Although I'm obviously comfortable in the academic world (many of the authors I edit are academics), it's been a while since I've attended an academic event for my own reasons, and this is the first time ever I've attended primarily because I was an artist/practitioner, rather than a researcher or editor or critic. It was really interesting and I got a lot out of the conference personally and creatively. It felt quite freeing to be filtering everything through my own personal perspective ('is this useful or interesting to me as a vidder?') and that being reason enough to be there.
Actually, it seems quite fitting that that was my experience of this conference because one of the strong threads or themes that came through many of the papers was this question of 'what value does pleasure have?' or 'why is pleasure often devalued as a motivation?' In terms of the artists that presented their work (including machinima, mashup, zines, body percussion and mc-ing, collage, musical remix), there was a strong common thread of being true to one's own interests and ideas.
I came away with a lot to think about. I might let some of that settle before I write it all up, but in terms of the way vids were presented, I thought nushanakt (in putting together the vidshow) and cupidsbow (in presenting on vids) did a great job in representing the diversity of vidding out there (no easy task!).
The vidshow took place on Thursday night in the uni bar on a lovely big projector screen and a great sound system. I shamelessly plonked myself right in front of the screen so I could enjoy the full effect. At first, I was all 'wheee! this is a role-call of many of my favourite vidders!' and then I shifted into 'Woah! I have MET most of these people now!' Which was weird. But good weird! There were vids by laurashapiro, mranderson71, charmax, jarrow, obsessive24, buffyann, sdwolfpup, absolutedestiny, wistful_fever and bananainpyjamas (special thrill for me to see 'Intergalactic Friends' on a big screen!), among others.
I think the show generated a lot of interest because I got lots of questions about vids the next day. I felt a bit weird about being thrust into the role of 'expert' simply because I was one of two vidders there, but I did my best to answer questions because people were so genuinely interested and curious, and thank GOD for bradcpu's vidder profile series, because I quoted from it on more than one occasion when put on the spot. *wipes brow*
cupidsbow (who made my festivid last year! so cool to meet her!) presented some of her vids the following day during her panel. I thought she did a GREAT job of breaking down for the audience just how many things a vid might be referencing and a vid audience might be expected to 'read' for (e.g. fannish injokes, playing with known tropes and cliches, as well as intimate knowledge of the source). She also gave them a taste of what it was like to have a vid pitched directly to you by vidding her own paper, very innovatively. Hopefully she'll write up a bit about that at some stage. It was great to hang out with another vidder again--and I'm very excited about one of her upcoming ideas!
The audience was small but appreciative. It was not a big conference, but I think that actually made it work really well because people were very engaged and chatty and it was extremely relaxed (at one stage someone whispered to someone else 'academic conference's aren't usually this fun!' *g*).
In general it seemed like people liked the vids or at least saw something they liked or were curious about. Among the more noteworthy/enjoyable reactions were:
- 'my kid does that' (a zine artist/musician had helped his 12 year old make a Sonic the Hedgehog vid and upload it to youtube--she has more hits than any of my vids! &hearts in the process he discovered the term 'amv'--I love these stories of how people stumble on these things!)
- 'I want to do that!' (a documentary filmmaker making a film about an Australian punk rock band now wants to include a mini-vid within the documentary, to one of their songs, because he sees the story-telling potential)
- 'can we see more?' / 'can you play that one again?' (during some down time in the lecture theatre, we pulled up YouTube and played a few more)
While it can be hard to know how to explain vids to people that haven't encountered them before, this was kind of the perfect environment because having a very specific, maybe even obscure, form of creative output and/or a very niche research interest was the norm. And I genuinely enjoyed finding out more about other people's projects and creations, things I might never otherwise have stumbled on. It really makes me think I should try and engage a bit more with local artists, of other sorts, here in Melbourne. Anyway, they may run another event next year in Melbourne! Here's hoping!
Also! ::GETS OUT MEGAPHONE:: More details are now available about Vidukon April 2011! Registration will open this coming week! So if you know anyone in the UK or Europe (or anywhere!) who may be interested, give them a nudge! :)
This entry was originally posted at http://bop-radar.dreamwidth.org/229851.html. comments Comment here or there, as you will.