about here-and-now on the theater, but there are also all the theories of performance and body art that say the opposite, that theatrical action is always repeated, it is a fiction, it is mechanical, theater treats always another time, another character; whereas in performance, it’s us/me in the real and physical action, in the here-and-now. In my opinion, these are old debates, not remarkably interesting. They were interesting at one time, but today we cannot keep talking about the same concepts and terms. These concepts just helped us to orientate ourselves, there were works more oriented towards the here-and-now and others more towards the representative form. But the pure here-and-now does not exist. In my opinion, a performance in the here-and-now where any form of representation is completely excluded is not possible. There is always a minimal representation, and vice versa. The play, 33 rpm and a few seconds, is different, but we often work on the threshold. We are in the representation but at the same time, we do not play any role, we do not play any character. It is always Lina and Rabih, even if we play a role, we give our name to the role. Borders are always blurred: is it here or elsewhere? Did they embody a character or not? Is this true or false? Is this a real story or not? We also use our stories within somebody’s else stories. And we also use somebody’s else stories within our own story. So, for us, the here and there is not really here and there. It is our approach about all kind of dichotomous binarities. In our works, the images are often used as well, it is me, here in flesh and blood on stage, and at the same time, there is my image which is not me in flesh and blood, which is elsewhere, which is something else. We always use microphones as well; we do not use the real voice that comes directly out of our bodies. We use the microphone because we insist that art is artificial. And I am not ashamed to say it. To be human is to be an artificial animal, someone who uses symbols, mediums, different forms of communication, this is how society and social relations have been created. In artifice. If we were “natural”, we would still be animals in a “pure” state. So, we claim artificiality and we work on the different forms of artificiality. Moreover, how can we still recognize what is artificial or not? As for the question: how do we work with artifice and non-artifice? Everyone makes his own choices, everyone has his own ideas, his own ways of doing things, his own inventions according to his way of approaching the world.

Ervina Kotolloshi: You just said that in your work, there is no role, there is no character. What about the show 33 rpm and a few seconds, is there any role, any character?

 

Lina Majdalanie: Yes, there are roles, but I do not know if we can consider them characters. These are people on Facebook. They are different from each other: the one who defends Islam, the one who defends Christianity, the one who defends secularism, the one who defends the left, the right, anarchism. Yes, there are those who use very rude words and those who are polite. Yes, there are different characters taken from reality. In our work, in general, we tell their story in the most neutral way possible, we do not embody the roles. We play on irony, on sarcasm, on tonality but it is not a psychological approach or anything else.

 

Ervina Kotolloshi: On the Facebook page of your main character, the users express themselves in different languages, English, French, Arabic. You differentiate the representation of these languages ​​by the color of the font. Did you immediately think about this language layout on Facebook?

 

Lina Majdalanie: I do not know when we thought about representing the translation for everybody’s language accessibility during the show. One of my friends, graphic designer, conceived the Facebook page’s creation using complicated software that I do not understand. We, the theater directors, invent ideas and other professionals find means to realize our ideas.

 

Ervina Kotolloshi: In your future shows, are you going to use again the content generated by users on social media?

 

Lina Majdalanie: Everything generated on social media, but also everything published in newspapers, books, media, can be a real political revelation. They deserve to be analyzed, dissected, commented on, to understand how they work, how they produce and reproduce the world around us. It is a direct connection with reality, but it is neither documentary nor semi-documentary. But all depends on the subject. It depends on the work we want to do. Each period, each subject, brings its own adequate form. One day, we might once again consider that a physical and embodied theater is necessary, given the new political and cultural circumstances … One day, we might once again revive fiction as well. This play is not a manifesto saying the theater should be like this. This play has its raison d’être, given the world we live in, it has also its raison d’être, given our work on representation, acting, actors’ body and speech on stage. This experience will mark us for sure, but we do not know on what we are going to work the next time.

 

Ervina Kotolloshi: You just said that this is a performance will mark you. What do you mean? What are your thoughts? What has this show provoked in you?

 

Lina Majdalanie: I mean we cannot go back. If we go back to the actor’s presence on stage, it cannot be the same. In our work, the presence of the actor is very reduced, as I just said. This representation is the logical continuation of other previous works. It was not a sudden idea. In our work characters and acting were never important. There is consistency between this work and the others. Even if this representation goes much further. Nevertheless, each work pushes us towards something else, pushes us to go further. Towards a different work. This work will mark us like any other work, there is no going back. We can bring the actors back on stage again, but it will certainly be different.

 

Ervina Kotolloshi: Thank you.

Interview: Denis Parrot, director of Coming Out

In the French documentary Coming Out, filmmaker Denis Parrot edited YouTube videos in which young people announce their homosexuality to their families.

 

 

Ariane Papillon: To begin, could you tell me about the adventure of this film? Did you first wanted to make a film about coming-out and the LGBT community, then you found out these images? Or did the meeting with these images immediately give rise to the desire of a film on this subject?

 

 

Denis Parrot: Two years ago, I came across a YouTube video: a young man announcing his homosexuality to his grandmother on the phone and filming himself with his webcam. We could feel his immense difficulty in speaking, the fear of not being understood or accepted. We also guessed that he had been anticipating this moment for months or even years. The video lasted ten minutes, and for nine minutes, before he could say anything, there were many silences, banal everyday sentences. This video moved me a lot, not only because of the device, which was very simple, a little shaky, but also because of what it revealed in its silences. Then I saw that there were on YouTube, not one or two videos such as this one, but thousands of them, from different countries. It’s quite an amazing phenomenon. I didn’t immediately have the idea of making a film about it, but I knew right away that there was something in those images that I wanted to deal with.

 

 

AP: In the credits, we can read the sentence “Thanks to all the people who made this film possible by authorizing the reproduction of their video in this documentary”. How did you get in touch with the filmmakers? Did the Law oblige you to obtain their permission, or was it rather a moral requirement ?

 

 

DP. : For legal reasons of image reproduction rights, of course I contacted all the people present in the film, but also and above all because I wanted each person to understand and adhere to what I wanted to make. It was a big job to contact all these young people and their parents, all over the world. By showing them the editing already done, most of these young people were enthusiastic about the project and immediately gave their agreement.

 

AP.: I first saw the film in the cinema when it was released in France. Then I saw it again 8 months later, at home, thanks to the link that you kindly sent to me. I realized by watching it a second time that I remembered all the characters. I had the feeling that I had developed a familiarity, an intimacy with them. I think it was increased by this double viewing experience: first, the palpable emotion shared with the other people in the theatre, then the arrival of these characters “in” my apartment. This feeling of closeness is quite common when following someone’s YouTube channel, but it is more difficult to achieve after watching a single video. In your movie, each character is present only once, except for Adam, who comes back for a few seconds at the end with his skipping rope. To my opinion, this feeling is the product of two elements: the conversation created by the editing between these different confessions; and its counterpart, the duration and the cinematic situation, which puts us in a situation of prolonged attention and makes it possible to facilitate empathy. Does this diagnosis speak to you? How would you define your willingness to bring to the cinema these images intended for the web ?

 

D.P.: Your diagnosis is absolutely right. In tackling such an intimate subject, it seemed obvious to me that showing it in a movie theater was appropriate. I was convinced that the discovery of these images would not give the same impression and strength if they were discovered on the small screen.

 

 

A.P.: Your intervention as a filmmaker, as an artist, supported by your team, takes place on several levels: cutting out the videos, adding sound design (sound effects, atmosphere, music, mixing), inserting title cards, choosing the order and succession of the clips. How were these choices made and what was your method? Did you set yourself any prohibitions, such as cutting out some passages, cropping the images?

