The Video Essay
an upper-division course
In an interview Godard joked, “I have a secret ambition…to be put in charge of the French newsreel service.” Then he started to convince himself, “A televised newspaper made up of carefully prepared documents would be extraordinary.” Information, sound, image, all of this happening in time, segmented and digestible, Godard sensed the possibility in a new type of media. A digestible form of consumption that blended text with pictures, documentation with advertisement, intimacy with objectification. And now we have it. The computer allows access to thousands of newspapers, also television shows, social media sites, email, reddit, first person shooting games, everything really. Looking at artists like Janet Cardiff, Hito Steyerl, Jenny Holzer, Harun Farocki, Young Hae Chang Heavy Industries, Trinh Minh Ha, Allison Parrish, Amalia Ulman, Renee Green, Sondra Perry, Angela Washko, Douglas Kearney, Xu Bing and others, we’ll explore narrative in the on screen video format. This course explores how to write fiction and non-fiction through the medium of video, using visual and sonic effects to convey narrative, argument, and character.
Brown University, Providence RI,