The Audiovisual Essay: a digital methodology for film and media studies

Lead Research Organisation: University of Kent
Department Name: Sch of Engineering & Digital Arts

Abstract

Scholars researching film and media traditionally publish their work in the same forms as other disciplines in the humanities - notably, books and critical essays. But developments in digital technology afford exciting new possibilities for conducting analysis and conveying arguments about digital media by using digital media. This grant will support a one-day public symposium on digital aesthetics presented by a group of twelve leading film and media academics, and an associated two-day workshop focused on encouraging these scholars to develop their presentations into 'audiovisual essays' incorporating moving images and sound.

The one-day symposium, Indefinite Visions, will take place at the Whitechapel Gallery (London) and will allow speakers to present, share, and discuss their latest research on digital aesthetics. Invited participants will comprise contributors to the CI's upcoming edited collection on the role that 'indefinite' digital video effects and artefacts (including blur, glitch, pixellation, warping, distortion, and stutter) play in contemporary film and moving image arts. The symposium will be followed by a two-day hands-on workshop, designed to give the academic participants the creative context and technical skills necessary to make the leap to digital scholarship. The workshop will be led by three world-leading video essayists. In a supportive environment, mentored by these three practitioners, academic participants will consider the theoretical foundations of video essays and the practical issues involved in their creation, and will experiment with producing audiovisual essays themselves. The symposium and workshop will be supported by a public screening on each of the three days, that will showcase key examples of how visual artists and other practitioners have used digital images to interrogate digital images.

The symposium, workshop, and accompanying screenings will be organised by the PI with the support of the Whitechapel Gallery. The CI will contribute to event organsation by liaising with the academic participants. Both the PI and CI will present at the symposium, and also produce an audiovisual essay. The PI will additionally edit a special issue of [in]Transition: Videographic Film & Moving Image Studies, which will feature a peer-reviewed selection of the audiovisual essays produced by the participants. This special issue will be essential for disseminating and promoting the digital scholarship explored in the workshop; it will leverage the participation of senior academics in the project to advocate audiovisual film and media scholarship, and provide a lead for film and media researchers ready to make the transition to digital practice.

The PI is a film-maker and video essayist whose work has been shown at festivals and museums on five continents, and is an editorial board member of [in]Transition. The CI is co-editor of Indefinite Visions (Beugnet & Cameron, 2016. University of Edinburgh Press), a forthcoming publication on digital aesthetics which will feature articles by the presenters at the symposium. Confirmed contributors include W.J.T.Mitchell, Jacques Aumont, Michel Chion, Raymond Bellour, and D.N.Rodowick. Combining the PI's expertise in digital media-making with the CI's international film and media research network, the project will pioneer the use of digital video technology as a critical tool, and so expand the expressive possibilities available to scholars in the humanities.

Planned Impact

The project will generate a range of pathways to impact, including:

- Providing a public educational event and screenings at a popular venue that will contribute to the knowledge and quality of life of participants

- Providing a forum for UK-based moving image practitioners to reflect on and discuss current digital practices in the arts, and to develop their personal and professional networks, so helping enhance their creative activity and output

- Drawing in visitors to the Whitechapel Gallery, and so creating financial benefits for the museum and the local area

- Generating easily accessible academic research outputs in the popular and widely-viewed digital form of the video essay, individual examples of which regularly achieve wide scale online distribution, so contributing to public knowledge and cultural life within the UK and beyond

The public symposium will feature a line-up of participants who are exceptionally well known not only within academia but also across the artistic and broader creative communities. This line-up will combine with the Whitechapel's exceptional public reach (with an email subscriber list of over 45,000) to ensure active participation by the creative communities and the general public. The symposium will encourage open discussion and debate about issues relating to digital technology in the humanities, and will generate knowledge-exchange between academics and non-academics including media practitioners, artists, film-makers, curators, students, arts professionals, and the wider public.

The audiovisual essays that result from the subsequent workshop will be published in [In]Transition - an open access academic journal. Crucially, they will simultaneously be made available on popular online video sharing platforms and disseminated through user groups. They will be downloadable, will conform to the 'share alike' principles of Creative Commons licensing, and may over time themselves form the basis of subsequent digital outputs. They will thus make full use of already well-developed and extensive online infrastructures for the distribution of video essays. For example, Catherine Grant's various online networks have tens of thousands of followers, while video essays by confirmed workshop practitioner / mentor Tony Zhou regularly receive hundreds of thousands of views. The video essay provides potential for a level of impact previously unimaginable among film and media scholars. Our project will help academics to achieve this potential.