 

 

D.P. : The process was done in several stages. First of all, I watched more than 1,200 coming-out videos on social networks, uploaded between 2012 and 2018, to understand this phenomenon on the Internet and to get an idea of what the film would look like.  At the same time, a translation work was carried out for the videos shot in a language that I didn’t understand, but in which I felt the potential. Then, I worked hard on the writing to make sure that all the themes I wanted to address appeared in the film in a balanced and relevant way. I considered these videos as contemporary archive images, as photographs of our time, of the 2010’s. These videos couldn’t have existed 20 years ago and they won’t be the same in 20 years. They are part of our society, they talk about our current western world. I also wanted to allow these images to exist fully and permanently, so that they don’t end up buried under the graves of new videos on YouTube, but instead that they can echo to each other. I also had the idea that all these distinct speeches would form a more global speech at the end of the film, as if there was an invisible thread that connects all these testimonies, that the whole would be different from the sum of its parts. My producers, Claire Babany and Éléonore Boissinot, were very supportive and helpful until the right balance was found in the final cut. Afterwards, Olivier Laurent, the sound editor, and Bruno Mercère, the mixer, did a great job of highlighting the silences, the breaths and the backgrounds of each sequence. Sasha Savic, the calibrator, also incredibly balanced the colors of the very diverse video sources to create a homogeneous universe.

A.P.: Why did you choose to add title cards with time indications to some (not all) clips? Is it to evoke the form of the diary, to highlight the immediacy, the simultaneity of these virtual conversations?

 

D.P. : Absolutely, it reminds me of the form of the diary. I also wanted to show how these few words spoken to parents, family or close friends, are a moment of tension after months, years during which these young people have kept everything in them. But, through these videos, the coming out is also – it must be acknowledged – a kind of suspended moment full of suspense: what will be the parents’ reaction? Are they prepared for this eventuality or will they come down to earth with a bang? Many young people fear a negative reaction, ore even to loose their parents’ love. That’s why I’ve indicated the time of each video: after this revelation, their life will not be quite the same, there will be no turning back.

 

A.P.: Why did you choose to give only the first names of the characters in the title cards, and their full names in the credits?

 

D.P.: This is also in line with the idea of the diary, of confidence.

 

A.P.: I noticed that there was no systematism in the title cards: for example, sometimes there is the first name before the place, sometimes the opposite. What logic determined this choice?

 

D.P.: It depended on whether I wanted to emphasize the importance of the place or the first name. There are also testimonies for which I didn’t indicate a time, because they were more general words.

 

A.P.: How did you work on the sound? Did you want to discreetly suggest associations of ideas? I think for example of children’s voices playing, or a train noise that seems to link two territories, Japan and Utah.

 

D.P. : Olivier Laurent, the sound editor, and Bruno Mercière, the mixer, worked a lot to add, without distorting the original videos, atmospheres that almost unconsciously reinforce our feelings. Indeed, the train created a link between the different countries. There are small additions in each sequence, like the one with Adam where Olivier Laurent had the idea to add a thunderstorm atmosphere followed by a light shower, which then put Adam and his mother in a kind of cocoon. I loved this idea that reinforced the intimacy of the situation.

 

 

A.P.: The editing gives resonance to similar or identical expressions: “I didn’t choose”, “I felt guilty”, “I prayed to God to deliver me”, “I’ve always known it”…. Did you select the videos in particular so that they echo each other so strongly? Or is it representative enough of how these videos respond to each other on the internet and how they contribute to create and strengthen a community?

 

D.P.: It’s pretty representative of what I found online. I was very important to me to make sure that it persisted in the final cut. I also wanted to show different paths and different reactions and make sure that certain themes were represented: self-building, the way others look at you, acceptance by your family, but also, in a way, the need to test the love of your parents, which is undoubtedly shared by all teenagers and young adults, whether they are LGBT or not. I didn’t want to make a desperate and hopeless film either, but a film that shows various comings out.

Some go well, some don’t. I still wanted to focus on the families who react “normally”. A way of setting an example. That’s why my film ends with Loren, the girl who tells her grandmother, who, in fact, had understood everything a long time ago and is taking it very well. Things can be simple, they should be normal, banal.

 

A.P.: Your personal intervention, as an author, is done discreetly, through the choices listed above. Nevertheless, you also very subtly explicit who is speaking, by opening the film with an “I”, with the very first title card of the film: “When I was young, there was no internet”. With this sentence, you seem to both announce your belonging to the LGBT community and perhaps admit that, in retrospect, you would have found comfort with these videos. You thus seem to pay tribute to the salutary aspect of these coming-out videos and online testimonies, but also to place yourself alongside your characters. Is this an interpretation that seems correct to you? How did you design this opening title card?

 

D.P.: Your interpretation is totally correct. My generation has grown up, just like those before, without the Internet. It was very difficult to find positive role models to identify with, just as it was impossible for most of us teenagers to exchange with other young LGBT people. When I saw the first video, I thought it would have done me a lot of good at the time. I chose these videos because I recognize myself in all these young people. I was thinking exactly the same when I was a teenager, asking myself the same questions.

 

A.P.: Part of the end of the film shows a series of trans comings out : people claiming that the gender they were assigned at birth is not the one they recognize themselves in. You didn’t disseminate this type of coming-out in the film, and placed this part after a dozen or so coming-out videos that deal with sexual orientation and not gender identity.  How did you make this editing choice? Was it a didactic concern, for the people not concerned? You sometimes chose to show images of people before and after their transition (for example, we see photos of Cole when he was little, in a little girl’s body, then a video of him after probably having undergone hormone treatment). Was this material available on the Internet or was it provided directly to you ?

 

D.P.: Absolutely, I wanted to be didactic, so that the film could be shown to as many people as possible, even people who are not at all aware of the subject. It was important to differentiate between sexual orientation and gender identity, so that the viewer couldn’t be confused. Cole insisted on showing pictures of his transition, in order to explain it well and be as clear as possible. Other trans people don’t like to show pictures of themselves before their transition, but Cole felt it was important.

 

A.P.: One moment of the film, the 12th video, introduces us to Artem, a young Russian violinist living in Canada. This clip appears to me as a kind of statement. I’m quoting the French subtitles here: “We’re not coming out for straight people to know. Nor the believers. Nor those who hate us. We make as much noise as possible so that people like us, who are afraid and who cannot be themselves, know that they are not a mistake, that they are not alone”. Here I feel a perfect coincidence between the objectives of the filmmakers and yours. What do you think about this?

 

 

D.P.: Exactly, Artem sums up the film’s purpose perfectly. In a previous cut, I concluded the film with Artem, it worked very well, but I decided to change the order of the sequences, because it was a little too solemn, a little too hard, and I wanted to make a soft film, full of hope.

 

A.P.: Who and what was your film intended for ?

 

D.P. : I would like to say: to everyone ! When the idea for the film came up, I was thinking of these young people. Some of them feel lost. I was also thinking of their parents. Some colleagues and friends had the honesty to tell me that they didn’t know how they would react if their child told them they were gay or trans. And I’m talking about people who live in 2020, in a very urban environment, and who are pretty progressive… But parents – at least straight parents – still have a hard time imagining their child being different. Some of them are afraid to do wrong if their child comes out. I don’t have any political or associative militant background, but this film is my small contribution to help move the lines. I want to raise awareness among parents: your child may be gay, lesbian, bi or trans and you don’t know it. You didn’t choose it, but your child didn’t choose it either. It’s not right or wrong, it’s just the way it is. Luke, one of the young British kids in the film, when told that he chose to be gay, retorts: “When did you choose to be straight? ” . It’s very fair to reverse the question. No one chooses their gender identity or sexual orientation. If parents were prepared for this possibility, things might be easier. The suicide rate among LGBT youth is high, as is the number of youth who are kicked out of school. That’s the reason for this film, there’s still a lot of work to be done…

 

A.P.: What was the reception of the film in theaters, in the press, in France and abroad?

 

D.P.: Following a screening at a festival, several people came to tell me how much the film had moved them and made them think as parents about how they would react in this situation. These people told me that they had made progress on this issue. That’s exactly what we’re trying to do: to move the lines so that parents don’t faint when their child tells them that he or she is L, G, B or T. I have presented the film in many festivals and it was very well received. There are also still screenings in schools (middle schools and high schools).

 

 

 

[This interview took place by email exchange in February 2020].

