Art of Digital London: Arts Video Networks

On Friday I was at The Photographer’s Gallery for another Art of Digital London meet-up, this time discussing opportunities of video networks and the various approaches arts organisations might take. Here are a few notes…

Paul Gerhardt

Paul runs a consultancy called Archives for Creativity and he talked about the potential to be unlocked in video archives such as the BBC’s. He argued that there’s a huge amount of material out there, but we lack the tools for interrogating it in the same way that we can interrogate text.

Paul did a talk about ‘Creative Use of Archives‘ at one of the Arts Council’s  Building Digital Capacity events. The video on that link shows a few examples of artists using reinterpreting archive footage in quite interesting ways.

Pauline van Mourik Broekman

Pauline is Director of Mute Publishing but she was really talking in her capacity as Senior Editor of the Common Practice Video Network. Essentially a group of small visual arts organisations have been collaborating for a while now and they’re extending the project into video work – shared knowledge, resources and training.

The thing that stuck with me from Pauline’s talk was something she said about many videos about art borrow heavily from broadcast documentary styles. She said it’d be interesting to see what scope there might be to use more experimental filmaking styles in the presentation of art.

Kingsley Jayasekera

As Director of Communications & Digital Strategy at Sadler’s Wells, Kingsley is a big fan of using video to communicate the shows that he has to sell (especially as text often does such a poor job of it). More than that, having an effective piece of video allows potential customers to sell the show to their friends who might also want to come along.

Kingsley identified a few different used for video and mentioned that it’s not unusual to have people meeting to talk about commissioning a piece of video with different uses in mind:

  • Audience development
  • Marketing
  • Interpretation
  • Artistic

Leah Belsky

Kaltura is an open source video platform and that’s where Leah works. She explained a little about what they do (the website covers it pretty well so head to that) with a few good examples of how different people are using their functionality. Interesting to see that they have a base in London now.

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