Man(y) With a Movie Camera

posted by
Filed under: Culture Jamming and Reality Hacking

vertov_3.jpg2008:Man With a Movie Camera is a participatory video — initiated by Perry Bard — shot by people around the world who are invited to record video according to the original script of Vertov”™s Man With A Movie Camera and submit it to a website which will archive, sequence and deliver the submissions to The Big Screen in 2007-08. When the work streams your contribution becomes part of a worldwide montage, in Vertov”™s terms the “decoding of life as it is”.

BACKGROUND: Vertov”™s 1929 film Man With A Movie Camera records the progression of one full day synthesizing footage shot in Moscow, Riga, and Kiev. The film begins with titles that declare it “an experiment in the cinematic communication of visible events without the aid of inter-titles, without the aid of a scenario, without the aid of theater.” It is often described as an urban documentary yet the subject of the film is also the film itself –from the role of the cameraman to that of the editor to its projection in a theatre and the response of the audience. It is a film within a film made with a range of inventive effects –dissolves, split screen, slow motion, freeze frame–all of which are now embedded in digital editing software.

WHERE YOU COME IN: This website contains every shot in Vertov”™s 1929 film along with thumbnails representing the beginning middle and end of each shot. You are invited to interpret Vertov and upload your footage to this site to become part of the database. See the Scene Index.TECHNOLOGY: Use what you have at your disposal. If you don”™t have a video camera, a succession of still images will work. Text is also o.k. The database will reflect the shape of the wired world on the 21st century stage.Uploading of shots will be available in August.TIMING: Vertov”™s rhythmic patterning unifies the film. The shots are listed as seconds and as frames as a guide.

INTERPRETING VERTOV: Vertov”™s footage was shot in the industrial landscape of the 20″™s.What images translate the world today? e.g. instead of the mining scene if you”™re living in Silicon Valley you might film inside Apple headquarters, etc.

PRESENTATION: 2008:Man With a Movie Camera will be streamed on four public screens in the UK beginning in October 2007 on the Big Screen Manchester. YOUR NAME, YOUR WEBSITE WILL BE LINKED ON THIS SITE. All material on this site is public domain.

CONTACT: Please email perrybard[at] for questions about this project.

*we reserve the right to eliminate inappropriate material

Note: The subtitles on the above version are slightly different than the version used in this site. Soundtrack by Cinematic Orchestra, 2003. You can also view the film at [via Newsgrist]

   Originally by jo from Networked_Performance on July 13, 2007