Publications

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Cox-Stanton, T (2017) Flicker and Shutter in InTransition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies

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De Fren A (2017) WTF IS THAT? The Pre- and Post-Cinematic Tendencies of Paranormal Activity in InTransition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies

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Lee K (2017) Martyrs for the Mass in InTransition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies

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Misek R (2017) In Praise of Blur in InTransition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies

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Misek R (2017) The Black Screen in InTransition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies

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Pisters P (2017) The Blackout Period in InTransition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies

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Pisters P (2017) Emerald Transmutations in InTransition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies

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Shackleton C (2017) Frames and Containers in InTransition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies

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Verdeure D (2017) Ray/Godard in InTransition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies

 
Title Emerald Transmutations 
Description Collaborative video essay in seven sections, by Ian Magor, D.N.Rodowick, Jacques Perconte, Polly Stanton, David Verdeure, Rosa Menkman, and Patricia Pisters. Running time: 19 minutes. (This video was published in a peer-reviewed online journal, and so is also included in the 'Publications' section). 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Screened at Alchemy Film Festival (March 9th 2017) to members of the general public and industry practitioners, as a part of a curated programme showcasing the project's outputs. Due to be published online in a special double issue of 'InTransition: Journal of Audiovisual Film and Media Studies' (4.1, June 2017) and screened publicly at Close Up Film Centre, London (June 2017). 
URL https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B3m9z-Ima1QmUnZBMVp4QjIxR28
 
Title Flicker and Shutter 
Description Audiovisual essay, edited by Tracy Cox-Stanton. Running time: 4 minutes. Made in response to Gunning, Tom, 'Flicker and Shutter: Exploring Cinema's Shuddering Shadow', in 'Indefinite Visions: Cinema and the Attractions of Uncertainty' (eds. Martine Beugnet, Allan Cameron, & Arild Fetveit), Edinburgh University Press, 2017. URL password: vulnerability. (This video was published in a peer-reviewed online journal, and so is also included in the 'Publications' section). 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Screened at Alchemy Film Festival (March 9th 2017) to members of the general public and industry practitioners, as a part of a curated programme showcasing the project's outputs. Due to be published online in a special double issue of 'InTransition: Journal of Audiovisual Film and Media Studies' (4.1, June 2017) and screened publicly at Close Up Film Centre, London (June 2017). 
URL https://vimeo.com/194858484
 
Title Frames and Containers 
Description Audiovisual essay, written and edited by Charlie Lyne. Running time: 9 minutes. Made in response to Hanich, Julian, 'Reflecting on Reflections: Complex Mirror Shots in Films', in 'Indefinite Visions: Cinema and the Attractions of Uncertainty' (eds. Martine Beugnet, Allan Cameron, & Arild Fetveit), Edinburgh University Press, 2017. URL password: frames. (This video was published in a peer-reviewed online journal, and so is also included in the 'Publications' section). 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Screened at NFT1, BFI Southbank (26th October, 2016) to the general public and secondary students as a part of a BFI Study Day. Screened at Alchemy Film Festival (March 9th 2017) to members of the general public and industry practitioners, as a part of a curated programme showcasing the project's outputs. Due to be published online in a special double issue of 'InTransition: Journal of Audiovisual Film and Media Studies' (4.1, June 2017) and screened publicly at Close Up Film Centre, London (June 2017). 
URL https://vimeo.com/178894141
 
Title Martyrs for the Mass 
Description Audiovisual essay by Kriss Ravetto-Biagioli and Kevin Lee. Running time: 7 minutes. Inspired by Ravetto-Biagioli, Kriss, 'Bill Viola and the Cinema of Indefinite Bodily Experience' in 'Indefinite Visions: Cinema and the Attractions of Uncertainty' (eds. Martine Beugnet, Allan Cameron, & Arild Fetveit), Edinburgh University Press, 2017. URL password: martyrs. (This video was published in a peer-reviewed online journal, and so is also included in the 'Publications' section). 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Screened at Alchemy Film Festival (March 9th 2017) to members of the general public and industry practitioners, as a part of a curated programme showcasing the project's outputs. Due to be published online in a special double issue of 'InTransition: Journal of Audiovisual Film and Media Studies' (4.1, June 2017) and screened publicly at Close Up Film Centre, London (June 2017). 
URL https://vimeo.com/179248427
 
