The Resolution of MP:me (August 21, 2007)
NOTES: Origins and Context | See Also
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Origins of this content
This 2007 blog post is the first of four manifestos that I penned to commence my blog called Media Praxis and in anticiptation of my course, LFYT. It explicitly refers to the earlier political/film manifestos of soviet filmmakers/theorists Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov, who were also thinking through the radical potentials of the new medium of their epoch: cinema. Like them, I tried to resolutely set forth my operating ideals, goals, orientation, and inclinations for thinking about radical media within radical media, including YouTube. is also the name of an earlier, related, online publication which I produced for and with another Pitzer class that sets forth ten chronological moments where media is theorized, by someone who is making it and as a vital component of political struggle. That site archives and integrates revolutionary theoretical writing, video clips, and related web-based activity.
"The art manifesto has been a recurrent feature associated with the avant-garde in Modernism. Art manifestos are mostly extreme in their rhetoric and intended for shock value to achieve a revolutionary effect."[cit] See more manifestos.

"Almost a century later Vertov's films still look revolutionary. And a contemporary digital video clip screened alongside them might not look so modern (or post-modern) after all. Created from documentary footage, Vertov's films represented an intricate blend of art and political and poetic rhetoric."[cit]

Dziga Vertov's Man with a Movie Camera (1929) is a "stunning avant-garde, documentary meta-narrative which celebrates Soviet workers and filmmaking. The film uses radical editing techniques and cinematic pyrotechnics to portray a typical day in Moscow from dawn to dusk. But Vertov isn't just recording reality, he transforms it through the power of the camera's 'kino-glaz' (cinema eye). Vertov's rich imagery transcends the earth-bound limitations of our everyday ways of seeing."[cit]
(After "The Resolution of Three," by Dziga Vertov with Mikhail Kaufman and Elizaveta Svilova, April 10, 1923, I write a manifesta about ThirdTube)

The situation on the digital front, namely YouTube, must be considered inauspicious.

As was to be expected, the first videos shown recall the old "industrial" models (slogan-like media; pithy, precise, rousing calls to action or consumption, or action as consumption; bite-sized, word-sized, postage-sized cinema; strong, intense, interchangeable, and forgettable films; the stuff of YouTube).

Therefore the Council of MP:me without waiting for my students to be assigned works and ignoring the latter's desire to realize their own projects, is temporarily disregarding authorship rights and resolves to immediately publish for general use the common principles and slogans of the future revolution-through-YouTube; for which purpose, first and foremost, femi-digi-practitioner (feminist digital practitioner) Alexandra Juhasz (MP:me) is directed, in accordance with the discipline of media praxis (an enduring, mutual, and building tradition that theorizes and creates the necessary conditions for media to play an integral role in cultural and individual transformation), to repurpose and "publish" online certain excerpts from her chapter "Documentary on YouTube: The Failure of the Direct Cinema of the Slogan" ( Re-Thinking Documentary, ed. Thomas Austin [NY: McGraw Hill, 2008]), which shall sufficiently clarify the nature of that failure.

The Resolution of MP:me.

In fulfillment of the resolution of the Council of MP:me on August 21 of this year, I am publishing the following excerpts here and now on this blog, Media Praxis:

The death sentence passed in 2007 by the femi-digi-practitioner MP:me on YouTube, with no exceptions, holds true for the present as well. The most scrupulous examination reveals that what YouTube gains in access it lacks in knowledge; what YouTube achieves through open admission it loses in focused vision. While many single videos, and single artistic media experiments, might in themselves be properly directed to the emancipation of the digital (which for the most part is reduced to a state of pitiable slavery, of subordination to the imperfections and the shortsightedness of the slogan of dominant corporate media: the simplistic selling of ideas so as to move people to fight or buy, no matter), YouTube's decided disinclination toward ongoing bonds is made manifest through a corporate, postmodern architecture founded on the transitory and evocative link.

Meanwhile, the tradition of media praxis demands not merely numbers, access, and reciprocity but also, at the same time, a connected and lasting base of knowledge, an associated community, and a will to action.

I do not object to YouTube's undermining of television and the multiplex; I wholly approve of the use of the digital in every branch of knowledge, but I define these functions as accessory, as secondary offshoots of the digital.

The main and essential thing is:

Connections: linking past theories of radical media with contemporary political practices, and interrelating living communities of committed media makers with histories from which they can learn.

Without theory, history, community, and politics, the expanded access enabled by (post) capitalism on YouTube is not yet all we might demand for the future of the digital.

I therefore take as the point of departure the use of YouTube as a communal, historical, and contextual femi-digi-praxis, more perfect than any one human's discrete knowledge, for the exploration of the chaos of media phenomena that fills space.

Femi-digi-praxis pays attention; it grounds and slows circulation through commitment, connection, and complexity.

Femi-digi-praxis: I connect!
Femi-digi-praxis: I attend!
Femi-digi-praxis: I contextualize!

There you have it, citizens, for the first time: instead of music, painting, theater, cinematography, and other castrated outpourings.

Within the chaos of media, running past, away, running into and colliding; fragmented, cluttered, commercial; femi-digi-praxis looking backward as well as to the future, I connect, attend, unite, and contextualize to theories, politics, history, and community.