Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Experiencing The Vlog

As you all know and are probably sick of by now, I've been pushing vlogging. I've been interested in it for several reasons. One of them came into focus last night while I chatted with K.

Kevin Hampson is currently showing in Alley Jaunt, a site specific show in Toronto featuring twenty-two community artists. We talked about how this group differs from the art crowd that we are familiar with and how the aesthetic of community arts groups do not necessarily follow the art canon we subscribe to. In such a milieu, it becomes difficult to gauge what is "good" or "interesting" or "important".

Unlike blogging, the emphasis in vlogging is on the visual and people who are, otherwise, not involved in film making or the arts try their hand at creating visual works.

Is vlogging art? Does it depend on who makes it? on the subject matter? the genre? How do we know if a vlog is "good" or not?

So, as I've been experimenting with and experiencing the life of vlogging, I've been thinking about the various genres within the sphere. I've even tried my hand at a few.
Talking head - often to express a point of view. usually a reply to someone or something previously posted in the vlogosphere. used as a form of communication between members of the group.

Michael Verdi - The Yin of Vlogging

Comedy/entertainment - can be anything as long as it is funny. "in" jokes concerning other vloggers are prominent.

Michael Verdi - The Yang of Vlogging

Experimental/art video - video that exists as a discreet object, made for conceptual/aesthetic reasons. use of special effects is prominent. serious subject matter. sometimes carries a political and/or personal message. more often, the effect is entirely visual.


Music video - the song predominates. many of these use copyrighted material. interesting to see what will happen with that...

Bicycle Sidewalk - Brown Brothers

Tour video - touring the local area and/or speaking to local inhabitants. usually slice of life based and can include tours of the videographers home and family as well as the neighbourhood, town, vacation spots, etc.

Geek-boy - Downtown Manhattan

Reportage - report on a specific event/location/person. often using visible tech devices (mic, lighting, set, etc) and "news" conventions (the interview, the talking head)


Documentary - maintains the conventions of documentary filmmaking, albeit, on a smaller scale

CSF Vlog - The Truth About Turbans

Instructional - meant to teach a concept or activity

Heads Off - Learn to Juggle

Documentation - recording an event that happened in realtime for those who couldn't make it is a big part of vlogging and helps solidify the community

Ryanne's Video Blog - A Little Bit of BlogHer

Gimmick serial - a set of videos which adhere to a predetermined criteria, housed in a blog that contextualizes the series.

White Guy Eats Foreign Food - Bubble Tea

Personal/confessional - the video maker reveals aspects of their physical and mental world.

Backinblakk - My Breakfast in 7 Minutes

Collaborative - these are very popular community projects in which all who wish can participate. The primary benefit of these videos is community spirit. Mashes are popular, as are virus type projects whereby a theme is put out by one of the members and all who wish can create something and tag it with the theme word(s).

Swordfight - eband

How do we critique these works? Do we follow the canon of Art, or of Film? Would the Home Movie be more appropriate? TV? Can we take the video out of the context of the vlogosphere and have it retain it's meaning or is "signal" in one context only "noise" in another?


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