 

 

 

Interview: Gabrielle Stemmer, director of Clean With Me (After Dark)

In the short documentary Clean With Me (After Dark), French director Gabrielle Stemmer edited YouTube and Instagram videos from a community of housewives filming themselves while cleaning their homes.

 

Gala Hernández: First of all, do you know the desktop film genre? If so, which film(s) inspired you to make yours? Why did you decide to use the computer screen as the space of the film?

 

Gabrielle Stemmer: I didn’t know the desktop genre. This film was made as my graduation film from La Fémis, for which I had this idea to use these YouTube home cleaning videos. In the editors’ graduation films, we’re forced to use archives. As I was talking to friends, I realized that I had acquired quite phenomenal knowledge about home cleaning videos and that these were actually archives. I thought I would make it the subject of my graduation film. A few weeks later, I saw Kevin B’s film at La Fémis, Transformers The Premake, which I really liked. I figured it was exactly what I wanted to do and that that would be the ideal format for the film. I really appreciated that movie. My film is quite similar to his, in the sense that there’s no voice-over… I watched some of the other films he had done – which you can see on his website – and I asked him to be my tutor. At the same time, Chloe Galibert-Laîné, who works with him, contacted me and I also saw her films My crush was a superstar and Watching the pain of others. Those were the only desktop movies I saw… I didn’t look too hard, because after a while I told myself that I didn’t want to be influenced. I was afraid, not so much of copying someone, but rather of not allowing myself to do things because someone else had done them before me. But it’s a format that I think is great, I want to do other things with it.

 

GH: Could you explain the origin of the project ? How did you get in touch with these “clean with me” videos ? Some of these videos have a lot of views, I assume the community that consumes them is quite large. Are the producers/Youtubers who post them a small number, or rather large?

 

GS: My impression is that it’s a big community, but I haven’t found any concrete data for the number of household channels on YouTube. There are hundreds of YouTubers. There are a dozen of them very famous, and it goes up to the woman who has only ten views per video. There is a pretty broad spectrum. Then the community of women who watch them is infinitely superior. Sometimes there are a million views on these videos. Even assuming that some of them watch them again, that’s still a lot. For example, the videos of Love Meg have easily one million views. 80% must be by other housewives or heads of households and then rest must be from people like me, who got there through other channels, and I guess some men among them. As these women control the comments and delete a lot of them, there are never any negative comments on these videos. I’ve seen a few comments from men who commented more on the look of the YouTuber, but not a lot. Sometimes I’ve seen comments from men saying “I’m going to show this to my wife”. And often they would get some replies afterwards, other women who would say “you should do some cleaning too”. So there is a beginning of awareness. There are a few videos made by men, but not household channels run by men that I know of. On the other hand, it is often the couples who vlog, showing their daily life in the family, and you can see a man doing the housework. But maybe it’s also the YouTube algorithms game: maybe they figured out that I’m interested in seeing women and they don’t show me men…

I’ve been watching “clean with me” videos for at least 5-6 years. I used to watch a lot of YouTube videos made by younger women, beauty or makeup tutorials, and at one point it drifted and I got a “clean with me” recommendation. For a long time, I used to watch these videos for fun, two or three a week, without cleaning my house at all, strangely it was not linked. Because the principle is that these videos are made to encourage women to clean at the same time. “Let’s go girls! “50% of the use of the video is that, and the other 50% is ASMR, because some of these videos relax some people. In the comments, we feel this division – some people are motivated to clean up, others say “Wow, that felt good, that’s so relaxing”. I belonged to the second category: the pleasure, not of cleaning per se, but of seeing their homes, their families, their children, over the years… Like a series. And at the same time, in my case, always with a distance, because I couldn’t identify with those women, I didn’t have the same ideals as them. And so I was driven by curiosity, I wondered “How far will they go?” There are microevents in the videos, things that you can guess… I’m trying to track down the less bright signs in their lives.

 

 

GH: The film begins by respecting the recording of the computer screen as the only space and as instrument for the mise en scène, but very soon you start to use zooms, movements within this space, then a grid of videos that no longer has much to do with a computer screen but rather looks more like a video surveillance or control room grid. Why were these variations necessary?

 

GB: At first I thought of doing a sequence shot, but I saw that it was impossible to do and I had to edit and trick. I realised very soon, and very quickly discarded the idea of staying in full screen all the time. I think it can be done, but it’s more demanding for the viewer and it would require more preparation beforehand for the filmmaker. I’ve done a lot of tricks in my film, a lot of it is not my screen; but what I did was mainly fixing the moments that were technically tricky. So I actually never tried a real complete desktop version, probably because my model was Kevin B. Lee’s video. Lee doesn’t hesitate to zoom, cut, … It seemed inevitable to me so that it wouldn’t be too slow, it was a question of rhythm. I realized that, as soon as it is full screen and you can see the desktop bar, it is less immersive than when you’re inside the window, when you enter the video. Entering the videos, and distorting them, that was my project from the start, and that’s what happens quite quickly in my film.

 

GH: What do you think these videos say about the status of women in the 21st century? What thoughts do you get from them? Several of these women mention that it’s therapeutic for them, some of them suffering from anxiety or depression, why do you think it can be therapeutic? There’s also the fact that some of them clean during the night, which makes their activity invisible to the rest of their family members, what does this erasing of their effort say about their existence?

 

GB: The title of the film refers to a genre of clean with me videos called “clean with me after dark”. There are several sub-genres: “clean with me marathon” (the whole house), “clean with me 8h” (which they condense into 50 minutes) and “clean with me after dark” – which consists of cleaning during the night when everyone is sleeping, and which is often the most relaxing genre for people. In fact, at the base of the project, what I wondered was why they would turn on a camera to film themselves, because for me there was a video surveillance camera dimension that was very present. Not only are they cleaning up, but they’re filming themselves to prove that they’ve done it. For me, it was self-surveillance: even when the husband is not there, they’ll put an eye on them to control what they are doing and stop them from hanging around, from doing nothing. Self-motivation by self-surveillance. And I also think they do it to show their husband everything they’ve done during the day, because by definition housework is invisible work. What happens when you see what you normally can’t see – that is, what American housewives do during the day?

Furthermore, after watching the film, an occupational psychologist told me that what they do – filming themselves doing these tasks and accelerating the video – is a typical defense mechanism of hard working individuals who practice self-acceleration. When a work is too hard, you accelerate your actions so that it goes faster, so that it’s over soon and you can’t think. And that’s what a character in the film literally says: cleaning up prevents you from thinking. Also, the link between housework and depression has been proven, there are also pathologies linked to the fear of dirt…

But when they clean during the night because the children are sleeping, it becomes their second day of work, it becomes a night of work. They are always the last ones to go to bed and the first ones to get up. When the children and the husband are asleep, there is no one to get in their way. In the film, one of them says: “It’s night, I’m tired, I’m going to clean up. The children are asleep and my husband is asleep because he has to get up early in the morning”. Knowing that she also has to get up early to make breakfast, which shows the total self-sacrifice of these women. Night is the time when they catch up on what they didn’t have time to do during the day.

 

 

 

GH: Can you talk about the choice of music ?

 

GB: There is only music that comes from their YouTube videos. The basic “clean with me” is always a little intro where they talk and then some music that goes on while they’re cleaning up fast. There are some that are not accelerated but are much less watched. Acceleration is a guarantee of quality. And sometimes there’s a voice-over where they give advice, explain what they’re doing, and then there are special “clean with me” with no voice and even no music. But usually it’s special music for YouTube: there are companies that make this music, they have a subscription and in exchange they can use this music in the videos that remain monetized – since they make money from the videos. I bought the license for these musics. All the images and sounds in the movie are from YouTube or Instagram, I didn’t add anything.

 

GH: There’s a moment of silence just after the first music where I have the impression that you’ve recreated in post-production the sounds of the videos that I imagine had originally music, and this quasi-silence gives the videos a very different, more real dimension, without the post-production artifice that makes these tasks look entertaining and joyful. This exposure, this nakedness also appears when you zoom in and freeze frame the face of one of the women or when you bring the video closer to show a detail, such as the messages and words (love, dream, life is good, thankful, etc.) that decorate the walls of these houses or the hidden reflection of a husband on the mirror. What were you looking for with these formal strategies?

