Draft extract from a brief essay I’m writing to accompany the publication of a collaborative mixed media iBook I’ve worked on:
Tags: Network Literacy, network practices, practice, research practice, softvideo
In the case of industrial video an economy of socialised practices of professionalisation created particular assumptions that became fetishised into a technocratic mantra of ‘quality’ which generally referred to little more than the explicit technical felicity of the artefacts made to these internalised norms of a sophisticated craft practice. This produces a tautological circuit, most visible in the annual spectacle of the Academy Awards where the industry awards itself statuettes for excellence within the terms of this own small definition of technical excellence, yet remains the benchmark by which industrial media resolutely defends itself against the technical vulgarity of the postindustrial. This is not only to state that now anyone can make a film, if they desire, but to point out that as scarcity of access to all three facets of media (production, distribution, consumption) has declined so too has the previously clear distinction between a professional class and its others. This relation is now ambiguous, at best, and the response of the industry, of the professional class, has been to insist ever more forcefully on the significance of its own standards of excellence and technological scarcity – using ever more expensive cameras, effects, and stars. Except apparently everyone is happy to watch it on YouTube, in spite of the low resolution and questionable production standards.