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The inner life of video spheres. Theory for the YouTube Generation

The inner life of video spheres. Theory for the YouTube Generation

The inner life of video spheres. Theory for the YouTube Generation

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Book Details:

Publisher:Network Notebooks
Pages:57 pages
Size:947 KB


I am wearing video. Even the fibers of my t-shirt are video, shiny and gloomy. The shirt functions as my mood sensor, my changing look. I am astonished by its adaptability, its immersiveness, the speed and warmth of its lights and colors. My shirt is a wearable movie – I am its star! Now it becomes my skin, then my face, faithfully projecting my heart and mind. And when we are together, it is us.

Wearing video sounds like a nice fantasy, a detail that could appear in a cyberpunk novel or a news clip from the near future, or perhaps an object mentioned in the Wired Magazine column “Found: Artifacts from the Future.” And though no one right now wears shirts exactly such as this, it no longer seems impossible or unrealistic. In fact it is easy for us to imagine such a scenario. It could even come into existence soon – technically, it is just a question of the materials and capabilities needed to transport and screen a video signal. If a t-shirt can be used as a wrapper for moving images, then we must toss aside the way we traditionally think about video. We should forget about the screen, the rectangular frame, the packaging and many other conventions of how video is typically conceived.

Essential to these near-future possibilities is that online video can be mapped onto objects connected by the Internet. Streamed, linked video from a controlled source could become skin-like surfaces; we then attach this online video to anything in a network environment. We just need to leave aside the conventions we are accustomed to. And given that online video is developing technologically at the same speed as the web, and since users and their practices are co-evolving, social conditions and conventions are also changing in a complex, technologically driven system that has already sped up our ability to adapt to new gadgets and processes. Online video today is very different from video we encountered just a few months ago.

The following text is an essay about online video. Its aim is to rethink online video as a complex ecosystem and artificial sphere of existence. Online video has reached a state that no longer corresponds to the conventional idea of simple, temporal media objects. Its status has shifted from being merely close to us to being together with us. To state this in a more radical way, we are ‘with’ online video in the world. This ‘with’ will be explored in this essay.



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