 

GB: “Clean with me” is always accelerated and with music. So from the beginning I asked myself: what happens if I take the music off and slow the video down? In the sequence you’re referring to, at the beginning I didn’t put noises, it was just silence. Then I thought I’d recreate the real atmosphere of their house, with the idea of really living their daily experience – in real life, they probably do their housework in silence – and to highlight their extreme solitude and their concrete gestures. And since I was determined not to add anything from outside the Internet, I just took some sounds from Internet household videos and roughly wedged them. I think I just added one or two sound effects later, in my editing room, like the little dog – so I skipped my own rule.

Concerning these strategies, I wanted the look on these videos and on these women to change as I went along. At the end of the film, the same video from the beginning doesn’t make you laugh at all. The moment of zooming is a way of pointing out details that are wrong – dust that no one sees, reflections… It’s about moving the gaze. When it’s full frame, you don’t realize what you’re looking at, if you start zooming in very hard on the image, you see it in a different way. You start to wonder about the furniture, you get closer to the house – the house that is a big subject of the film. The words I frozen are really my favorite thing in these videos. The houses, the women, the videos are very similar. All of them, without exception, have words posted in their homes. Sort of mantras that can be read as self-consolations. When you read “home sweet home” on the wall, you must tell yourself “I’m lucky, I have a home”. During the making of the film, I discovered that this is a hyper-religious circle which sentences like: “there are two men in my life, my husband and God”. But this specific side, we don’t see it much in the film, because it was too much “God and war” – with the military at the end, which I hadn’t foreseen either. I preferred to leave small religious clues – you can see churches on Google Maps, a Bible…

I had a shot that I deleted because the YouTuber didn’t give me the rights where there was a photo gallery on the wall: her children, her husband and Jesus. The three were side by side, and she was not in any of the pictures. But as I didn’t want to drive the nail in, I reluctantly removed that aspect of the videos.

Very often they have the word “thankful”, but you wonder, thanks to whom, why, for what? They are grateful for what God has given them, but to me it also shouts “tell me thank you”! Isn’t it rather that they want to be thanked?

Besides, it’s quite new that you can see inside people’s homes at this point, you can see the fashions… It says a lot about how people see life. It’s words like you see in billboards, self-persuasion. In fact, there’s another kind of YouTube video, which is the morning routine, where there is always the gratitude diary. In the morning routine, you have to spend some time writing down what you are thankful for. It is, once again, self-persuading that everything is fine.

Concerning the man we see in the film, who is holding the camera, he is filming his wife doing housework, but he could do it too! He checks that the frame is good. He watches. So his presence attests to the absence of all the other husbands, who share the same space as their wives. Men in “clean with me” often get fired by women. These pristine homes are territories not meant to be inhabited at all. It is a domestic space from which women make it their ultimate nest and men are excluded, as a kind of revenge.

 

GH: You later show on the Instagram account of one of them also motivational messages, very optimistic and encouraging. Why was it important for you to include them in the film?

 

GB: These are messages that they send to each other to help each other, to encourage each other. Instagram is really the network of community and mutual aid for them. They post videos where they confess to having had a horrible day, they’re more honest and natural on Instagram, because it’s more immediate than YouTube. The women on Instagram that I show in my film are not the ones who have millions of views, they’re the ones who have several thousand subscribers but they don’t make a living from it. Cause there are YouTube women who buy huge houses, who are extremely rich thanks to these videos. It’s a big business with several categories. In my film, the further you go, the more you get on the “small” YouTubers, and the more frankly they talk about the life of a woman isolated with children. The sentences they give as examples, taken literally, are not at all encouraging: “how comforting it is to think that the most beautiful moment of your life hasn’t happened yet”. It means that your life so far has sucked. Tomorrow will be better, but it means that today is awful – and I think they don’t realize that they’re admitting that with these sentences. It comes with a guilt of not being good enough.

 

 

GH: Apart from this compulsion for the household, there are also other central subjects in your film, rather in the second part: motherhood, marriage, family, mental health problems, the absence of the husband. It feels as if the second part of the film sheds light on other dimensions that are linked to the household. But are these mental health problems so prevalent in the “clean with me” community, or was it your research that led you to discover them? And the absence of husbands…?

 

GB: I assume that if I came across the videos, without digging for months and months, it’s because it’s a strong trend. Depression is present in a significant proportion. Some people take medication, and even for the superstars for whom everything is going great, there’s always a moment when they confess that it doesn’t go well. The absence of husbands is related to the fact that there are plenty of military wives. On Instagram, when I was making the film, I discovered that they had organized themselves into a supportive community with each other, particularly as military wives – since these are communities that are used to creating networks of sociability, etc. They’re geographically dispersed, but they’re together on Instagram, on groups reserved for military wives. For example, the one we see in the film – She gets me – is a group for women suffering from depression. There were seven of them, one for each day of the week, and four of them are military wives or their husbands are absent. Every day of the week, one of them takes over the Instagram account and explains her day. I’ve never seen a man in their stories; they’re alone with their children. There’s one named Mary, who you hear at the end of my movie, whose husband is in the military and is never there. Besides, when their husbands are there, they post less.

The residential areas in North America where they live are very small and isolated; they’re really alone. In this context, YouTube brings them social recognition and Instagram brings sociability. In the beginning, they go on YouTube to show what they do because they’re proud of it and to give themselves a goal for the day. You probably clean up better when you know you’re going to be seen by more people. As YouTube has become a great business platform, Instagram has become more intimate and liberated, as the Instagram stories fade away after some time. For the past year or two, on Instagram, there have been women saying, “Watch out, what you see on Instagram is not reality. They want to show themselves from all angles, and not just their strengths.

 

GH: Why use Google Earth to locate these testimonies? There is a kind of feeling of accumulation, seriality and homogenization between all these voices and then the houses in the residential suburbs, the emblematic place of the American dream, are also all similar to each other. Was that your intention?

 

GB: The first idea was to go and see where they live so that we could see how isolated they are. I also wanted their voices to blend together to be one voice. On Google Maps, you can see how close these little individualities perhaps are to each other and all these houses on the outside, you don’t know what’s going on inside – but in ten houses there can be ten extreme solitudes.

The streets and the houses are obviously reminiscent of cinema imagery, on one side Carpenter, or John Waters’ film Serial Mom, which is a little bit the other side of the subject… These views of the upper neighbourhood reminded me of The Sims as well, a game I played a lot. When you go into Google Street View, the houses in 3D are distorted. Kevin B. Lee had told me that at that point the film was turning into a horror movie and that I became a peeping Tom trying to get inside their homes. Indeed, who’s watching? That horror movie dimension is definitely there.

 

 

GH: Do you think that the representation and online presentation of their lives, their extimacies, is cathartic and positive for these women? Basically, can interaction, self-exhibition and Internet connectivity save them from a kind of obvious isolation that was inevitable in the pre-Internet era? Also, did you contact these women to tell them that you are using their images in your film?

 

GB: I contacted all of them, La Fémis wanted me to ask their permission. A third of them replied positively, two or three said no and the rest did not reply. Jessica saw the film, she’s the one with the channel Keep calm and clean. I sent her the film, with some precautions and warnings, and at first she didn’t answer me. After several months, I sent it back to her and she said the film was great, but I don’t know if she watched it or not… I didn’t send it to the others.

Concerning the Internet issue, it’s complex. On one hand, women are self-perpetuating in unrealistic images of the perfect mother and the perfect woman, and that is toxic. These videos are watched by very young girls, 13, 14 years old, who want to imitate them. This is dangerous because it maintains an extremely oppressive culture. But on the other hand, on a daily basis, it allows them to socialize on an unprecedented scale. Besides, it’s the first time that a woman can carry a speech without any filter, without intermediaries, and that it is broadcast to millions of people. Potentially it’s a great power. There are beginnings of reformulations of feminist principles or self-affirmation, of speaking out, which are positive. There is a real power in social networks, the capacity to become aware of the suffering of someone we don’t know in an unprecedented way. These bottles in the sea are available to everyone. These women’s words did not exist 50 years ago. And they support each other, they’re friends, they back up each other.

