Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Video Review
by Skald

A long dry spell.... a hiatus from writing for Hobopoet. I needed a break... too much academic writing-- that blessed and accursed Masters degree!! As a break from written words, Iíve been finding amusement in the visual realm: with the shared purchase of a video camera. And so Three Amigos productions recently rolled out its first video: ìA Typical Day in Bangkokî..... a video postcard for friends and family back home....

This stunning cinematic success follows our heroes through their ìtypical dayî (thus the brilliant title) as they wake up, go to school, eat, and do other incredibly exciting things.

Of course, the process of making the video was alot more fascinating and interesting than watching it.... which is the point after all. I have Luddite tendencies at times but some aspects of new technology are quite engaging. For example, the fact that it is now possible for a group of friends to buy a video camera and laptop and produce their own videos and documentaries.... for a very cheap price....I find that exciting. Film-making..... especially budget documentary film-making... is now firmly in reach of almost anyone (almost anyone in N.America & Europe at least).

For now the three amigos are focusing on video postcards and the like while we teach ourselves the ins and outs of shooting and editing.... but the skyís the limit and this is a whole lot more fun than sitting in front of the goddam boob-tube like fucking lobotomized zombies. What weíve embarked upon is the joyful process of a collaborative/creative project.... what Hakim Bey calls an ìimmediatist projectî--- a creative group undertaking whose primary goal is the process of shared imagination and camaraderie (and not the end ìproductî).

Video, of course, is an ideal medium for this sort of thing as a great many talents can be involved in the areas of writing, storyline, lighting, sound, on-camera performance, directing, interviewing, editing, music selection, etc... But video isnít the only immediatist possibility. There are many media that suit the needs of an immediatist project-- anything from making a movie, to playing a role-playing game, to collaborating on a painting, to forming a band, to hosting a costume or dinner party, to making a quilt...... all are prime candidates for shared imagination.

Iím all for moments of lonely solitude--- writing haiku in silent reverie--- meditating atop an isolated mountain, etc..... but we humans are also social creatures and Mr. Bey is right: itís time to break the grip of bitter loneliness and alienation that characterizes so many lives. Must we spend all of our time at work and recovering from it (vegetating in front of the tube, working at recreation)? Must our social lives necessarily wither away after we pass 30? Must we abandon shared play, shared imagination, shared creativity,...... genuine (not work related or consumption related) camaraderie? Is it truly necessary to become sensible, reasonable, and dreadfully boring when we become 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90.....? I donít think so.

So this is a call for shared play and social creation... whatever form it takes. This is a call for active engagement instead of lonely and passive consuming--- letís play games together, letís act and role play together, letís paint and draw and sew and make movies together. Sitting alone, night after night, eyes stuck to the corporate blue-screen--- that is the way of degradation and death. Reach out. Connect. Play. Imagine.

Create together.

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