I Look to Third-Tube

March 5, 2008

To wrap up this thread of ideas coming from my bad manifesto videos, I’d like to try to better attend to “Third-Tube,” that manner of video, currently available on the web, that is neither the vlog nor the music video. This kind of video formally marks the hand of its DIY producer (with “bad” production) while also signaling the seriousness of her mind, vision, goals or politics (with “big” ideas). It uses the sketch-like form of the You-Tube video (made and seen quickly, without aims at perfection or mastery, but with some attention to style and with clear goals of communication) so as to make videomaking and viewing a part of daily experience.

Now, it may seem that I’m suggesting that the “personal” nature of the vlog disqualifies it from Third-Tube (which is, of course, an homage to Third Cinema), but that would go directly against my feminist politics. So let me add this simple feminist formula: the personal is the political. When vlogs move to the next step, which is making systematic (theoretical) and communal (political) claims grounded in personal experience, then they move into what I am calling Third-Tube: people-made, simple-in-form, complex in thought, media about the material of daily life that is not beholden to corporate culture and products. This stuff is all over YouTube, and perhaps my next move is to be more thoughtful about what sits in Third-Tube.

I’ve recently come across the research of AnthroVlog on YouTube. Her site “examines how people use digital technologies such as video, blogs, and video sharing sites such as YouTube. We hope to take what we learn to consider new design of online environments and educational programs.For more information see: http://groups.sims.berkeley.edu/digitalyouth.”

Then there’s the Anthropology class at Kansas State that is thinking about YouTube through questions of culture, communication and community.

And AMorrow has been making comprehensive and useful lists of video that functions as art, entertainment, history, social commentary, etc.

Thanks to ZigZigger (Michael Newman) who I met in the hallway at SCMS and who kindly explained the linking function to me.

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Slogan Five

September 10, 2007

“The cinema of revolution is at the same time one of destruction and construction: destruction of the image that neo-colonialization has created of itself and us, and construction of a throbbing, living reality which recaptures truth in its expression.”Octavio Getino and Fernando Solanas

If presented with paltry, ludicrous, distracting uses of a medium as its norm, we must model its life-affirming, idea-stimulating, community-enabling applications. YouTube documentaries primarily replay, refer to, de-construct and re-construct mainstream media or other distractions or parentheses from daily life: kittens, comedians, clips-already-aired. YouTube registers a state of media post-colonialization where many of technology’s new makers won’t think past the society’s quieting confections. “Just as they are not masters of the land upon which they walk, the neo-colonized people are not masters of the ideas that envelop them,” Getino and Solanas theorize about Third Cinema in terms of haunting similarity to those which might describe the images of our place and time.