Our group has chosen to analyse Art in The Streets as an example of online video practice. Art in The Streets was written, directed, filmed and edited by Julian Melanson, a young aspiring videographer based in Los Angeles, California. Julian is the artist behind the popular YouTube channel DRNTube and has progressed in the field of video production from originally making skateboarding videos with friends, to a professional level videographer. He primarily creates artistic videos and promotional videos, having produced material for DJ DIK, Harlequin, American Gentlemen Magazine, IVI Vision and many more. The footage for this particular case study was captured partly throughout the streets of Los Angeles, as well at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Art In The Streets was produced in June of 2011, commissioned by theberrics.com and Levi’s for display at the Museum of Contemporary Art itself in the Streets exhibition. For this reason, it was not specifically designed for online video but uses the network for distribution and accessibility.
In regards to form, Art In The Streets presents elements that correlate with the genre of skate video, however how brainstorming demonstrates that Art in The Streets is also not a typical skate video. Instead, contextualising this work indicates that Art In The Streets fits a hybrid form of skate video and informative documentary.
The piece intends to contrast two artistic practices: graffiti painting and skateboarding. This contrast highlights the similarities between the art forms in terms of the suppression the two practices receive, as they are both stereotypically associated with unlawful behavior. This contrast, along with other stylistic techniques also celebrates the compelling nature of both practices. Therefore the narrative form presents a celebration of graffiti painting and skateboarding for their artistic value, in spite of the stereotypical negativity the two art forms receive. Simultaneously, many aesthetic techniques are employed in the case study to create a non-narrative form particular to the unique hybrid form of skate video practice and informative documentary.
We have designed our 10 sketches to analyse how the case study functions as a hybrid form of skate video and informative documentary. Furthermore, each of these sketches will focus on different aspects of the work as a way to understand how it has been made and how relations have been formed between shots to create both a narrative and non-narrative structure.
It is important to note that BMX video form and culture relate almost identically to skate video form and so BMX riding has been used in many of the sketches as a substitute for skateboarding.
Sketch 1 – Film Burn Transition
What makes a particular film burn more effective in regards to constructing a non-narrative?
- Super 8 camera
- Sporting + music videos
- Blend two images for seamless appealing transition
- Stereotypical in skate video – expectation
- In case study – film burn is not narrative but aesthetic – form visual relationship
- Smooth flow
- I’m interested in what makes a good film burn
- So did sketch – can tell more active and variable
- Disguise cut + create visual flow
- More stagnant – no good – sped up active film burn
Sketch 2 – Transition Rhythm
How does the speed and rhythm of the shutter transition effect the form?
- Middle of video – museum
- Shutters + audio make rhythmic pattern – non-narrative
- Shutter is too fast – no narrative connections
- Aesthetic appeal through appreciation for rhythmic relationships
- Interested in how its premised on non-narrative
- What would happen if increase the length?
- Explain sketch
- Try to form narrative – sporadic unrelated – no narrative is formed
- Relations are formed in skate video for non-narrative direct relation to rhythm – screen times
Sketch 3 – Acknowledgement of camera
Does acknowledgement of camera effect the form of the case study?
- Standard skate video – camera observational
- Creates realism – would of happened – designed for no camera influence
- Case study being hybrid – interviewee – participatory
- Intrigued to explore effect on form
- Explain sketch – event filmed twice – 1 partic – 1 observ
- Clear contrast simplifies relationship camera ackn has with narrative form
- When camera acknowledged narrative realism is lost in the sense that it appears staged
- Camera will always have some influence
- But observational form is designed to appear as if no camera
- Skate video is observational
- Doco is participatory
- Case study is hybrid
- Parts that acknowledge camera structures the narrative through the lens of the camera man
- Parts without camera acknowledgement structures the narrative around observation
- Case study balances both to create unique form
Sketch 4 – Perspective of narration
Does the perspective of narration alter the form?
- 1st person can be biased and misleading
- 3rd person generally more accurate
- Way the case study functions as a hybrid form of both perspectives
- Adds documentary value to skate video
- Through first person reliability is lost
- Changes narrative structure
Sketch 5 – Hybrid Form
Does combining two different types of video together in one video (making a hybrid video) make the form more effective?
- Case study combines skate video with graffiti art
- Although stereotypically associated with each other this forms different areas of video practice and the combination creates a unique hybrid form.
- Excitement of bmx riding with vibrancy of street event creates a powerful representation of celebration
- And creates a new hybrid form that alters the appeal of the skate video form
- Developing an alternative aesthetic form unique to hybrid video practice
We have learnt that the case study employs many particular aspects of video production such as the film burn transition and the shutter transition to create an appealing aesthetic and rhythmic relationship between shots that is grounded in non-narrative form of skate video. However, simultaneously the case study can now be understood to present a unique hybrid form through the way camera acknowledgement is experimented with, the perspective of narration is varied throughout the piece, as well as the way a combination of skate video and informative documentary form have been utilised to structure the narrative form, whilst creating a unique hybrid form of video practice. Our group is particularly interested in the way the case study has redefined the structure of skate video as a particular example of online video practice, as well as how a hybrid formation of video form can be such as powerful practice of online video. For project three we will most likely explore hybrid forms of online video more specifically, however not necessarily in regards to skate video as we are more interested in where we can go from here if we extrapolate our discoveries from project two into other areas of online video practice.