Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Module 1 Blog Entry - what the heck is digital video?

What is your understanding of Digital Video?

On its initial conception and adoption by artists of the 1920's Film was seen as an experimental media. However over time it has come to draw on many different facets of traditional art, mixing and borrowing from them in developing its own language of expression. It has done so by borrowing from the traditional arts and conforming the principles in them to suit its own media and its boundaries which give it distinction from the traditional arts. And in much the same tradition which its progenitor did so before it Digital Video is doing the same. In the 60's Digital Video was seen as experimental but with the emergence of new technologies, has come to the forefront of mainstream contemporary art. In fact the lines distinguishing Film from Digital Video are everyday becoming more and more blurry as everything seems to be heading towards a digital platform. Current trends seem to try to identify Film and Digital Video as separate entities, however this seems to be a fruitless and frugal act. This is much akin to a traditional painter trying to form a distinction between a flat head brush and a round head brush - both of them are mere tools, but the end product is nevertheless a painting. Much in the same way Digital Video and Film are mere tools of the trade, it is their end result however which is becoming more and more identical; as such trying to find a difference between these two forms of media would in no way further the understanding of this form of media in any discernible way. What separates and distinguishes this form of media from the traditional arts is the addition of a new variable temporal movement, i.e. time. However there is no discernible quality or variable which would distinguish Film from Digital Media; in fact one could go so far as to say: Digital Video is merely the next evolutionary leap of Film.


  1. Hi Atahan, your blog post is well written and demonstrates an excellent grasp of the field and issues of Digital Video. I noticed your post went up before the lecture, i hope you've had an opportunity to read the lecture for Week 1 and see some of the early experimental works in film, video and computergraphics. I look forward to seeing the development of your writing and analysis of digital video throughout the course and your practical work. Cathie

  2. Atahan, An idea... perhaps you could develop a contemporary version of a segment from Dante's Inferno for your major project - about 1-2 minutes. Have a look at the Major Project outline for Assessment 3. There are some video artists who have attempted this in the early 90s including Filmmaker Peter Greenaway - perhaps too literally, there are less ambitious and more lateral ways to produce something short and very interesting based. The book is also out of copyright which makes it excellent material to adapt. Cathie