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Meaningful Content?

Discussion in 'San Francisco, USA (June 2004)' started by spark, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. spark

    spark cut-up, composit, create

    vjs are shite, they know adventure.kos or how to jerk-off at a crossfader all night. la la la la.

    the programme for avit san francisco has this a little nicer: "You may know all the technology, but there is more to creating visually-effective visuals than knowing the ins and outs of software or hardware. This workshop hosted by Toby Harris, will emphasize on what it takes to create meaningful content for VJ'ing."

    now before i go in and spout of what's in my head, i thought i'd see what everyone out here thinks... so, what is meaningful content?

  2. komart663

    komart663 New Member

    a content that doesn't need any trick of hardware or software to make you feel an emotion or an idea ?
  3. spark

    spark cut-up, composit, create

    i'll start by saying i think meaningful content comes from building up a context. making sets rather than a bunch of clips.

    i also think, like the narrative lab project that we should be building narrative into our work, but this doesn't just mean storytelling over an hour. but thats more a personal one for me.

    i guess for me, it doesn't matter what the content is so much, as long as it carries you along with it, keeps you interested. it'll be interesting talking how people i know do that, along with the people at the session, and the replies here.

  4. spark

    spark cut-up, composit, create

    komart - how can it make you feel an emotion or an idea? what ways are there to do that?
  5. disassembler

    disassembler Mix+Mix+Chop+Chop

    meaningful content = a movie?

    It's pretty subjective and conditional don't ya think.

    Appropriate mood, message, narrative, beat synced.

    oh and lots of logos and advertisments. :scared:
  6. spark

    spark cut-up, composit, create

    its definately subjective, thats what allows it to be meaningful in a way. conditional, tho'... what do you mean by that? on what conditions?

  7. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    Maybe this clip sums it all up...


    ...and yes, it is still quite compelling for me to watch ,eventho it has
    all the logo's and advertising (and I'm pretty much anti-advert), because of the craft and style of this reel..

    :scared: cause this is almost 2-slick
  8. disassembler

    disassembler Mix+Mix+Chop+Chop

    Say the audio has a narrative (vocals) but the audio track is ambient. A blur or ghosting effect would be the conditional.

    Conditional because a vid can go with a idea but can't be as meaningfuls without a conditional (effect) if the audio is slow and ambient.

    This is a generalization because anything is possible. I've seen slow going with hyper fast and vice versa.

    Speed of the video seems to create meaning as well.

    Really there are many dimensions.
  9. spark

    spark cut-up, composit, create

    ha, yes, there are many, many dimensions. this workshop is about the ones you deal with in preparation. i hear you with the conditional and soft-focus as an example, but ambient doesn't _require soft-focus, and if it did, would that make it meaningful or just stylistically appropriate? is that a distinction that is important to consider here? hmm...

    that syndrome reel is indeed, too slick =]
    but its quite interesting - when viewed as a reel, its all a bit much, but when you view some of the individual pieces, they shine so much more... and not 'cos of their shinyness. i love the more hip-hop ones, they seem to have more soul, the more cgi ones feel quite generic to me. they were the crew who did the really wonderful graffitti installation video piece i saw posted here a while back - its nice to know it was done by a studio already in the game and not someone's bedroom, hope for us all!

  10. disassembler

    disassembler Mix+Mix+Chop+Chop

    Theme is meaning.

    Beat sync is a theme alone, regardless of the content. Perhaps the most rudimentary and single most important element to create meaning.

    Like a drum beat. People dance however they want but to the beat. And then there is the Funky Chicken, where there is a overall narrative to the dance but beat remains the most important.

    Maybe you could make a statement that represents your understanding and we could talk about it.
  11. spark

    spark cut-up, composit, create

    well my statement is "i'll start by saying i think meaningful content comes from building up a context. making sets rather than a bunch of clips."

    so i basically agree with you, in that the theme is king. a theme, portrayed in a visually cohesive way, and development through the set is probably my definition of meaningful content... ie the content itself doesn't matter so much as how it all fits together. but we'll be talking about it all, sense of aesthetics, branding, messages, whatever.

    to explain this thread a bit more - what interested me, was the write-up of the workshop (that i didn't write) summed it up with the phrase meaningful content, which is quite a good way of condensing it down... but in essence the workshop is about planning your vj production and preparation so that you have what you need to do a professional show, a cohesive show... so i just got wondering how people interpret that phrase 'meaningful content'.
  12. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    meaningingful = adding meaning

    the easiest, and often most used way to add meaning, is to scare, shock, endear, decry, or create empathy within the viewer's emotional response, thus forming that bonding of entertainment and long term memories..
    An example of this would be the original Jaw's movie audio movement's;the mere thought of which, still keep ppl outta the ocean to this day...:)
  13. videojon

    videojon New Member

    d-fining meaning by its opposites

    in art history (as opposed to art future) students are often taught to analyze work with different, but complementary approaches.

