User:Mihail Bakalov/Trimester 3/READING, WRITING AND RESEARCH METHODOLOGIES/Essay whatitis

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"How do you get people to work when there is no reward of labour, and especially how you get them to work strenuously?” “No reward of labour?” said Hammond, gravely. “The reward of labour is life. Is that not enough?” “But no reward for especially good work,” quoth I. “Plenty of reward,” said he—“the reward of creation.

William Morris

YouLoop is a social experiment consisting of an local network platform for collecting videos and a dual screen projection of the recorded footage. Anyone with a smartphone in the exhibition can go to the website of the platform and record videos. When entering the URL, participants need to choose whether to share their video for free or whether to get paid for the upload. The projection of the videos is split in two. One screen shows videos uploaded by people who donated them and the other paid-for videos. The freely shared platform as an end product consists of videos documenting the experience people had in the exhibition. In addition to uploading, people can also download videos as long as they have been freely provided. The installation can therefore be used as a local social platform for sharing videos.

The visitors of the exhibition receive a leaflet explaining the project. A brief set of instructions is available on the projection screens with the wifi spot, password and local IP to connect to.

The Research explores two main directives. One is the massive use of video and photography to document experiences and the second is the separation of free and paid labor. It requires a personal decision to share content for free or to be paid for their labor. It makes use of the need people have to socialize and share experiences. Self motivation driven by the need to be part of a community, to have social connections.

YouLoop is focusing on the overall use of video as a medium of documenting reality. In the book "The emergence of cinematic time" Mary Ann Doane discuses how cinema has become our most abused method of archiving. Since the birth of cinema and photography mankind has being counting on them to record reality as the most faithful reproducers. It is believed to be a mostly objective reproduction. Marry Doane states that during the 19th century the society was driven by meaning and understanding while in the 20 century it has changed to the strive for materialism of signs to the extent of excluding subjectivity. For Friedrich Kittler since the 20th century memory is taken from people and delegated to a material organization of discourse. In Youloop the main idea of using the format is to try exploring this discourse and experiment by a simulating process in a small closed environment. Attracting participants by providing them with a projection of their video. This Research creates a local video platform similar to youtube, but also applying a collective social factor from facebook.

Nowadays the terms leisure and work are totally merged. Modern communication and consumption have demolished the distinction between leisure and labor and inhabite temporality. Today its hard to distinguish between conscious attention to one’s actions and mechanical auto regulated patterns. This system offers a chance to direct this image into a more useful outcome for the participant and for some of them provide an afterlife. Johnatan Crary states that we are a culture that is so relentlessly founded on a short attention span, on the logic of the non sequitur, on perceptual overload, on the generalized ethic of “getting ahead,”. The two projections part of YouLoop use this to attract the user by displaying on top the last 20 uploaded. In both choices which the user is provided with about his footage can be a way of justification to its existence. Making sense only of its purpose not if its content, nor of providing a salvation to mental unconsciousness.

William Morris`s novel News from Nowhere raises pleanty of diverse questions around the topic of labor and reward for working. His utopically constructed world presents a unique futuristic view on a society developing around an idea similar to the open source culture. In YouLoop the distinction of free and paid labor derived from Morris`s novel. Presenting people a chance to contribute to the public domain opening new possibilities to the content. With the open source environment a sub-directive of possibilities is introduced. The shared platform is open for reusing the material. Providing a possibility to satisfy both strives for creating recordings and remixing them.

Showing two different opposite poles of the real world where one is an open community and the other is extremely commercial oriented. Meaningless of the choice one makes the platform leaves the user without any rights. This is a simple relation to internet as a transparent publishing territory. A place with an open structure by default, where everyone can see the code of the page they are currently visiting. In order to show something you expose at least part of the code which makes it work. A user posts data material and another user is able to download it regardless of the copyrights on the data.

The difference of this local video platform from youtube is that it doesn't violate people videos by putting banners over them. By providing the user with a reward he is still able to share the social experience of having his image projected with the rest. Its not a social environment based on like/dislike ideology. It is focusing on the subject of recompansation for effort. The visual representation of participants videos is reflecting on the data flow and structure on the internet. The recordings on the screens are scattered around, presenting the usual dumping of information. They form a collage not to show in an accurate way all the videos, but to tell a collective story connected with the environment and the task they are presented with. The dispersed images render the abundance of data and the difficulty of managing it.

As an outcome so far the two projections have being identical in comparison to the content of the videos. People participating in both platforms have different pursuits, but the result is very similar. The major difference is that five out of six participants choose the Paid platform in order to receive monetary profit.



William Morris - News from nowhere ( chapters III; XV )

Johnathan Crary - Techniques of the observer

Marry Ann Doane - Emergency of cinematic times







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The installation is an internet platform for collecting image material recorded by people during the event. It has two elements - a website and a projection in the exhibition space. It serves as a documentation of the experience participants had in the gallery space. People choose to share their videos for free or get paid for each recording. The projection is split in two. One is for people who decide to donate videos for free and another for paid participation. This projection acts as a local social platform for sharing videos. Any one is being able to download the non-profit video collection from the website - have to fit up an explanation that the projection is a website. The visitors of the exhibition receive a leaflet explaining the project and instructions how to use the video platform. Anyone with a smartphone can go to this website and record videos in the exhibition space. Participants choose whether to share their videos for free or to get paid for them. The recordings are uploaded to a cloud server and then beamed on a screen. This project makes use of the need people have to socialize and share experiences. It puts a person between the decision to share their content for free or to be paid for their labor. Self motivation driven by the need to be part of a community, to have social connections.


What is the difference between them? Why - the difference is that from the free everyone can download the videos. Justify the paid one – I buy the videos from them Any one is able to download them!!? - yes! Only from the non-profit. | not giving them the url with the bought videos. What if I don't show the paid videos. The idea of comparing paid and free or having the user to decide between total free culture and commercial strives ( sell to the devil for money )

Public domain – free access or restricted(private) - different sources the same outcome.

Q. Is the engagement between the person and the system established only by his/her need for social interaction ONLY?

A. One is being introduced to the project by leaflet handed out in the beginning of the exhibition. The basis of a persons engagement is the strive for socializing, but one can be atracted also by the idea of contributing to documenting the experience from this event.

Q. Is this platform only local?

A. It is created especially for the exhibition to be placed in it but everyone can access a website with a replication of the image projection in the place. If someone wants to access the download a video clip or image, he can download a preview of it, but for the full version of the files one has to pay a fee.

Q. How is one introduced to your project?

A. By a leaflet which has on the front a brief description about the project and instructions to use the modules of the installation. On the backside are printed the TERMS OF SERVICES which the user agrees to if he decides to participate. In these terms are described the processes and functions of the image platform, also the copyrights.

Q. Why is the projection in the same space where the art works are?