Title Ray / Godard 
Description Audiovisual essay by Emmanuelle André and David Verdeure. Running time: 6 minutes. Adapted from André, Emmanuelle, 'Seeing through the Fingertips', in 'Indefinite Visions: Cinema and the Attractions of Uncertainty' (eds. Martine Beugnet, Allan Cameron, & Arild Fetveit), Edinburgh University Press, 2017. URL password: Indefinitelyyours. (This video was published in a peer-reviewed online journal, and so is also included in the 'Publications' section). 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Screened at Alchemy Film Festival (March 9th 2017) to members of the general public and industry practitioners, as a part of a curated programme showcasing the project's outputs. Due to be published online in a special double issue of 'InTransition: Journal of Audiovisual Film and Media Studies' (4.1, June 2017) and screened publicly at Close Up Film Centre, London (June 2017). 
URL http://www.filmscalpel.com/ray-godard/
 
Title The Attraction of Blur 
Description Audiovisual essay, written by Martine Begnet & edited by Richard Misek. Running time: 5 minutes. Made in response to Jay, Martin, 'Genres of Blur', in 'Indefinite Visions: Cinema and the Attractions of Uncertainty' (eds. Martine Beugnet, Allan Cameron, & Arild Fetveit), Edinburgh University Press, 2017. (This video was published in a peer-reviewed online journal, and so is also included in the 'Publications' section). 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2017 
Impact Due to be published online in a special double issue of 'InTransition: Journal of Audiovisual Film and Media Studies' (4.1, June 2017) and screened publicly at Close Up Film Centre, London (June 2017). 
 
Title The Black Screen 
Description Audiovisual essay, written and edited by Richard Misek. Running time: 12 minutes. Adapted from Misek, Richard 'The Black Screen', in 'Indefinite Visions: Cinema and the Attractions of Uncertainty'' (eds. Martine Beugnet, Allan Cameron, & Arild Fetveit), Edinburgh University Press, 2017. URL password: blackofcourse. (This video was published in a peer-reviewed online journal, and so is also included in the 'Publications' section). 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Screened at NFT1, BFI Southbank (26th October, 2016) to the general public and secondary students as a part of a BFI Study Day. Screened at Alchemy Film Festival (March 9th 2017) to members of the general public and industry practitioners, as a part of a curated programme showcasing the project's outputs. Due to be published online in a special double issue of 'InTransition: Journal of Audiovisual Film and Media Studies' (4.1, June 2017) and screened publicly at Close Up Film Centre, London (June 2017). 
URL http://www.vimeo.com/richardmisek/theblackscreen
 
Title The Blackout Period 
Description Audiovisual essay by Patricia Pisters and Ian Magor. Running time: 5 minutes. (This video was published in a peer-reviewed online journal, and so is also included in the 'Publications' section). 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Screened at Alchemy Film Festival (March 9th 2017) to members of the general public and industry practitioners, as a part of a curated programme showcasing the project's outputs. Due to be published online in a special double issue of 'InTransition: Journal of Audiovisual Film and Media Studies' (4.1, June 2017) and screened publicly at Close Up Film Centre, London (June 2017). 
URL https://vimeo.com/172912426
 
Title WTF IS IT? The Anamorphic Audacity of Paranormal Activity 
Description Audiovisual essay, written and edited by Allison DeFren and Brian Cantrel. Running time: 12 minutes. Made in response to Shaviro, Steven, 'The Glitch Dimension: Paranormal Activity and the Technologies of Vision', in 'Indefinite Visions: Cinema and the Attractions of Uncertainty' (eds. Martine Beugnet, Allan Cameron, & Arild Fetveit), Edinburgh University Press, 2017. URL password: WTFparanormal. (This video was published in a peer-reviewed online journal, and so is also included in the 'Publications' section). 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2016 
Impact Screened at Alchemy Film Festival (March 9th 2017) to members of the general public and industry practitioners, as a part of a curated programme showcasing the project's outputs. Due to be published online in a special double issue of 'InTransition: Journal of Audiovisual Film and Media Studies' (4.1, June 2017) and screened publicly at Close Up Film Centre, London (June 2017). 
URL https://vimeo.com/199266378
 
