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Remixing Pop Culture: Fan Vidding

Remixing Pop Culture: Fan Vidding



Remixing Pop Culture: Subverting Gender and Sexuality with Remix Video ...

Remixing Pop Culture: Subverting Gender and Sexuality with Remix Video
Thursday March 25, 2010, CSU Northridge

An introduction by Julie Levin Russo and Alexis Lothian to a curated screening of fan videos. The presentation offers a brief overview of the history and culture of vidding.

The event was organized by Anita Sarkeesian and also featured Jonathan McIntosh on political remix video.

[missing notes for slide #2]
JULIE You’ve probably already seen a video remix of a familiar movie or TV show from popular culture. & mash them up, such as this fake trailer. Before the dawn of YouTube, social media, or online video, people were using existing video footage to create their own mashups. Some were artists and filmmakers, but some did it as a hobby, working within their own subcultures and communities.



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  • (thanks and introduction)
  • ALEXISThe group that we're going to talk about are fans –initally of scifi TV and movies, like Star Trek. They developed their own tradition, using music and media footage to express their perspective on media. A "vid" is a bit different than  a lot of the remix videos you might see on Youtube -- it takes clips and sets them to music in a visual essay that often doesn't explain its point in so many words. You have to learn to see and hear what the vidder is saying.1975 a Star Trek fan named Kandy Fong started this tradition  by making slideshows and showing them at Star Trek conventions. In 1980 she made this slide show called "Both Sides Now", where she putimages of Spock to music to show him reflecting on his divided self -- human and Vulcan. One of the later videos we will be showing today, The Long Spear, uses clips from this slideshow.
  • ALEXISIn the 80s, vidders made the first vids with moving images. They used two VCRs. These images show a group of vidders making a Quantum Leap vid called "Oh Boy," which you can find a digital version of online if you google. They would line up their rows and rows of VHS taped from TV, select the moments they wanted to use in the vid, find every clup and time itby the second before they recorded them onto a final VHS tape with the song. The film of vidding is titled "Pressure" and you can see why!
  • JULIEStarting from the late 1990s, vidders began making the transition to using computers and digital source material. These technologies made vidding accessible and visible to a lot more people. In 2002 an annual convention for vidders began. Soon it was also possible to share and spread vids on YouTube and other streaming video sites.But it still wan’t clear how vidding related to the kinds of video mashups and parodies that were becoming popular online. Understanding a vid depends on understanding its context: the styles and codes of the vidding tradition, often the show or movie it comes from, and the norms of the vidding community.
  • ALEXISIf we want to understand how vids are distinctive, it helps to understand why would somebody spend hours and hours of their life putting TV clips together with a stopwatch and a VCR or a computer.First of all, for fun.Vidding is a way of expressing pleasure in and love of a text. It’s a way for fans to share their pleasure in the show they love with other fans . Vidding originates in fancommnunities that are overwhelmingly made up of women. Sharing pleasure with other women. And that might include kinds of pleasure that are subversive, that men might not understand.Vidders have often made interpretations that remix gender and sexuality in a subversive way. For example, slash: when two characters of the same gender are suggested to be in a sexual relationship. Vidding’s not obviously a political form, like the remixes Jonathan will be showing later. It can be used politically. But slash is an example that lets us see where it might be political because of its history of connection to female pleasure. Vidders made slash vids because they thought they were sexy and because they enjoyed that interpretation of their show, not to strike a blow for queer politics – but the images of same sex love are there all the same.
  • JULIEOne of the vids we’re going to show is an example of some of the conflicts and controversies that may arise when vidding intersects with different contexts of remix video.K/S, love and violence parody on YT, different codes to read an imageWhich story is the image telling, a great love story or a dorky scifi show?Having the video exposed also made the vidders concerned about their privacy, both because of the erotic content and because of the potential legal ramifications of appropriating copyrighted material.Now, although the debates continue, many vidders have decided to embrace the new publics the internet enables. Increasingly, the vidding tradition is informing and being informed by other work in remix video.
  • ALEXISThe vids that we're going to show demonstrate a ton of different ways of vidding, of subverting gender and sexuality. They celebrate same sex desire and write it in where it wasn't before. They highlight male and female characters that break stereotypes. They make up new stories that write their own concerns onto mainstream media. They criticize the problems in representation of gender and race in TV and film and challenge us to view them differently. And they make their commentary not just about Star Trek and Sci-Fi TV but about all kinds of media, about celebrity culture, and sometimes abut fans and viewers ourselves.JULIEThe first video was made by me and Alexis with several other collaborators. Unlike traditional vids, it’s not in the form of a music video, and thus suggests some of the directions that fans could take video remix. Q&A later, remember your questions!

Remixing Pop Culture: Fan Vidding Remixing Pop Culture: Fan Vidding Presentation Transcript

  • Remixing Pop Culture:FAN VIDDING
    Alexis Lothian &
    Julie Levin Russo
    March 25, 2010
  • YouTube (2005-present)
    Popular video mashups on YouTube include fake trailers, parodies, & music videos.
  • Kandy Fong (1975)
    The first “vid”: slideshow of recovered film stills set to music, presented at fan cons.
  • “Pressure” by California Crew documents the process:
    Friends use stopwatches and 2 VCRs to vid Quantum Leap.
    VCR vidding (1980s)
  • Digital Vidding (2000s)
    A screenshot from “Walking on the Ground” by flummery shows Killa making a vid.
  • Why make fan videos?
    • pleasure
    • community
    • interpretation
    • gender
    • politics?
  • “Closer” by Killa & Tjonesy
    Gender & Sexuality
    “Walking on the Ground”
    Property & Privacy
  • Program