Sunday, January 12, 2014

How Editing Changes YouTube and YouTube Changes Editing

This interactive video, made with Popcorn Maker by Mozilla, is part of my presentation on a panel "All the Web's a Stage: Research & Teaching in the Age of Social Media" at BTOT, Berklee Teachers on Teaching, a two-day faculty development conference for faculty and staff at Berklee College of Music.

The gist is that although we still follow the principles of editing established in the early days of cinema for continuity and meaning making, and experimented with by 1920s Soviet filmmakers who explored how meaning was made by the relationship of two shots, rather than by the shots individually, editing has become a creation tool of its own. An example of this is Christian Marclay's fabulous installation film, The Clock (2010).

The Clock is extraordinary, but anyone could use editing similarly to create a new work using the YouTube Editor.  Editing has changed YouTube, shifting it to more of a creation and making tool than a database of video, powerful for distribution and consumption.  Today, montage, assemblage, and bricolage (all terms for putting pieces together) are part of remix culture, where the media is the mix.

YouTube has changed editing, or rather the age of digital culture of which YouTube is a cornerstone, has changed editing, taking editing as a medium in which to create out of the hands of a few artists and professionals and into the hands of anyone who has access to the internet.  Anyone can create using footage from Creative Commons licensed videos on YouTube, and anyone can remix a video already on YouTube or elsewhere on the internet, remaking it into something new.

The possibilities of interactive video are in their infancy.  Are people who are making the choices in interactive video doing a kind of editing?  It should be interesting to see the next developments of YouTube, interactive video, and tools like Popcorn Maker.

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