Description Each of the project's nine video outputs involved its own specific research trajectory and resulted in its own specific discoveries. The findings of the project as a whole focused on precisely what contribution audiovisual essay-making and other digital practices can make to film and media studies today. Three specific areas of potential were highlighted:

1. The video essay as digital methodology
In a discipline still dominated by the monograph and the journal article, video works often struggle to be accepted as research outputs. Much effort has recently taken place, for example through the establishment of peer-review structures, to academically legitimise the video essay. However, information gathered throughout the project suggested that the greatest contribution of the video essay to film and media studies may well be heuristic. The project workshop and symposium revealed that many scholars who do not generate video-based research outputs nonetheless watch and discuss video essays, experiment with video editing and image manipulation, and use video essays as a pedagogic tool. Film and media departments including KCL, Glasgow, UEA, Kent, Roehampton, Sussex, Essex, Goldsmiths and many others now incorporate video essay production into their undergraduate and postgraduate curricula. For many of the academics involved in the project workshop, it was as an exploratory process that video essaying offered the greatest possibilities into the future, rather than as a route to generating research outputs. One key lesson we draw, therefore, is that audiovisual film scholarship need not seek to mimic 'traditional' academic forms such as the journal article to form a valuable methodological tool for contemporary film and media studies.

2. The video essay as digital distribution platform
The video essay is currently the dominant native 'digital' mode for communicating film scholarship. Its ability to reach academic and non-academic audiences globally is clearly demonstrated by Vimeo's analytics: for example, Miriam Ross's recent video 'Vertical Framing' has to date received 73.5k views in over 40 countries. Yet video essays are typically just too short to communicate new research in depth: for example, two months of work may only generate a ten minute video. To become a viable end platform for research, digital video needs to adopt forms that can incorporate more extensive scholarship. Such forms may, for example, incorporate digital annotation, integration of video into rich websites, VR and AR, and/or large group collaboration on transmedia projects. Through combining its nine video outputs into a special issue of InTransition, the project took a first step in generating the 'economies of scale' to be gained by creating a more substantial and cohesive set of digital outputs. However, more complex digital modes of communicating film and media research remain largely untried. It is our hope that the project forms a step towards such works.

3. Interdisciplinary collaboration
Finally, the project's activities repeatedly highlighted the value of collaboration between media academics and practitioners. Many academics quickly reach a technical and creative 'ceiling' when working along on videos. This is unsurprising, as video production is a fundamentally collaborative process. Collaboration with artists and film-makers opens up new avenues for discovery and for the production of innovative content. In the case of this project, for example, it has resulted in works that bridge the divide between audiovisual scholarship, film-making, and moving image art - works that can be both published in an academic journal and screened at an experimental film festival. The success of the project's collaborations again points (as does finding 2) towards larger-scale projects and cross-disciplinary collaborations (for example, between academics and film-makers, coders, and designers) as audiovisual film studies' greatest field of potential.
Exploitation Route Academically
The videos provide a range of models for film and media researchers to develop and structure collaborations with video-makers in order to produce innovative audiovisual research outputs and push the boundaries of this emergent practice.

Non-academically
As well as being published in an academic journal, the project's video outputs have been posted and disseminated on a range of Vimeo channels, prompted numerous comments, and been the focus of web articles and blogs. As a result, just as the videos themselves draw on moving image culture by using and reusing extant clips, they have in turn be re-integrated into online moving image culture and be usable through Creative Commons licensing as the basis of other users' work. For example, one video essay ('Frames and Containers', by Charlie Lyne) has already formed the basis of a 'response' video by young film-maker Jake Cunningham.

