[-empyre-] Making Sense on Youtube

McVittie, Fred Fred.McVittie at falmouth.ac.uk
Wed Oct 13 18:59:29 EST 2010

Hello List

I'm Fred McVittie, one of the artists-in-residence at the Paris Colloquium, and am very honoured to be invited to participate.  Much of my work these days takes place in social media, specifically Youtube, which for me has moved from being a minor convenience when I really needed to see a video of a cat falling off a table to a place that I feel increasing at home. Actually, the whole idea of being 'in residence' sounds a little strange to me since the place where my practice resides is in the space between my Flip camera and the screens on which its images will eventually appear.

Most morning I take my dogs, Phoebe and Guy, for a walk along the canal.  We cut up and go along the Salt Line, which is the old disused railway line where the trains used to take the salt from Northwich and Middlewich to the Potteries.  Then we cross a field that has an old white horse in it. On these walks I usually talk to myself, usually silently but sometimes out loud.  Occasionally I find myself gesturing while I am thinking aloud, and sometimes passers-by look at me in a funny way.  I keep doing it though because the gesturing makes it easier for me to put the thoughts together in satisfying ways. For a while I took notebooks with me and would stop occasionally to write down what I was thinking, but I kept losing the notebooks, and anyway, the dogs didn't like it when I stopped.  They liked the steady, three miles per hour rambling that accompanied their sniffing, and digging, and barking.  When I got home I would sit by the laptop with a cup of coffee and write down whatever I had been thinking about, but detached from the walk, and the horse, and the canal, and the oak tree, it didn't make much sense, so I started thinking about horses, and water, and trees, and writing about those things.  Then I started to worry that if my laptop crashed I would lose everything, like I lost my notebooks, so I started making videos of this rambling and posting them onto Youtube where everything would be safe.  The internet is everywhere so anything you put on the internet is everywhere.  Everything I thought about I put on Youtube, and that seemed to be mostly about trees, and space, and walking, and occasionally about dogs.   Over the last three years I've been joined in my walks by other individuals residing between lenses and screens: bikemessenger7, Oojamaflipper, Inmnedham, 2bsirius, SkepticalAtheist, TwitfromUranus, professoranton, NuclearNight, Loraleila, GirlyVoice, and dozens of others, and without meaning to I have become part of this community and have shared parts of myself with them, and with my 7000 subscribers, that my friends IRL (do people still say IRL?) don't know about.  This is a weirdly disembodied community, made up mostly of eyes and words, and the touch of skin is, for good or ill, noticeably absent.  When we make sense, if we make sense, we do so through reduced sense modalities, and in an environment in which sense must be constructed and construed in the presence of this absence.  It is peculiarly safe.

Looking forward to seeing y'all.  I've put together a playlist of making sense related videos at http://www.youtube.com/user/conferencereport#grid/user/6ACB734095CC3AB1


Fred McVittie
University College Falmouth,
Department of Performance
University College Falmouth

Email: fred.mcvittie at falmouth.ac.uk<mailto:fred.mcvittie at falmouth.ac.uk>


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