Since the 2009 Iranian protests, web videos have established a global bottom-up aesthetics of resistance. Clips of revolts and protests not only amplify the visibility of political controversies by the formerly unheard and unseen, but also enable sensory perception of interferences between the fields of social and media morphology.
This lecture deals with the role of mobile-phone videos and YouTube-distributed “news coverage” in contemporary social movements, concentrating on the 2011 occupation of Syntagma Square in Athens. It investigates how phone uploads and live streaming became important agents of a new mode of mobilization and organization, generating contentious politics and mimetic effects between the different transnational movements, while political organizations, public appeals or a common declaration of goals became secondary. Taking into account synchronization, simultaneity and liveness, it examines how the visual affectivity of those assembled translates into bodies in space forming democracies – now! Present democracies.
We will also look at documentations of Syntagma Square with regard to the crisis of representation in 2011’s square occupation movements: a collection of mobile-phone videos raising questions about multiperspectivity from within and the aesthetics of self-representation. Finally, we will ask: What does this mean for the politics of archiving, documentation and collective cultural memory?
Video Vortex #9 - re:assemblies of video | 28.2.-1.3.2013
Centre for Digital Cultures | Leuphana University Lüneburg (Germany)