I Look to ThirdTube (March 5, 2008)
NOTES: Origins and Context | See Also
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Origins of this content
This 2008 blog post wraps up my lengthy Mp:me project, a series of manifestos I initially wrote to commence my Media Praxis blog (explaining my goals and values) and then made into videos, using the seminal manifestos of Dziga Vertov (writing about early documentary cinema) as my muse and guide. As a scholar/artist writing about and making YouTube videos during the time of their invention (as did Vertov during the consolidation of early cinema), I thought of my work, and that of the activist/scholar/artist community to which I turned, as responsible for setting terms for this new medium or else watching as the terms, forms, and uses were set for us.
DIY was a term embraced by a group of anticonsumer nonconformist punks before it was a TV shopping network.

"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]

The Third Cinema was a radical film movement that occurred in the 1960s in the decolonizing nations of the Third World, including Latin America, Africa and Asia. Like DIY, Third Cinema is "an ideologically charged and aesthetically meaningful term that denotes the adoption of an independent, often oppositional stance towards commercial genre and auteurist cinemas emanating from the more developed, Western (or Westernized, in the cases of Israel and Australia) capitalist world. As such, Third Cinema is both less geographically bound and more actively shaped by anti-imperialist and counterculture movements that emerged during the 1960s."[cit]

AnthroVlog (Patricia Lange) is a media scholar whose research project is "on video sharing on YouTube and in the video blogging community."[cit]
To wrap up this thread of ideas coming from my bad manifesto videos, I'd like to try to better attend to ThirdTube, that manner of user-generated video, currently available on the web, that is neither vblog nor music video.

This kind of video formally marks the hand of its DIY producer (with "bad" production) while also signaling her seriousness of her mind, vision, goals or politics (with "big" ideas). It uses the sketch-like form of the YouTube video (made and seen quickly, without aim at perfection or mastery, but with some attention to style and with clear goals of communication) to allow making and viewing video to be a part of daily experience and lifelong learning.

Now, it may seem that I'm suggesting that the "personal" nature of the vblog disqualifies it from ThirdTube (which is, of course, an homage to Third Cinema), but that would go directly against my feminist politics and my expressed stake in femi-digi-praxis.

So let me add this simple (and familiar) feminist (and later punk) formula: the personal is the political. When vblogs move to the next step, which is making systematic (theoretical) and communal (political) claims grounded in personal experience, then they move into what I am calling ThirdTube: user-generated, simple-in-form, complex-in-thought media about the material of daily life that is not beholden to corporate culture and products.

This stuff is all over YouTube, and perhaps my next move is to be more thoughtful about what sits in ThirdTube.

I've recently come across the research of AnthroVlog on YouTube. Her site "examines how people use digital technologies such as video, blogs, and video sharing sites such as YouTube. We hope to take what we learn to consider new design of online environments and educational programs. What defines a community?"