    Style (the sum of the similarities to art of the same period, school, or artist)

    Formal elements (line, light, texture, color, gestalt, media)

    Patronage (who paid for it and why)

    Function (how/where was it used, both in theory and practice)

    Iconography (what PICTURES are WRITTEN. basically, how can you connect the work to the meme-web of the period. Does it depict a story, a philosophy, or an idea that preexisted it?)

    meaning then, would be discussed in the context of iconography.

    In Film, meaning is talked about as a chain--the mental links between one shot and the next (montage/editing), and the overall structure of those links (narrative/story).

    non-narrative film, then, is film for which no plausable narrative chain can be constructed. Film which forces the viewer to look for other overall structures.

    abstract film forces us a step further, away from narrative at even the shortest scale, by eradicating all idea connections. Since there are no meaningful objects to contemplate, not even the shortest idea series can be reliably formed in the viewers mind. In abstract film, we are forced to evaluate continuity or disjunction based on purely formal and stylistic elements (and possibly our emotional response to them).

    i guess thats what i think of when i think of meaning in my sets. It's a pole to gravitate toward if it suits the direction I want to take a room. It can be a gateway to the sublime.

    On the other hand, vjing can also be about decoration (admit it). Sometimes a wall looks beter with a wash of texture and light than with a photograph. and if every lightbulb in the world wanted to tell you a story, you might go insane.

  14. spark

    spark cut-up, composit, create

    sorry to reduce such a good post to the oneliner, but ha! thats a good line.

    if every lightbulb in the world wanted to tell you a story, you might go insane

    i can see a short film called it forming in my head right now (which is kinda ironic, really)...

  15. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    here are a few light bulb's speaking

    [​IMG] :p

    funny, this pic I posted for the everypicturetellsastory only thread, but thought since Spark is doing a narrative on every light bulb, he might see what these bulb's in this pic are telling us...

  16. videojon

    videojon New Member

    very illustrative

    great picture pixielight, thats pretty funny.

    BTW i heard you might be playing at the lightrhythm party for arkaos. is it true? If so I can put you on our production list.

  17. labmeta

    labmeta Moderator

    i think i agree quite broadly that context is the key i use to unlock meaning in my work, thats something i guess can work on a very thematic level within the image that gives way to cohesive body of work, but it can alos operate outside of the image and perhaps works more on the level that we are used to with installtion work.

    Narrative has been the key for alot of my thinking but i also think that meaing can be developed in non narrative work. The examples i always come back to in my mind are the structuralist filmakers that use number systems to control edit times, shot orders etc. the decision of what numbers are used to control those things can produce context. so as a brief example its like having a movie where cut points may be controlled by figures from smoking related diseases [ sorry for the morbid example, first one that came to mind ] so the context of the numbers and how they relate to the images produce new meaning.

    however in an examplle like this its becomes important for the viewer to realise those connections.

    anyways back to the point, perhaps meaningful content is in the success of communicating an intention to the reciever, the ways to do this are aplenty, certainly not limited to narrative could also be style, form, function ra ra ra, although storytelling is a powerful example for the image that uses all of the above.

    before i stray into a whole load of other issues id say this thread here is the absolute daddy when considering meaningful content, and im still thinking about my next response to it. but its a thread that has brought me to think a great deal more about the process's we all use to understand the world and to become a better mediator of images and meaning.

  18. vjpixylight

    vjpixylight AKA Will O' The Wisp

    Re: very illustrative

    That pic came from a lighting store in Cologne. I snapped that shot because it has 'pixylicht'..:)

    Yes I will be manning the arkaos booth the whole AVit weekend...
    Thanks Jon!
    looking forward to meeting you and the cru!


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