[-empyre-] fwd:re:re:re: Download Finished
doma at bitnik.org
Tue Sep 29 18:41:31 EST 2009
We were a bit reluctant to barge into an ongoing and interesting
discussion by starting a new topic - it also took us a few posts to try
to understand what you have been discussing..
Maybe it can nevertheless be interesting though, to try and add to your
ongoing discussion by tryig to discribe our approach to what networks /
internet can contribute to video / film making. It is easiest for us to
explain by describing some concrete works that came out of this approach.
Gabriel asked us firstly to describe the work "Download Finished"
(http://www.download-finished.com), a project we started in 2006.
Download Finished is basically a website which transforms and
re-publishes films found in P2P networks and online archives. If we were
to describe Download Finished as an input-output-machine, the endless
abundance of video material found in online archives, P2P networks etc.
would be the data stream input; On the output-end of Download Finished
you receive 5-minute cut-up-clips with a transformed visual layer - "new
originals", as we called them. The transformation the raw data video
input receives through Download Finished brings the underlying data
structure of the input films to the surface.
Let us go into this underlying data structure just quickly to explain
what we mean:
Before a film, originating either from a camera take or a DVD, is
digitized and fed into a file sharing resource, it has undergone several
transformations. It has been digitized, encoded and compressed, aplying
complex mathematical transformations to the original data.
A film found in a filesharing network is the sum of [>1] the original
film, [>2] the work of the mathematicians who laid the theoretical
foundations for [>3] the programmers who designed the encoding software
/ the codec and [>4] the file sharer who finally uses all that software
to intentionally make the [>5] film widely available. The processes
behind  -  usually stay invisible, leading to the wrong assumption
that  = . Download Finished transformes  such, that the
processes behind steps  -  become visibile and show that films
found in file sharing networks are actually collaborative works. The
transformation process in Download Finished shows the collaborative
effort behind the sharing of cultural contents and clearly shows that
 ? .
Download Finished uses this characteristic of online video files to
transform the input files: The one Download Finished exploits, is the
compression technique of delta frames. Unlike the original film, an
encoded film does not consist of 25 full images per second: The amount
of full images is reduced to save space, and the parts in between full
images (key frames) are calculated on the fly. The frames generated from
the differences between key frames are called delta frames. By simply
deleting the key frames of a film the file data is transmogrified to
reveal the nature of the found footage files as a collaborative work
with a very complex data structure.
What we also wanted to comment on with Download Finished is the question
of authorship. There is no way of knowing (from the data structure) the
copyright status of online footage. On machine level it is just a set of
data. People who use DF to transform a video input "own" what they
prduce and Download Finished also asks them to download their new film
in DVD quality in order to be able to insert it into other pieces of
film or even to send it off to film festivals, screen it etc.
This actually worked quite well - we know of some Download Finished
films being shown in screenings, some films entered in festivals and
there are probably some more of which we have no idea...
-carmen & doma
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