Videosoziologie – Audiovisuelle Kulturen der Selbstthematisierung

videosoziologie @ Video Vortex #9

Boris Traue, Berlin-based sociologist and Achim Kredelbach a.k.a Jo Cognito, longstanding webvideo vlogger, activist and organizer share observations and considerations of amateurism in the context of new economies of contribution at the video vortex #9 “Re:assemblies of video” at Leuphana Universität in Lüneburg.

Abstract: Economies of contribution and 7 ways to corrupt them

It has been widely dicussed how webvideo is a hybrid of different media genealogies: cinema, radio, and most importantly: television, all of course under the umbrella of the internet. But its history as a medium sui generis is just presently unravelling. The contemporary terms of its ongoing commercialisation narrow down its pathways of individuation (Simondon), bending it toward a television-type institution. The demand-based medium (Dominiqiue Wolton) internet, with its strongly developed power of audiences is increasingly being supplemented by supply-based media structures, without ressurecting control of content, but with creating a psychopower (Stiegler) over against producers and audiences. But these developments also provoke counter-individuations; producers and users are in the process of developing economies of contribution. These, however, are deeply involved in the gaming industry (let’s plays), in the entrenchment of a “channel” infrastructure and in promoting individual careers, so that the distinction between “good” amateurs and “bad” commercial interests has become far too simple to describe the new situation.
In the German context, which we will concentrate on empirically, the webvideo world is agitated by the recent forays of youtube into TV terrain and its delegation of organizing power to commercial “networks” and media agencies who seem successful in harnessing the public’s attention. These developments have garnered critical attention and strategies of creating commited audiences which we would like to describe in depth and reflect theoretically in our contribution. For this presentation, the speakers will engage in a dialogue between activism and academia, in combining a critical evaluation of the German situation from an activist’s perspective with theoretical work.

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