Video Vortex #9

Re:assemblies of Video

Video Vortex is an in­ter­na­tio­nal con­fe­rence addres­sing on­line vi­deo. The ninth edition took place from 28 February to 2 March 2013 at Leuphana University of Lüneburg with over 50 invited international participants. The event was organized by the Moving Image Lab and the Post-Media Lab.

Net­wor­ked vi­deo has en­t­e­red a new pha­se and be­co­me part of ma­jor con­fi­gu­ra­ti­ons. The days of pioneers and ama­teurs seem to be over, as do the old worlds of pro­fes­sio­nal broad­cas­ting net­works: Di­gi­tal tech­no­lo­gies have pro­fes­sio­na­li­zed pro­duc­tion, and do-it-yours­elf skills have es­ta­blis­hed new sty­les and for­mats. Tu­bes, chan­nels and do­mains for mo­bi­le vi­deo are part of our ever­y­day di­gi­tal life. The­se tec­to­nic shifts – from ama­teur and pro­fes­sio­nal to an as­sem­bla­ge of me­dia crea­tors, from spec­ta­tors to par­ti­ci­pants, and from a sin­gle view­point to par­al­lax per­spec­tives – have gi­ven rise to ef­fects of a geo­gra­phi­cal and ge­ne­ra­tio­nal scope yet to be de­ter­mi­ned. The ninth edi­ti­on of Vi­deo Vor­tex, organzied by the Moving Image Lab and the Post-Media Lab, pro­po­ses that now is a time to re-en­ga­ge with a struc­tu­ral and con­textu­al ana­ly­sis of on­line vi­deo cul­tu­re.

Two keyno­tes ex­ten­ded the dis­cur­si­ve field of Vi­deo Vor­tex #9: Beth Cole­man re-en­ga­ged lo­cal af­fairs with vi­si­ons of net­wor­ked ac­tivism, and Nis­hant Shah un­pa­cked vi­deo at the di­gi­tal turn as ob­ject, as pro­cess, and as a sym­ptom of the trans­na­tio­nal flow of ideo­lo­gy, ide­as and in­fra­struc­tu­re, es­pe­cial­ly in emer­ging in­for­ma­ti­on so­cie­ties in the un­e­ven land­scape of glo­ba­liza­t­i­on.

Vi­deo Vor­tex #9 also fea­tured a num­ber of per­for­ma­ti­ve lec­tu­res and the­ma­tic work­shops dea­ling with vi­deo rea­li­ties. We fol­lo­wed up on the long tails of re­bel­li­on with Mo­si­re­en Collec­tive in Cai­ro and Mar­ga­ri­ta Tso­mou in Athens. Bo­ris Traue and Achim Kre­del­bach, aka Jo Co­gni­to, dis­cus­sed YouTube’s re­cent fo­r­ays into te­le­vi­su­al ter­rain and its de­le­ga­ti­on of or­ga­ni­zing power to com­mer­ci­al “net­works” and me­dia agen­cies. Boaz Le­vin loo­ked at the way me­dia gra­vi­ta­tes towards im-me­dia­ting events, and Miya Yo­shi­da cri­ti­cal­ly ques­tio­ned fa­mi­li­ar ter­mi­no­lo­gies from “ama­teur” and “user” to “pro­sumer” and “ci­ti­zen re­por­ter.”

In the run-up to the ac­tu­al Vi­deo Vor­tex event, in­ter­na­tio­nal vi­deo cor­re­spond­ents have been in­ves­ti­ga­ting pheno­me­no­lo­gies of vi­deo on­line. Af­ter 10 joy­ful ye­ars of glo­bal ubi­qui­ty, the con­fe­rence en­ga­ge­ed with re­inven­ti­ons of the lo­cal un­der con­di­ti­ons of di­gi­tal cul­tu­re. A col­la­bo­ra­ti­on with the lo­cal vi­deo ac­tivist collec­tive Gras­wur­, who­se ac­tivi­ties are lin­ked with an­ti­nu­cle­ar pro­tests in Wend­land (near Lüne­burg), ex­plo­red mo­bi­le vi­deo in (al­ter­na­ti­ve) news jour­na­lism. Ar­tist Ste­pha­nie Hough joi­ned with lo­cal par­ti­ci­pants to op­po­se tracking and other in­cur­si­ons into our screen li­ves by turning a pu­blic squa­re into a sta­ge for a mass lip-sync.

The fu­ture of film as it fu­ses with vi­deo in the di­gi­tal re­alm, and the re­con­fi­gu­ra­ti­on of its aes­t­he­tics, in­ter­faces, pro­duc­tion and dis­tri­bu­ti­on, were dis­cus­sed with Tho­mas Østbye and Ed­win, the di­rec­tors be­hind the par­ti­ci­pa­to­ry film pro­ject 17,000 Is­lands, and ex­plo­red by Seth Keen in the do­main of in­ter­ac­tive do­cu­men­ta­ry on the web. Ale­jo Du­que and Ro­bert Ochs­horn ana­ly­zed the tech­no­lo­gi­cal ap­pearan­ces and tra­ves­ties of vi­deo, the soft power of co­decs and com­pres­si­on in the in­for­ma­ti­on com­plex, and how to “in­ter­face”.

Conference Website

On the conference website, a hy­brid vi­deo re­a­der is do­cu­men­ting the 9th edi­ti­on of Vi­deo Vor­tex:


with details about all lectures, workshops, performances and screenings:
Program Video Vortex #9

Vi­deo Vor­tex #9 was part of the Lüne­burg In­no­va­ti­on In­cu­ba­tor, a ma­jor EU pro­ject fi­nan­ced by the Eu­ro­pean Re­gio­nal De­ve­lop­ment Fund (ERDF) and the Fe­deral Sta­te of Lo­wer Sa­x­o­ny.