Peer To Peer Cinema


Californian net theorist Mark Pesce argues that the rise of peer to peer will inevitably destroy television as we know it – or at least force it to morph considerably to deal with our capacity to draw up TV episodes on demand via peer to peer networks online. Television he argues will return eventually to being predominantly a news and live events medium. For anyone wishing to create some sort of film or audiovisual entertainment, the accessibility of the peer to peer networks is an exciting ground leveller and worth thinking about more deeply for both creative and distribution purposes.

One example of decentralised video distribution is with videoblogs. Keen video netizens have begun hijacking the power of rss and automated blog tools to pump out video blogs that can be subscribed to, and embraced the shared bandwidth of P2P to feasibly distribute larger works. For VJ Falk, harnessing the power of the blog to distribute video made immediate sense.

“I wanted the blog to force myself to create new loops, and become an avenue for projecting socially aware loops that reflected my personal interests,” he explains. Using a combination of RSS and software called FireANT ( ), anybody can subscribe to VJ Falk’s near-weekly creation of video loops and have them automatically downloaded as he publishes. Like podcasting ( the automated audio equivalent ), videoblogging is increasing exponentially. For RMIT lecturer Adrian Miles, videoblogging still has a way to go until it reaches the malleable and fluidly referential state of text blogs. To that end, his blog features examples of experimental ‘videblog quoting’ using quicktime, as well as plenty of critical analysis about videoblog possibilities.

With so much video data shuffling from user to user, it makes sense that some are interested in re-shaping cinema through database access of these clips. For RMIT masters student David Wolf, the combination of quicktime authoring software and RSS allows him to access and utilise photos from the photo database, and text headlines from anywhere, within his custom-made VJ application – all during a live performance~! Those keen to explore more in the line of database and video, might want to check out the ‘Soft Cinema’ book and DVD by theorist and artist, Lev Manovich. – David Wolf – Adrian Miles
( Succinct BBC explanation of RSS) ( VJ Falk )

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