Remixing the Object of Study

Performing Screen Studies through Videographic Scholarship

Authored by: Aidan Delaney

The Routledge Handbook of Remix Studies and Digital Humanities

Print publication date:  February  2021
Online publication date:  February  2021

Print ISBN: 9780367361426
eBook ISBN: 9780429355875
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780429355875-29

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Abstract

Since the emergence of online video in the mid-2000s, audiovisual remix has increasingly become a strategy in screen media analysis, resulting in analytical practices invested in performing film or television studies. These video remixes samples from television shows or films and create new montages from those samples. The objective might be to compare two films and illustrate a link between them, or to perform a close textual analysis of a single scene, or to combine shots from several films showing a visual motif in the oeuvre of a single director. Commentary on the sampled material can be achieved through the addition of voice-over or on-screen text, or the endeavor might be more abstract in its form and present its thesis through montage alone, or perhaps accompanied with a written supporting statement. Such video remixes oscillate between pieces of film criticism and film analysis. There is no standard form as yet, but many works are less than 10 minutes in length, made with consumer grade equipment by nonprofessional editors, and most are distributed through video hosting platforms such as Vimeo and YouTube. 1 These remixed videos are used as analytical tools to present audiovisual arguments and are essayistic in their approach. The impulse behind such work is to discover and present new knowledge about the object of study through audiovisual means rather than traditional written exposition: It is creating audiovisual discourses on audiovisual content. Such productions are commonly referred to as “video essays” or “audiovisual essays,” and the field of study related to these film-critical remixes is increasingly referred to as “videographic” film and moving image studies. 2 This is a scholarly media-production practice, in which screen criticism, analysis, or theory is communicated through sampling and the manipulation of preexisting audiovisual media, and it marks a fundamental shift in the study of screen media deserving of exploration.

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