The video diary – a staple in the TV world since the 90’s and much favoured by some visual researchers, enjoys the secrecy of a confidence in ever-lasting form. In the spirit of how they were first conceived: ‘Low tech, with a less polished appearance, …seem to bring the audience closer to the realities they show.’ [after Holland]
As a film-maker, I’ve found that the video diary invites a more intimate exchange between the speaker and the viewer/camera. Goffman describes a changing modality of self, dependent on the audience or interaction and which is projected, even when the observer can’t be seen. But what happens when you don’t know whose watching?
Our lives are more and more connected through social media and powerful handheld devices, which allow us to capture an image and share it in the blink of an eye. How much does our practice of self capture shape how we present ourselves? Baudrillard contends :
‘We are constantly in the position of having to transform ourselves in the anticipation of what we might look like as an image.’ [in Lury, C. 1998:78]
What do we share and what do we edit out?
In line with the theme of this year’s IVSA conference, The Public Image, I will be running a video booth. It offers the chance for conference participants to share their reflections, alone with the camera. These recordings will simultaneously reflect delegates’ reactions to the conference themes and provide a lasting record; excerpts of which will be posted on the CUCR blog during the conference period.
The Video Booth will run in break times and alongside some events during the IVSA conference at Goldsmiths between 8th and 10th July. Please see the daily notice board for details and look out for the signs.
Claire Levy is a film-maker research associate at the Centre for Urban and Community Research. She also lectures in television production at Middlesex University.
Claire will be chairing the panel :Presentation of Selves – Delineations of Public and Private through the Visual on Tuesday 9th July at 2.30pm in RHB 143 at IVSA 2013.