Exploring Collaboration Through Videography

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I’m really happy that I recently accepted an offer from the Arts Council of Greater New Haven to do videography work for them on Reintegrate: Enhancing Collaborations in the Arts & Sciences. Reintegrate is a pretty neat project, about not only looking at the arts community in New Haven, but seeing how the scientific and academic community can work with them on projects and share the strengths of two different styles of thinking. In its own words, the project

celebrates and showcases the region’s creativity in both the arts and sciences by facilitating collaboration between artists and scientists, showcasing innovative arts and science projects, and inviting the public to share the arts/science connection through events and resources.

Essentially, there are several teams of artists and scientists working together on projects related to geography and literature, stem-cell research and dance, citizen science and sculpture, and so on. This is really exciting to me because of my experience working with civic and tactical media through the Remember Me project. Coincidentally, I’m TAing a course in Interventionist Aesthetics this semester, in which we

examine the ways in which art, design, and technology can be leveraged to develop creative and tactical responses to critical political issues in the public sphere. We study the role of artistic interventions, social media, and tactical tools to support civic agency and participatory action, as well as transform changing political conditions in critical ways. We will investigate how aesthetic principles such as the gaze, spectacle and détournement help to contextualize interventionist practices and inform the creation of new work.

To me, videography is a process of documentation, presented through stylistic choices and a structure that mimics a popular visual aesthetic. People typically understand the language of interview, editing, and video sequences as a compact mode of storytelling. But the subject of Reintegrate is interesting because it deals with collaboration in a way very similar to my thesis work on hackathons. People are coming together from disparate backgrounds sharing similar goals, exercising their skills in a temporary collective effort to make something for others.

I’m also excited because it finally justified me getting a proper camera and gear to do the shoot right. Those tools will definitely come in handy if I decide to incorporate multimedia elements into my thesis work, or on some other project.

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