Interview: Stefan Kruse, director of The Migrating Image

With Stefan Kruse, we inaugurate our series of interviews with artists appropriating user-generated content. Stefan Kruse is a Danish artist and filmmaker. In his documentary film The Migrating Image, he explored the multiple forms in which the so-called refugee crisis was represented in the global media by each of its actors.

 

 

 

 

Gala HernándezFirst, I would like you to explain a bit the title of the film, “The Migrating Image”. This title is polysemic and can be interpreted in two – or more? – ways. The first one, more literal, refers to the theme/topic of the film, the “crisis” of the refugees. The second, on the other hand, would refer to the form of the film and would consist of interpreting that what migrates are not only the bodies, but the (technical) images that embody and represent them, passing from one medium to another, from screen to screen, suffering small variations in each transfer, demonstrating their own openness, ambivalence and polysemy. Can you develop where the title, which seems to synthesize the very idea of the film, comes from, and what does it means for you?

 

 

Stefan Kruse : To me the title of the film refers to the constant flow of media images that surround us and from the beginning of the influx of refugees in 2015, have maintained a certain visual landscape and language surrounding refugees. When I initially started the project, I remember visualizing these vast amounts of images crossing borders and screens, constantly changing their shapes to fit into certain mediums,vernaculars and cultural temperaments. The idea for the title came immediately when I stumbled upon examples of very clear image migration – seeing a clear path of an image moving undisturbed from one country (and screen) to another. No question of origin or intention being asked. These images were displaying refugees unable to cross borders and the symbolic contrast was too strong for me to let go of and I knew this would be the title of the film I would eventually make.

 

Gala Hernández :The film states at the beginning that the footage remains ‘unedited’. Why was it important to you to make this point, and what did your work consist of, if it was not editing?

 

Stefan Kruse : This additional piece of text was added to the film after a few test screenings. I was surprised that a recurring question among the viewers was to why I had accompanied these images with classical music. Especially the scene of the Italian coast guard saving people from an overcrowded rubber boat, shot with a gopro camera attached to the helmet of the coast guard employee, would spark a lot of frustration and anger towards me. If I would in fact have put this music, it would have undermined the whole premise of the film and that is also why I initially did not feel the need to add this comment. For the most part I wanted the viewer to be left with his or her own judgment towards the images in the film, but I felt like this specific discussion and the belief that I had put this music, became too dominant. In the end I still get this question quite a lot despite the explicit explanation in the beginning of the film. I believe it’s due to the sheer disbelief, that I also felt when I first encountered this footage, that the media department of the italian coastguard would decide to combine these elements in order to reinforce a heroic narrative.

 

 

 

Gala Hernández :The smugglers’ Facebook profiles that appear at the beginning of the film, are they available publicly on Facebook without any kind of dissimulation or censorship? How did you find them, and did you contact them?

 

Stefan Kruse : Facebook would (and still does) shut down these pages immediately when they found them. In the beginning of my research I attempted to access these pages with no luck. Most of the images from this chapter is from articles written about the subject, which means that I chose to show images that had already been mediated. I do not let viewers in on this (only in the credits i guess), but it also brings me to a point, that to me the film is not (as often described) an educational documentary. I think the french film blog Ecran Noir recently described exactly how I often feel about the film, when they used the term “Under its falsely educational airs [..]”, when describing the concept of the film. Yes there is a lot of information to gain in the film but most importantly the film attempts to break the cycle of migrating images and look at them out of their original context. It’s a film that assumes and questions but withholds from giving straight answers.

 

 

Gala HernándezThe voice over says at some point “the migrants have enabled the image production in the European Union”. It’s very interesting that you mention that just at the moment when you show the satellite images of the migrants being represented as points, lines, and so on. That is to say, in those images the immigrant does not have a mimetic representation, but are reduced to geometric figures in maps and graphs. What does this imply? Are this still “images”? Do they still have an image? What is the migrating image then?

 

 

Stefan Kruse : When making the film I became very fascinated with what Harun Farocki describes as operational images; ‘Images without a social goal, not for edification, not for reflection,’. These images are oftentimes not meant for human interference. They are working images, undertaking an operation that another machine or algorithm responds to. I became interested in these ghost-like images that are never being seen by the human eye but played a major role in the image production at that time and now.
The specific moment in the film that you are referring to is compiled by a set of images made by FRONTEX, the protective arm of the borders of Europe. These images have a slight similarity with operational images, despite the fact that they are created with human hands. They are there to fulfill a very specific goal – to showcase the workers of FRONTEX protecting the borders of Europe. These images are almost designed in their neutrality and as spectators of newsreels throughout our lives we are numbed to never reflect upon these images. In this case the workers are looking at the satellite images in war like control rooms and the underlying narrative seems to be that they are protecting the european receiver of these images. The only representation given to the refugees is as you mention moving vector points and pixels. When refugees are represented as moving dots and immediately after represented through military means, it seems to me that they must represent some kind of a threat. I recently revisited the website of FRONTEX and a lot has happened since. I personally come from a background of graphic design and it seems obvious that a commercial team at some point had been asked by FRONTEX, to change the makeup of the brand. Most of the brand identity seems to have been streamlined so that the logo now is only being used in very specific ways. The general production of the videos is professionalized and motion graphics has been added. I’m currently working on a new film project addressing the military–industrial complex and the visual identity of FRONTEX is very similar to the way private military production companies brand themself; Clean, generic and with a majority of stocklike images and catchy sentences. These pages feel very similar to websites of hoax companies – boasting with professionalism in their commercially glazed images, but falling short, when actually describing their address or phone number.

 

 

 

Gala HernándezThe film also speaks, indirectly, of the relationships between visuality, the right to see, and power – the right to see, the complex of visuality as a complex of power. All those devices, radars and satellites that Frontex and Copernicus use to track, map and control the territory are somehow producing non-existent, confidential, “missing” images. The power that this data gives to those who possess it implies that the data is exclusive and private – if these images were shared with the citizens, these companies would lose some of their power by sharing this data. But there is also that image shown in the film, published by Frontex on the 6th of October 2016 – so their power also implies some kind of publicity, in its fair measure, to show that they save lives and help rescue the migrants… And there are also the images made and controlled by the EU, images which “makes it impossible to get any actual information” from them. What difficulties did you encounter in illustrating this specific part of the film, in terms of the lack of documentation and information? Where is all this visual documentation (the technical images of Frontex, by example), if it is available to the public? How much of it is public?

 

 

Stefan Kruse : In The Vision Machine when describing the slow replacement of the human eye (as a dependent source of evidence), with the camera lens and all the subsequent technology that has come along with the surveilled society we live in today, Paul Virilio states; “The human eye no longer gives signs of recognition, it no longer organises the search for truth, it no longer presides over the construction of truth’s image, in this mad rush to identify individuals whom the police do not know and have never seen” When reading the book I became both fascinated and frightened by the slow decay towards the totalitarian surveilled society described by Virillo where in the end, our right to see with our own eyes slowly gets swallowed by The Vision Machine. As with surveillance and the military–industrial complex, the power that these technologies and images withholds are not easily accessible.
All of the images from FRONTEX and the EU were publicly available when I used them in the film. The images are often downloaded by news media in different European countries and function as a kind of glue to visualize the massive stream of news that would overexpose our screens during the first influx of refugees. To me these images seem to function as a kind of glue in the large landscape of images of refugees. Their availability and neutrality makes us blind to their complit role in the grand visualization of refugees.

