In this lunchtime lecture, writer, academic and analogue tragic Dr Tyson Wils will discuss key characteristics of 20th century video culture, before the birth of the internet and social media. At the heart of his discussion is the arrival of the VCR, a piece of technology that became a revolutionary tool in the hands of ordinary people who could rewind, pause and fast-forward their spectatorship for the first time in history. Back then that kind of control over technology heralded something dangerous and exciting. So what transgressions can video perform today, now that we have total control over what we see and when we see it?
Dr. Tyson Wils lectures and tutors at RMIT University in the School of Communication and Media. He has published on a wide range of areas including landscape in film, gender and spectatorship, and the cinema of Werner Herzog, Terrence Malick and Dario Argento. He has also worked as a course coordinator and convener for the Melbourne Free University, a musical programmer on the public radio station 3D 93.7 FM, and a Features Film Programmer with the Human Rights & Arts Film Festival. He is currently preparing an edited book on Human Rights Film Festivals and Spectatorship.
Dr. Wils interest in video culture stems out of his teaching in the unit Communication Histories and Technologies (RMIT University) and his research assistance work on the Screen Cultures project "Images of Torture, Images of Terror: Post-911 and the Escalation of Screen Violence". This La Trobe University project investigated media representations and public perceptions of screen violence after 9/11, with a particular focus on the politics of video in the wake of the Abu Ghraib scandal.