Man With A Movie Camera: The Global Remake
Man With a Movie Camera: The Global Remake is a participatory video shot by people around the world who are invited to record images interpreting the original script of Vertov’s Man With A Movie Camera, upload them to http://dziga.perrybard.net where software developed specifically for this project archives, sequences and streams the submissions as a film. As people can upload the same shot more than once infinite versions of the film are possible. The site contains a scene index, shot list and tags allowing viewers to navigate the site in different ways. There is also a link to the original Vertov film. When users select a shot to upload, instructions appear to walk them through the process. It is asked that people respect the rhythm of Vertov’s original: each shot is logged indicating the duration of the shot. If someone were to upload four minutes rather than four seconds the software would adjust the upload to Vertov’s duration. Once a shot is uploaded it is cued for approval and once approved it becomes part of the stream. The software builds a new film each day reflecting the most recent uploads. The versions of the film alternate when it is screened. A high resolution daily download file is available for projection. It is usually shown as an installation with projection and website on a computer. The work explores the capabilities of the internet to achieve global collaboration by encouraging culturally diverse participation and by developing software which accepts input from many sources (e.g. mobile phone, digital still camera, video, screen-grab. To ensure that uploads would not be from the usual places I commissioned 12 foreign correspondents (Brazil, Lebanon, Israel, Columbia, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia, Japan, China, Korea, Mexico,Thailand) whose role is to spread the word through their mailing lists and to organize the upload of scenes or shots that add up to a minimum of one minute in length. In creating the database version Vertov’s experiment enters the 21st century. Its original form and content pose interesting questions about the nature of documentary that are still relevant almost a century later. The remake invites interpretations. It is hoped the project will serve as a platform for discussion raising issues about internet communities and about media and media-making both on and offline.
Perry Bard has exhibited video and installations internationally: at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Scanners Video Festival at Lincoln Center, PS 1 Museum NY, Reina Sofia Museum Madrid, Frac des Pays de la Loire France, Sao Paolo Biennial, VideoBrasil, Transmediale ’09.Ars Electronica ’08, 25th Viper Basel Switzerland, Ostrannenie Electronic Media Forum amongst others. She has created site specific public video installations for the Staten Island Ferry Terminal Building in New York and for Market Square in Middlesbrough UK. Public interventions about the war in Iraq include a mobile truckside billboard traveling the streets of New York, magazine ads and coffee cup sleeves all featuring artifacts missing from the Baghdad Museum. Her current web and public space project Man With A Movie Camera: The Global Remake invites participation in a mashup of a 1929 film belonging to world cultural history. Her work is featured in Digital Currents: Art in the Electronic Age by Margot Lovejoy, and has been reviewed in Artforum, Art in America, Flash Art, Lapiz, Springerin, The New Art Examiner.