 

 

Gala HernándezThe same thing happens with the images from the military cameras of the coastguards and marines. Is all of this visual material public? I guess it is, if they put their logos on it – where did you find it? Is there any purpose in filming and documenting this apart from propagandistic goals? I guess the ones which are published depict them as heroes, as saviors, with emotive piano music and mourning tone, in the mode of political propaganda – what are the limits of this representations – the images they would never publish? Apart from filming the rescuing task, do they ever let the migrants speak, or film what happens after the rescuing? And where did you find the video of the migrants filming themselves on the boat, which functions as the countershot of the coast guard’s images?

 

 

Stefan Kruse : Yes all of this material was available on the YouTube of the different coastguards and marine military. Some of the material is still available, some has changed and some has been deleted. This material all reflects a certain moment in time. Like most other image producers in the film the images functioned as evidence of the work and a neutrality towards politics. Almost all of the clips I found from the Italian coastguards display an inherent contrast of softness and sternness. They make it very clear that they are stern and surgical when extracting the terrorists from the crowds and at the same time they are soft and mild when rescuing the children from potentiel drowning death. Again, the refugees unwillingly become the subjects in the visual narrative created around them. Their role changes from being vectors in the operational images, threats in the eyes of the military camera and finally reduced to helpless subjects rescued by the heroic italian coastguard. Ironically the images that were hardest to trace were the ones created by the refugees. They simply have almost no say in the landscape in the landscape of images, which is thought provoking.

 

 

Gala HernándezIt seems like the heroic narratives built by the coast guards are the public and manipulated/biased part of a whole picture, which also includes the Frontex images that are not/less public. What do you think about this? The epic trailer we see in the film, is it really made by Romanian border police?

 

 

Stefan Kruse : The specific clip you are referring to from The Romanian Border Police seems to serve a very specific purpose. A purpose that is hidden in plain sight and also something, I only started to reflect upon after having finished the film. This has actually been a recurring pattern in my reflection and learning about the film. The clip from The Romanian Border Police consists of still images of war and in the middle east followed by the sequence of rescue images created by The Romainan Border Police. Just like The Italian Coastguard this clip also emphasizes that The Romanian Border Police are soft when receiving the refugees and stern and tough when identifying the terrorists. I found this clip on the frontpage of The Romanian Border Police. Its uncanniness is undoubtable as it is constructed as a Hollywood film trailer consisting of low pixelated images divided by sensational textbites floating towards the viewer in golden letters as the music intensifies. “HUNDREDS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN, RUNNING AWAY FROM THE TERROR OF WAR, IN SEARCH OF A BETTER LIFE, RESCUED FROM THE SEA, BY ROMANIAN BORDER POLICE”. I initially thought that this clip had the intention of creating goodwill amongst the Romanian public towards The Romanian Border Police, but as many of the clips in the film created by public institutions or receivers of some kind of funding, this clip seems to speak directly to the money that funds it. The last piece of golden text that floats toward the viewer says “DURING FRONTEX OPERATIONS” and becoming aware of that, I noticed that the word FRONTEX is squeezed in several times in the film. It seems to me that the clip exists to preserve the profitable connection to FRONTEX and publicly show how the money and support from FRONTEX, is being used in a very heroic fashion.

 

 

Gala HernándezThe images of drones that record the multitude of migrants walking in the countryside like a human river are clearly filmed with the purpose of, first, being spectacular, and second, once again, representing the immigrants as a compact and threatening mass that penetrates their own territory almost like an invasion or a virus, whereas if the same event were filmed from the ground, the sensation would be very different. Did you find any image of this filmed from other point of view?

 

 

Stefan Kruse : I did not find other material from the specific incidence with the drone. I remember when trying to understand the impact of these images, I would try to trace who actually created the images and where these images had travelled. Lowress screenshots of these videos would appear mostly on right wing newspapers and blogs. Alway paired with a certain kind of terminology. ‘Invasion’, ‘swarm’ and ‘wave’ were several of the most common words that were being used. This had me wondering about which images in our collective visual consciousness would be triggered in our minds when being exposed to these non horizontal landscape images with crowds walking in a straight line. My own theory is that when a large crowd walking in a straight line, is depicted from above, it is very easily connected to images of an invading army. Having been a fan of strategic war based computer games in the late 90’s and 2000’s, a quick google image search also confirmed the resemblance towards this aesthetic.

 

 

Gala Hernández : There is one aspect of the film that can be problematic in the sense that you seem to be treating immigrants as a shapeless, homogeneous mass of people rather than individualizing them, singling them out. You constantly repeat “the migrants”, as if they were all the same, when in fact there are very different realities, nationalities, stories and contexts among them. What do you think about this, that could be maybe criticized as an occidental and simplistic look?

 

 

Stefan Kruse : The decision to only speak about ‘the refugees’ or ‘the images of refugees’ as a constant mass was very deliberate. Your question buys into the always relevant discussion or representation or in my case re-representation. With this film I had the intention of showing a different and less talked about issue (image production and distribution infrastructures), and less about the individual stories of the refugees. I believe both approaches are equally valuable when exposing the horrors and complexities of this topic. I wanted to show a glimpse of the huge amount of images being produced and distributed, to give a small idea of the massive scale of interests that goes into the global visualization of refugees. In order to do that, I wanted to use the same pace and aboveness that is on our screens everyday. You could maybe argue that I am extending the coldness or aboveness of the images that I use in my own film. On the contrary, I believe that by taking these images out of their original context, I am doing something different.

 

 

Gala Hernández : The film shows how each actor in these events produces their own images and edits them to make them say what they want with a clear purpose. But very few are interested in what the migrants have to say, or in giving them the camera to give them control of their performance/representation. It is as if in all the images, except the video from inside the boat, the migrants end up being reified, reduced to a word – migrants –, or an image from the exterior, but lacking the human condition. Your film also contributes to this rhetoric, as no migrant speaks in your film. What’s your position on this matter? What was the main purpose or motivation in remixing all these images?

 

 

 

Stefan Kruse : When I started researching for this film, images of refugees were everywhere from my Facebook feed to the news channels that I follow. Alongside was an ongoing dumbed down political debate about the influx of refugees. Are you for or against the refugees? Those were and still are the options put in front of us. I wanted to make a small contribution towards nuancing this debate and also include and expose our own eurocentric point of view as image producers and image receivers. What does these images tell about each of the institutions and individuals that have produced them? These image producers and their personal or economic intentions are never included in the story of refugees that is being told to us. I think sometimes it’s important to not be scared to use less ethically correct approach, especially when trying to expose the less visible economic infrastructures, that construct the visual narratives around us.

Article by Allan Deneuville «Twitter appropriation: a literary practice in question»

This article deals with two literary artworks which appropriate tweets: I wish I could be exactly what you are looking for by Jean-Baptiste Michel and Working on my Novel by Cory Arcangel. This article questions the issues of appropriationist practices in art and literature in the digital age. The artworks are also seen as entry points to question the relation of power present in the structuration of the expression of users of social network and that the decontextualization of tweets gives us the opportunity to study. They also allow us to reflect on what we call the “attentional fringe oligopoly” of social networks, a structure that wishes to reflect the distribution of the attentional capital of Internet users.

Article available in Communication & langages 2020/1 (N° 203), p. 135 – 149

Video of the conference “After social networks” (4/4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 4/4

Conference by Frank Leibovici

 

IV. Identity(ies). Chair: Gala Hernández.

 

Françoise Chambefort, ‘My little identity, an example of generative transformation of UGC: illegal but ethical ?’

 

Seumboy Vrainom: €, ‘Roaming for a rare earth’ (performed conference)

 

 

 

 

Post-cinéma: Practices of research and creation (CFP)

Revue Images Secondes (www.imagessecondes.fr) 03 | 2021

 

Post-cinema: Practices of research and creation

 

Download Call for papers (pdf)

 

Editors-in-chief: Chloé Galibert-Laîné, PhD candidate, École normale supérieure de Paris & Gala Hernández López, PhD candidate, Université Paris 8.

