Is a lovely colour and viscosity. Much like my PowerBook. Lately it is has been slow, slower, slowest. That spinning beach bal

Crystalline Video

This is a draft abstract (is there such a thing?) for a paper and video project I’m currently working on.

Video as a form has retained its formal and material ‘wholeness’ as it has migrated to digital and more recently networked environments. This conservativeness at the material level has not hindered the use and appropriation of the network by emerging and potentially novel forms of video practice, but it remains an essentially backwards looking form as it confuses access, distribution and equity with the new.

Softvideo provides a framework for the reconsideration of digital networked video whereby the granularity and fragmentary nature of video and film is preserved after publication. With the addition of a link architecture softvideography becomes crystalline in structure where any moment, or point, in a softvideo work becomes a possible point of connection with any other.

This crystalline structure, when taken literally, provides a productive theoretical and applied framework to conceive of a softvideographic practice. In traditional editing (hard video) an edit is a decision point. In principle this moment is infinitely divisible, and can be connected to any other subsequent sequence, however in hard video once determined this moment and point is single, fixed, absolute and linear.

When conceived of as a crystalline structure a shot or a sequence in a softvideo work now offers multiple facets or faces of connection. Some may be to other sequences in the one work, others might be to other objects, yet others could be to other parts of other videos.

In this manner the crystalline structure of softvideo produces not only a porous multiplicity of pathways, and so in turn a different sort of video object, but it also productively problematises the basic tenets of film and video narrative. In hard video each edit becomes the fixing of a duration as a particular path through the footage. In softvideo as a crystalline structure editing becomes an actualised series of virtual pathways through the footage.

This essay intends to explore this idea, and to provide an example of such a video work.


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