28 October 2020, 20:00 CET
The Hmm @ Tactical Visual Culture
The Hmm partners up with the Institute of Network Cultures and the Visual Methodologies Collective for a special event where 8 driven and diverse speakers, that are working, making, and thinking around the theme of ‘video witnessing’, share their vision. Sepp Eckenhaussen, researcher and editor at the Institute of Network Cultures, is helping us put together this exciting program.
With smartphones, smart drones, and smart doorbells documenting every part of our lives, online video is increasing in volume and therefore gaining importance. Through our screens, we seek the truth, spark protests, and (eye-)witness public outrage, revolutions, police violence, and the toppling of statues around the world. However, at the same time, online video seems to be losing its meaning just as fast. It has become practically impossible to distinguish the real deal from a deepfake within the footage flood. And on platforms such as Snapchat and TikTok, videos have become so short, that they can hardly seem to convey any meaningful information at all. What is the state of online video in the age of TikTok?
Tonight, on The Hmm’s very own live stream, 8 speakers will answer that question. Researchers, artists, performers, and viral TikTok creators will give a look at behind-the-scenes influencer content, give insight into the media logics that are at play, and give a peek inside alternative realities.
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✨ Video Witnessing is part of the event series Tactical Visual Culture, organized by the Institute of Network Cultures and the Visual Methodologies Collective at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (AUAS). Tactical Visual Culture is supported by the Amsterdam Creative Industries Network.
Florian Göttke is an Amsterdam-based visual artist, researcher and writer. He investigates the functioning of public images and their relationship to social memory and politics. He wrote a book, Toppled, about the fallen statues of Saddam Hussein, and an experimental dissertation, in which he combined visual and textual narratives to talk about hanging or burning effigies as political protest. He’ll be joining us to speak about the current wave of monuments that are being toppled in an effort to decolonize society, and other moments in history that had the same revolutionary energy. Link
Leyla (a.k.a. Nightlight) is a The Hague based radio host, illustrator, video editor, 3D modeler, e-textile sewer, metal worker, interaction designer and dancer (this multidisciplinary artist and researcher can do pretty much anything). As a French Algerian anti-colonial and queer activist, they dive deep into uncomfortable discussions. Leyla’s work is an invitation to look inwards and out, to reimagine past and present through the lens of consent, stolen and reclaimed. At The Hmm they’ll talk about digital archiving, revolution and community, and how to cultivate sustainable and transformational digital activism. Can we imagine a video activism focused on preservation rather than urgency? Let’s try and find out aboard Just This Space-ship.
Albert Figurt is an Italian video-artisan, multi-instrumentalist and independent researcher, interested in post-cinema, found footage, video art, mockumentary, hikikomori and metafiction. He isolates words, notes, images, cross media happenings and fuzzy thoughts into various spaces and environments. As a Video Vortex associate at the Institute of Network Cultures, he is obsessed with the socio-anthropological and perceptual qualities of online video. At The Hmm he’ll be talking about desktop movies and screencast narratives. Link
Marieke is a 25 year old journalist and social media specialist. Oh, and she has a TikTok account with over 30.000 followers and the videos of her and her hamster got nearly a million likes. This evening she’ll talk about how she got hooked on the platform and share her knowledge about how to use its algorithms to create viral videos. Link
Alex Gekker is an Assistant Professor in the New Media and Digital Culture department at the University of Amsterdam. He writes about how sociotechnical systems are designed to influence users, about maps and surveillance, about the quantification and datafication of society, and about the experience economy. He’s also interested in games and play—both as researcher and practitioner—and produces interface critique. At this event, he’ll discuss the influence of TikTok videos on the Indian 2019 general elections. Link
Hilda Moucharrafieh & Dina Mohamed
Hilda Moucharrafieh investigates the influence of digital technology and politics on movement in the public sphere. Dina Mohamed’s work is concerned with finding possibilities to regain agency under the deterministic logic of technology and the overflow of information. This evening they’ll present their collaborative project, Tracing Erased Memories, a city walk which aims to draw lines between state violence and residents’ memories of political struggles amidst a rapidly changing image of the urban space – injecting the forcefully erased voice back into the center of our cities. Link and Link
Next to being a Creative Media and Game Technologies student, specializing in Motion Design, at Saxion, Len is also a YouTuber on his way to becoming an independent web artist. He’ll join us to talk about his YouTube fame (and the struggles that come with that), the influence of meme culture, how to find your identity and creating a workflow, how to deal with YouTube algorithms and how to stay authentic, original, productive and relevant all at the same time – basically, he’ll give you a brief survival guide for online artists. Link
Mark is a mechanical engineering student from Delft who thought himself how to code and who enjoys working on neutral networks. The quality of deepfakes and other synthetic media has become so high, that soon, we will no longer be able to tell the difference between fake and real with the naked eye. How can you recognize disinformation and how do you expose a deepfake? That is the question he answers this evening. Link