Academically and non-academically
More broadly, inspired by the theme of 'Indefinite Visions', the project's outputs push the boundaries of how video can form a research tool, and challenge both academic and non-academic understanding of how moving images can critique moving images. The nine videos together occupy a liminal space between film scholarship, film criticism, media-making, and digital art. As a result, they speak to a wide range of users including academics, film critics, artists, film-makers, and non-professional media-makers, and offer a vision of an open, pluralistic future for film appreciation that can embrace participants across all of these fields and beyond.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://www.indefinitevisions.com
 
Description 1. The public symposium attracted over 250 attendees over two days, including members of both the local creative community and the general public. It formed a key public offering of the gallery's 2016 educational programme, and encouraged the local community and the gallery's diverse demographic of visitors to engage more deeply with contemporary moving image practice. It thus contributed to the knowledge and quality of life of participants and audiences, and augmented the local cultural life of East London. The symposium also provided an opportunity for artists, film-makers, and other creative practitioners - both local and from across the UK - to explore and discuss contemporary moving image aesthetics. The coming together of diverse creative practitioners encouraged knowledge-exchange between academics and other groups including film- and media-makers, artists, curators, remixers, media commentators, and media users. It also allowed participating artists and film-makers to develop their personal and professional networks, so helping enhance their creative activity and output. 2. Early cuts of the video essays that formed the project's nine main creative/scholarly outputs were initially screened at Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival (March 2017). Their impact here took the form of: introducing over 200 film-makers to the existence and creative potential of the video essay; sparking extensive methodological discussion about how to use moving images as a critical tool; and kindling non-academic interest in audiovisual film and media studies. 3. The final video essays were published online in the open access journal 'InTransition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies' (4.2, summer 2017), together collecting over 30,000 unique views to date. Five of the video essays went on to be cited in 'Sight and Sound' magazine's 'Best Video Essays of 2017' poll; 'Frames and Containers' by Charlie Lyne and 'In Praise of Blur' by Richard Misek and Martine Beugnet were the two most cited video essays in this poll. The former also subsequently became a Vimeo Staff Pick and was featured on the Criterion Collection website and the Curzon Cinema blog; the latter also headlined a curated screening video essays at Gent Film Festival (October 2017), and fed directly into methodological discussions on the form by leading current film-makers. As demonstrated by discussion about the videos by leading film critics and video essayists in the S&S poll, the project outputs have together had a significant impact on the evolving methodologies of the (academic and non-academic) video essaying community. As demonstrated by their spread across multiple Vimeo user groups and by users' comments on the videos, they have also contributed to methodological discourse within the online film- and video-making community. Finally, as demonstrated by their viewing stats, they have together achieved widespread international exposure among the broader online viewing public.
First Year Of Impact 2016
Sector Creative Economy,Education,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description Follow-On Funding for Impact and Engagement SchemeA
Amount £68,829 (GBP)
Funding ID AH/R004854/1 
Organisation Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 10/2017 
End 09/2018
 
Description Indefinite Visions: special journal issue 
Organisation MediaCommons
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The project provided 'InTransition: Journal of Videographic Film and Moving Image Studies' with content for a high-profile special double-issue (Vol 4, Issue 2a & 2b, summer 2017) that brought together nine new video essays by some of the world's leading video essayists. The resulting video essays included the most frequently cited and second most frequently cited video essays in 'Sight and Sound' magazine's 'Best Video Essays of 2017' poll. Three further video essays from the special issue were also cited in the poll. In total, of the six video essays published on the InTransition website in 2017 that made it into the poll, five were the product of the collaboration. Finally, one of the project videos subsequently became a Vimeo Staff Pick, and has so far achieved a current total of over 30,000 views. All online instances of the video essays included references and links to InTransition, so strengthening the reputation of both the journal within and beyond academia, as well as the disciplinary methodology that it showcases.
Collaborator Contribution The contribution of 'InTransition' to the project was pivotal throughout the evolution of the project. The journal's editors provided on-going support and guidance to both the PI and individual participants throughout the project. InTransition hosted the videos, and editorial board member Christian Keathley edited the double issue in which they appeared. The other InTransition editorial board members also organised and contributed to the open peer-reviews that accompanied seven of the nine videos.
Impact The collaboration supported the production of nine video essays: Frames and Containers (Charlie Lyne, 2016, 9')* The Black Screen (Richard Misek, 2016, 12') The Blackout Period (Patricia Pisters & Ian Magor, 2016, 5')* Ray / Godard (Emmanuelle Andre & David Verdeure, 2016, 6')* Martyrs for the Mass (Kevin Lee & Kriss Ravetto, 2016, 7'30")* Flicker and Shutter (Tracy Cox-Stanton, 2016, 4')* The Attraction of Blur (Martine Beugnet & Richard Misek, 2016, 5')* WTF IS IT? The Anamorphic Audacity of Paranormal Activity (Allison DeFren and Brian Cantrell, 2016, 12') Emerald Transmutations (Ian Magor, D.N.Rodowick, Jacques Perconte, Polly Stanton, David Verdeure, Rosa Menkman, & Patricia Pisters, 2016, 19')* An asterisk indicates that the video was a multi-disciplinary collaboration between a film researcher and a moving image artist.
Start Year 2016
 
