Latish draft of the introduction I’ve written to a small iBook collaboration:
Quickened is a minor creative work inspired by wondering out aloud about the possibilities of Apple’s iBooks Author and the iPad for new forms of videography and documentary.
The response was to look to The Pillow Book of Sei Shonagon as an exemplar for a multivocal, informal, erudite, articulate, playful, serial and repetitive form of documentation. One brief passage, inspired by Marker’s reference to it in Sans Soleil, is a list of things which ‘quicken the heart’ and this was used this as a prompt to invite others to practice a particular variety of observation and to document this using what ever media they wanted (still image, sound, video, text).
The technological line from the HD camera in my phone, through my laptop, then freely available compression software, authoring templates within iBooks Author, and the the iPad as a hardware defined distribution platform, offers a first world frictionless path for new sketch like making and this is a first step in realising what these sorts of making might, or could, be. The intent was to see to what extent ready to hand and easily accessible technologies, in concert with the iPad, might offer for existing and new forms of ‘everyday’ documentary practice.
This means we are using these tools not so much as intended — in Apple’s case to largely produce electronic books (with a strong orientation to academic titles to create a pedagogical hierarchy of teacher created content, user experience, and simple distribution all wedded to Apple’s talismanic iPad, iTunes and App Store ecology), but tactically to see what, as video makers dedicated to the small screen and the network, they offer.
As a result Quickened is an interesting experiment. It is the first work in what may become an ongoing series that lets those of us interested in forms of nonfiction, the network and the observational create non–narrative works that utilise the intimate, personal and private nature of the iPad that is so dramatically different from the mass anonymous audience of traditional cinema and the familial socialised viewing of the television. Here viewing scale approaches the privacy of the novel and so, as a first step, small gestures and glimpses are offered by each contributor in lieu of the anthropomorphism of narrative.Tags: Network Literacy, network practices, practice, softvideo