 

Edited by : Association Images secondes

 

The third issue of the French journal Images secondes questions the heuristic and critical potential of the notion of “post-cinema” in the context of a general reflection on the “reconfigurations” (de Rosa and Hediger, 2016) of the cinematic medium in the age of networked digital media. We agree with Shane Denson and Julia Leyda that if post-cinematic media “concern the emergence of a new ‘structure of feeling’ or ‘episteme’, new forms of affect or sensibility”, then “traditional scholarly forms and methods for investigating these issues are unlikely to provide adequate answers” (Denson & Leyda, 2016: 6).

For this reason, this issue of Images secondes will give priority to contributions that depart from the traditional forms of academic publishing to develop formats which explore the unique potentialities of online dissemination. As the goal of this issue is to investigate the complex and polyhedral relationships between cinema and online new media, we see this as an ideal opportunity to explore the epistemological potential of practice- based research, artistic research, research-creation and “performative” research (Haseman, 2006). We therefore invite contributors to propose written articles, but also video formats, hypertexts, visual, sound, interactive, hypermedia works…

For several years now, theories about post-cinema and the post-cinematic condition have gained visibility in the international academic community. Although its meaning varies between authors, the term “post-cinema” generally refers to forms of the moving image born with the digital turn that transcend certain properties of the cinematographic medium – including the indexicality specific to analog film, the convention of projecting works in a dark screening room and a relatively immediate link to an existing canon of filmic production and the century of critical literature corresponding to the latter. According to Denson and Leyda, post-cinematic media differ from cinema in that they are “essentially digital, interactive, networked, ludic, miniaturized, mobile, social, processual, algorithmic, aggregative, environmental, or convergent, among other things” (Denson & Leyda, 2016: 1). Despite these structural differences, to use the term “post- cinema” is to trace a filiation between cinema and new media, the meaning of which is worth exploring both aesthetically and theoretically.

This emphasis on what new media inherits from cinema seems to recall Serge Daney’s conviction that it is relevant to “use cinema to question other images – and vice versa” (Daney, 2015: 23). In this way, our own critical project welcomes an ensemble of reflections that can be led only collectively and across disciplines: we need to analyze the ways in which cinema represents and engages with contemporary images and visual practices; to observe how the traditional cinematic experience is “remediated” (Bolter and Grusin, 1998) and “relocated” (Casetti, 2017) in the age of networked media; to identify and reactivate, among the conceptual tools developed to think the cinema of the past century, those that can help us grasp the current evolutionary tendencies of the moving image.

Because it reveals the need to explore theoretically and creatively these different modalities of encounter between cinema and new media, the notion of post-cinema is worth mobilizing—and its different meanings should be carefully described. It has been suggested that the study of post- cinematic “reconfigurations” could compensate, albeit partially, for an inevitable backlog of theory with regards to contemporary art practices, because “in order to come to grips with social and technological change, we need a ‘constant revolutionising’ of our methods of critical reflection as well. In this regard, cultural theory lags far behind actual artistic production” (Shaviro, 2010: 133). According to this logic, post-cinematic works are, because of their relations to new media technologies and their “accelerationist aesthetics”, directly engaged in this very type of proleptic exploration. Their critical analysis thus represents an attempt to somehow remedy the backlog to which Shaviro refers.

Other authors argue that post-cinema is a possibility inherent to cinema itself: “within the post-perceptual ecology of twenty-first-century media, […] the difference ‘cinema/post-cinema’ itself might become not only imperceptible, but also, ultimately, ineffectual” (Denson, 2017: 23). According to Denson, rather than a change of medium, what new media have introduced is a new “post-perceptual mediation”. He argues that networked images do not modify our cultural productions as much as they alter our senses and our subjective modes of perception. This analysis aligns closely with other recent inquiries exploring the “politics of distraction” (to borrow the name of a research project led since 2016 by Paul Sztulman and Dork Zabunyan) and the “ecology of attention” (Yves Citton, 2014), that seek to reflect on the effects of new media on our bodies, our senses and our affective predilections. These studies are strongly anchored in our contemporary times, but also inherit much from the canonical writings of Walter Benjamin and Sigfried Kracauer, who developed a critical, phenomenological and political approach to film theory in the early twentieth century.

Nonetheless, the term post-cinema also raises some difficulties. In addition to the potentially problematic scope of its field of application, its etymology itself can be interrogated: should the prefix be understood as suggesting that post-cinema comes “after”, and thus replaces cinema? The good health of the contemporary film industry decisively contradicts those who have expressed fears that new forms of media would spell the end of cinema as an art form and as a popular entertainment. Are we then to recognize in this prefix an enthralment with theories of postmodernism, understood as a singular period of our collective relation to the world, to history and to images, as much as as an aesthetic theory in its own right? What can we say about our times and our relations to moving images when we consider new media as “post-cinematic”? In the era of the “convergence” of various audiovisual media (Jenkins, 2006) and after the advent of the computer code as a form of “monomedia” (Manovich, 2016), about which some argue that, by phagocytizing the other media, it “annihilates the idea of the medium” itself (Doane, 2007: 130), is it still relevant to defend the distinction between cinema and post-cinema at all?

We propose four main axes of reflection, which aim to map in a symmetrical (although necessarily fragmented) way the exchanges and dialogues between cinema and new media :

 

AXIS 1: Leaving the cinema

 

The first axis of reflection aims to identify, among the aesthetic forms and concepts inherited from the history of cinema, the most useful tools for observing, describing and thinking about the discourses, spectator experiences and interactive practices related to new media. This work was initiated by Lev Manovich, who pointed out among other things that images generated by computers (CGI), if they renounce the realism in which André Bazin saw the ontology of cinema, also inherit from the earliest techniques of animation (the magic lantern, the Thaumatrope, Zoetrope, Praxinoscope, etc.) that are often considered to be at the origins of the cinematic medium (Manovich, 2016: 23). Other works have pushed forward and sideways this line of thinking, as Dork Zabunyan did in his critical analysis of the videos produced during the Arab uprisings of 2011 (The Insistance of Strugle, 2019). Contributions exploring these questions may focus on such topics as: – the different implications of the term “post-cinema” in reference to networked media and the social practices they enable;

– the different implications of the term “post-cinema” in reference to networked media and the social practices they enable;

– the reactivation of concepts inherited from the theoretical and critical literature on cinema in the context of new media analysis, perhaps including a case study of a particular post-cinematic medium;

– the study of the aesthetic (dis)continuities between cinematic practices before and after new media (e.g., considering artists working with pixelization and glitch as an actualization of the work made by “materialist” experimental filmmakers …).

 

AXIS 2: Post-cinema on screen

 

The second axis seeks to observe the different ways in which contemporary cinema reflects and responds to the forms of visual practice that appeared with the growth of new networked technologies. Cinema can train us to apprehend the complexity and the unthinkable amplitude of cyberspace, which has now become a “hyper-object” (Morton, 2018) that exceeds our scale, and thereby help us to to situate ourselves in the globalized and hyper-connected media ecosystem.

Contributions in this axis could explore such themes as:

– representations and figurations of new media and the forms of sociability that they enable in contemporary cinematic fictions (for example, in Michael Haneke’s Happy End, Olivier Assayas’ Personal Shopper…);
– the influence of the language of new media on the work and style of contemporary filmmakers (“amateur aesthetics “, vertical framing, fictions told from the graphical interface of a desktop, horror movies made out of fake digital found footage…);

– the critical study of documentary and netnographic films made with footage from the Internet (The Uprising, Peter Snowdon, 2013; Roman national, Grégoire Beil, 2018); and of audiovisual works exploring digital imagery that are designed for both the cinema and as museum installations (Grosse fatigue, Camille Henrot, 2013 ; All that is solid, Louis Henderson, 2014).