Description Indefinite Visions: workshop and symposium 
Organisation Whitechapel Gallery
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution The project provided the Whitechapel Gallery with the theme, programme, international participants, and screenings for a high-profile two-day public event (as discussed in more detail in the 'Engagement' section). By doing so, it enriched the Whitechapel's education programme; it drew visitors to the gallery; and it encouraged the gallery's diverse demographic of visitors to engage more deeply with contemporary moving image practice.
Collaborator Contribution The Whitechapel Gallery provided in-kind support (including a studio, break-out spaces, and AV facilities) for the two-day 'Audiovisual Essay' workshop at which participants commenced work on the eight video essays that form the project's main research outputs (22-23 June, 2016). The Whitechapel also hosted and facilitated the two-day 'Indefinite Visions' public symposium (24-25 June, 2016). The symposium provided academic participants in the project with an opportunity to share their research with peers and the general public, and present audiovisual work-in-progress emerging from the workshop. The Whitechapel also facilitated an additional collaboration with Close Up Film Centre, which resulted in two nights of film and video screenings to accompany the Indefinite Visions symposium. Finally, the Whitechapel publicised the symposium via an e-bulletin to its 45,000 subscribers, press releases to 360 media listings, and 45,000 printed season programmes distributed across the UK.
Impact Nine video essays emerged from the collaboration: Frames and Containers (Charlie Lyne, 2016, 9')* The Black Screen (Richard Misek, 2016, 12') The Blackout Period (Patricia Pisters & Ian Magor, 2016, 5')* Ray / Godard (Emmanuelle Andre & David Verdeure, 2016, 6')* Martyrs for the Mass (Kevin Lee & Kriss Ravetto, 2016, 7'30")* Flicker and Shutter (Tracy Cox-Stanton, 2016, 4')* The Attraction of Blur (Martine Beugnet & Richard Misek, 2016, 5')* WTF IS IT? The Anamorphic Audacity of Paranormal Activity (Allison DeFren and Brian Cantrell, 2016, 12') Emerald Transmutations (Ian Magor, D.N.Rodowick, Jacques Perconte, Polly Stanton, David Verdeure, Rosa Menkman, & Patricia Pisters, 2016, 19')* An asterisk indicates that the video was a multi-disciplinary collaboration between a film researcher and a moving image artist.
Start Year 2016
 
Description 'Indefinite Visions' film programme (Close Up Film Centre, London; 24-5 June, 2016) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Two evening programmes of short experimental films and video essays organised in conjunction with the 'Indefinite Visions' public symposium at the Whitechapel Gallery. By mixing video essays and artist-made critical film practice, and by including both film-makers and academics in Q&A sessions, the programmes introduced the use of video essays as a creative practice to members of the artistic community and the general public.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.closeupfilmcentre.com/film_programmes/2016/indefinite-visions-part-i/
 
Description Public screening (Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, Hawick) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The PI curated a screening of the project's main research outcomes at Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival (March 9th, 2017), followed by a Q&A in which the PI talked about audiovisual film studies and the AHRC project from which the videos emerged. The screening was attended by over 200 experimental and documentary film-makers from around the world, as well as members of the general public. Subsequent discussion clarified that the screening provided many attendees with their first exposure to video essays and 'audiovisual film studies'. The event gave rise in particular to extensive discussion about the shared objectives and methodologies between practice-based film researchers and experimental film-makers. The event also gave rise to inquiries about follow-on screenings of the videos at the University of Colorado (Boulder), University of Paris 7, and the Film Material Collective (Manchester), and to the possibility of future collaborations between attending film-makers and academics.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://alchemyfilmfestival.org.uk/2017/indefinite-visions/
 
