Saturday, April 07, 2012
Codes, subjects and that thing videojournalism
It was not us the viewer that designed exclusively the world as it should look on a TV screen, nor was it the artist. The artist painted, sculptured, wrote and we the audience negotiated with the form. What we liked, we pursued, when we didn't the artist retreated into oblivion.
It was the executive whose own preferences dominated by a perception of the medium's codes and cloaked behind the muses of the audience curtailed what could be.
In penning his masterpieces, Daniel Defoe 300 years ago drew the ire of critics because his serialisation of short stories would corrupt the form of exquisite writing.
In painting, Claude Monet was rounded upon by important figures just over a 100 years ago because he couldn't paint. Indeed his unfinished art works were sketches, or impressions. The name would stick and soon audiences flocked.
Robert Drew the pioneer behind Cinéma vérité was criticised for wanting to film in a completely new way. "The television news didn't understand", he told me. "I'd show them some pictures and they'd say you've got some fine pictures there Bob"... and left it at that.
Similar stories of excellence can be traced from any of the creative arts and the theme here is in its beauty often quite simple. The artist creates for themselves with one eye perhaps on friends, but it is their individualism we buy into.
Theirs is to perfect their form in a manner in which philosopher Schopenhauer would comment, the author must has something to say. The true author is haunted to express and what she or he produces will not always be immediately, if ever, understood.
We're perpetually moving, so this is not a critique of the continuing fault lines in videojournalism and the rest. The wisdom of crowds contributes heartily itself to development. However there is a fundamental caveat.
Writing, as I'm doing now, does not create the form. Granted it has other values. Doing it does. And the businesses may initially fail to understand, because if its new and exciting it will challenge existing codes of cause - new style - and effect - what's the return.
But make no mistake, codes and the myths of ideas that work on a grand scale (ideology) continue to mind-numbingly shape what we do, and create conventional meaning. The artist does not always respect that.
The danger we entertain is critiquing forms, not as logical rhetoricians - another blog in itself - but in not doing and understanding the matrix of codes that dominate our lives and that the art of new takes time, otherwise we risk cloning circular ideas.
The breakthrough in creativity in a new filmic discourses is not to be prescriptive, but flexi.
The window lay in businesses, telecoms, creative Net sites supporting both intellectually and with resources the ideas of artists who are busily. by default, reshaping the way we see the world.
And guess what it's beautiful, when you see it!