 

AXIS 3: Cinema among new networked media

 

The third line of thought seeks to update decades-long debates over aesthetic and theoretical issues related to the practice of expanded cinema (notably, in France, writings by Jacques Aumont and Raymond Bellour, and internationally, by Gene Youngblood), with a special focus on the role played by new networked media in the transmedial expansion of contemporary cinema. The following themes might be explored with this in mind:

– the phenomenon of “relocation” (Casetti, 2015) and the reception of cinematic works outside of projection rooms, particularly on networked devices: watching films on small screens, on public transportation; the phenomenon of the second screen…;

– the new networked cinephile practices (online discussion forums, cinephile pages and groups on digital social networks, video essays and the transmission of cinephilic knowledge on YouTube and other platforms, fan fictions, remixes and mashups…);

– the development of new cinematic forms in relation to the emergence of new distribution platforms: web- series, transmedial storytelling, web documentary… and their related structures of production (on this subject, see in particular the section “Construction sites” in the 30th issue of the journal Revue Documentaires, “Au milieu des new media”, edited by Alice Lenay and Jacopo Rasmi).

 

AXIS 4: Returning to the cinema

 

Finally, the fourth axis serves to stress how the notion of post-cinema is not a new one. This enables (and necessitates) our looking back at the history of cinema, broadening our definition thereof in the process. Additionally, new image technologies offer new digital tools for the study of cinematic history, such as those used in the field of digital humanities. Contributions in this axis might address the following topics:

– redefinitions of the specificity of the cinematographic medium as invited by its extension to include new formats and new practices of the moving image;

– the relative “newness” of new media, with regard to older forms and practices of the moving image (see for instance André Gaudreault’s work on early cinema, or existing literature on the history of video art);

– the contribution of new digital technologies to the study of cinematic history (film annotation softwares, videographic research, data visualization, such as Lev Manovich’s work Visualizing Vertov).

 

Terms, instructions and schedule

 

Following the model of other academic journals accepting scientific contributions in forms aside from the traditional written paper (Journal for Artistic Research, Screenworks, [in]Transition…), we are keen to establish an evaluation grid that will enable the scientific committee to judge the quality and seriousness of proposals from contributors, whatever their forms. Contributions experimenting with non-traditional forms of publication will be evaluated with the same rigour as any scientific paper. The consistency and integration of the form and theme of each proposal will be prioritized when it comes to the assessment of contributions.

For contributions employing a non-traditional publication format, the submission should be accompanied by a text of approximately 1500 words, specifying the research question, the methodology used, the sources and references that have fed into the creative work, as well as a justification of the chosen form in relation to the scientific objectives pursued.

For proposals adopting the form of a written academic paper, final texts should come to between 20 000 and 35 000 characters.

Proposals for contributions should be submitted in PDF format before April 20th 2020, to the following address: articles@imagessecondes.fr. Proposals, sent as an attached file, should be composed of:

– a title;

– an abstract not exceeding 500 words (plus bibliography) exposing the format of the proposal (written article, video, sound work…) and justifying it with regard to the issue in question.

The identity of the author should not be mentioned in this document, but in a separate one which will include the name of the author, their home institution (if applicable), a short biography (150 words maximum) as well as a presentation of the author’s artistic work (if applicable).

Proposals as well as final contributions may be submitted in French or English. English contributions will be translated into French before publication.

 

Calendar

Final contributions must be submitted by September 30th 2020. The issue will be published at the beginning of 2021 on the journal’s website at www.imagessecondes.fr.

  • Receipt of proposals: April 20th
  • Notification of acceptance: May 30th
  • Receipt of complete articles or creations: September 30th
  • Publication: early 2021

 

References

 

Jacques Aumont, Que reste-t-il du cinéma ?, Paris, Vrin, 2013.

André Bazin, « Ontologie de l’image photographique », dans Qu’est-ce que le cinéma ?, t. 1, Paris, Editions du Cerf, 1958, p. 11-19.

Raymond Bellour, La Querelle des dispositifs, Paris, P.O.L., 2012.

Jay David Bolter & Richard Grusin, Remediation. Understanding New Media, Cambridge, MIT Press, 1998.

Francesco Casetti, The Lumière Galaxy. Seven Key Words for the Cinema to Come, New York, Columbia University Press, 2015.

Yves Citton, Pour une écologie de l’attention, Paris, Seuil, 2014.

Serge Daney, La Maison cinéma et le monde, t. 4, Paris, P.O.L., 2015.

Gilles Deleuze, « Lettre à Serge Daney : Optimisme, pessimisme et voyage », in Pourparlers, Les éditions de Minuit., Paris, 1990, p. 97-112.

Shane Denson, « Speculation, Transition, and the Passing of Post-cinema », in Miriam de Rosa & Vinzenz Hediger (dir.), « Post when? Post what? Thinking the Moving Image Beyond the Post-Medium Condition », revue Cinema & Cie, numéro spécial, XIV, n° 26/27, 2017, p. 21-32.

Shane Denson & Julia Leyda (dir.), Post-Cinema: Theorizing 21st-Century Film, Falmer, Reframe Books, 2016.

Mary-Ann Doane, «The Indexical and the Concept of Medium- Specificity», Differences : A Journal of Feminist Cultural Studies, 18.1, 2007, p. 128-152.

Miriam de Rosa & Vinzenz Hediger (dir.), « Post when? Post what? Thinking the Moving Image Beyond the Post-Medium Condition », revue Cinema & Cie, numéro spécial, XIV, n° 26/27, 2017, p. 21-32.

André Gaudreault & Philippe Marion, La fin du cinéma ? Un média en crise à l’ère du numérique, Paris, Armand Colin, 2013.

Brad Haseman, « A Manifesto for Performative Research », in Media International Australia incorporating Culture and Policy, vol. 118, n° 1, 2006, p. 98-106.

Henry Jenkins, Convergence culture: Where old and new media collide, New York, NYU Press, 2006.

Alice Lenay & Jacopo Rasmi (dir.), « Au milieu des nouveaux media », Revue Documentaires, n° 30, 2019.

Lev Manovich, The Language of New Media, Cambridge, MIT Press, 2001.

Lev Manovich, « Une esthétique post-media », Appareil, n° 18, 2017. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/appareil/2394.

Steven Shaviro, Post-cinematic Affect, Winchester, O Books, 2010.

Dork Zabunyan, The Insistence of Struggle – Images, uprisings, counter- revolutions, Barcelona, IF Publications, 2019 [original : 2017].

 

Scientific committee

 

  • Christa Blümlinger (Université Paris 8 — Vincennes Saint-Denis)
  • Camille Bui (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne)
  • Amélie Bussy (Université Bordeaux Montaigne)
  • Miriam de Rosa (Coventry University)
  • Shane Denson (Stanford University)
  • Térésa Faucon (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3)
  • Catherine Grant (Birkbeck, University of London)
  • Damien Marguet (Université Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis)
  • Caroline San Martin (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne) Sergi Sánchez (Université Pompeu Fabra)
  • Antonio Somaini (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3)
  • Cécile Sorin (Université Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis)
  • Guillaume Soulez (Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3)
  • Barbara Turquier (La Fémis)
  • Gwenola Wagon (Université Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis)
  • Dork Zabunyan (Université Paris 8 Vincennes – Saint-Denis)

 

Website: www.imagessecondes.fr

Video of the conference “After social networks” (3/4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 3/4

III. Curation. Chair: Allan Deneuville

 

Natacha Seweryn, ‘Making films with videos that one has not shot: challenges of the distribution of atypical audiovisual works in France since 2012’

 

David Desrimais, ‘Practice and poetics of publishing in the digital age’

 

 

Video of the conference “After social networks” (2/4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 2/4

II. Publications – Chair: Allan Deneuville

 

Bérénice Serra, ‘PUBLIC: a release of abandoned anonymous portraits’

 

 

Rémi Forte, ‘Poetic program, typographic system’

 

Video of the conference “After social networks” (1/4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 1/4

Opening remarks by Allan Deneuville and Gala Hernández

 

I. Perspectives. Chair: Chloé Galibert-Laîné

 

Ervina Kotolloshi, ‘The modularity of digital ready-mades in the theatre: between dilution of sources and erosion of content’

 

Alice Lenay, ‘Thinking about “domestic videos”. On some contemporary documentary works (“In the midst of new media”, Number 30 of the ‘Revue Documentaires’)’

 

Edmond Ernest AKA Alban, ‘Collaboration or Confrontation? CGU management in the Otaku media mix (1990-2010)’