Description Public symposium (Whitechapel Gallery, London; 24-5 June, 2016) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The 'Indefinite Visions' public symposium comprised presentations, screenings, and round-table discussions with approximately 20 film academics and moving image artists from around the world, and attracted over 250 attendees across two days of panels and screenings. Focusing on how film-makers and artists can use moving images not to clarify but to complicate vision, the event provided a route to impact in three ways. Firstly, it provided a public platform for discussion of how experimental and artists' film and video can fulfill a film critical function; it thus provided the local artistic community with exposure to new creative and critical methodologies. Secondly, it formed the foundation of the project's main research outputs: the academic invitees were all contributors to the book 'Indefinite Visions' (eds. Martine Beugment, Allan Cameron, and Arild Fetveit. Edinburgh University Press, 2017), which formed the main source material for the project's videos. Participating academics gave presentations in which they communicated the essence of their book chapter using images and sound; these presentations then formed the basis for the video essays that formed the project's main outcomes. Thirdly, the event provided an important (and unfortunately still too rare) opportunity for moving image artists and academics to spend an extended period of time together; over the course of the two days, academics and artists shared and discussed their perspectives on and approaches to film through structured panels and the opportunity for social contact throughout the event. As well as resulting in changes in views and opinions, this extended conversation also resulted in one notable 'extra' project outcome: the collaborative video 'Emerald Transmutations'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.whitechapelgallery.org/events/indefinite-visions/
 
Description Screening of 'In Praise of Blur' at Uppsala Short Film Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity A broadcast e.g. TV/radio/film/podcast (other than news/press)
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Over 100 people attended a screening of 'short films on film' at Uppsala Short Film Festival, which included my video essay 'In Praise of Blur'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL http://www.shortfilmfestival.com/en/programs/special-programme/video-essays/
 
Description Student Study Day (British Film Institute, London) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact The PI co-organised a British Film Institute Student Study Day at NFT1 (BFI Southbank, London) with BFI Education Programmer David Edgar. Targeted mainly at A-level and undergraduate students, the event focused on the use of video essays as a research methodology. The event involved an introduction to Audiovisual Film Studies by the PI, a curated programme of video essays (comprising a selection of outstanding examples of the form, as well as works by the project's participants), and a masterclass with leading video essayist and film-maker Kogonada. The event was ticketed for the general public and free for school and university students; over 300 people attended. The PI received subsequent requests for guidance on how to integrate audiovisual practices into research and teaching from attending students, as well as lecturers from KCL, Sussex University, and Warwick University. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that this is the first time the BFI has ever organised an event focused on the video essay; as such, it forms a significant marker of institutional acceptance that the video essay is not only a legitimate research method but also an artistic form in itself.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://blogs.bbk.ac.uk/artsresearch/2016/10/17/bfi-intro/
 
Description Workshop: the audiovisual essay (Whitechapel Gallery, London; 22-23 June, 2016) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The workshop comprised two separate days of activity.
The first day involved discussion among a core group of appx. 30 leading audiovisual film studies practitioners from the UK and beyond on the present and future of the form. Subjects discussed included: how to incorporate audiovisual film studies into REF submissions, how to maximise a video essay's reach, how to use video essays as a teaching tool, alternative approaches to digital film studies (including interactive websites, cinemetrics, and experimental coding), and the broader future of digital film studies. The workshop's underlying aim was to allow academic video essayists to share expertise on how to develop the form, how to maximise its impact, and how to further academically legitimate it.
The second day comprised an intensive hands-on video workshop. It brought together a smaller group of academics, all of whom had contributed to the 'Indefinite Visions' book, but who had no video-making expertise. Each academic was paired with a film-/video-maker, and in groups of two, participants shared ideas for and started preparatory work on the collaborative video essays that form the project's main research outputs. The resulting videos will be published online on Vimeo and in a special double-issue of 'InTransition: journal of videographic film and moving image studies' in June 2017.
One notable unexpected impact of the workshop was an article in The Guardian (July 2nd, 2016) by workshop participant and film-maker Charlie Lyne, introducing readers to the to the work of project partner 'InTransition' and to the academic video essay in general.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.theguardian.com/film/2016/jul/02/intransition-where-action-meets-academia