This week I chose to look for video-essays that were outside of the range that I have the habit of watching on my personal time. I searched for it in an academic video-essay journal. I picked something at random and I was quite surprised by what I ended up seeing. This work is described in the review as a “video-based neuroimage of the author’s brain”. Although editing can, in general, be considered digital collaging, this particular video felt very much like that from the eclectic nature of the different elements that composed it.
Without wanting to spend too much of my word allocation in a synopsis, I have to say that this is the most personal video-essay that I have made a commentary on so far. The author uses footage of herself throughout the essay in a way that differs from, say, what Kevin B. Lee would have done. Kevin uses himself as a prop, as a way to make a point about a specific text or videographic material. But Patricia uses herself because this whole essay is about her brain and the way that cinema interacts with her psyche. It feels very weird to have an academic videographic essay about someone and not a text, especially since the movies that she borrowed scenes from don’t quite engage with each other in the way that other essays aim at (like, Honolulu mon Amour, for example). Their common thread is the way they connect to her reality and her emotions.
This is an incredibly personal piece of work and incredibly vulnerable also and I commend the fact that she brought herself into her academic pursuit to prove her very point: ”that after the movement-image and the time-image, we have entered the phase of the neuro-image that has a particular connection to digital screen culture”, that is, that we live in a state of co-evolution with the images we consume and see. First of all, I have realized recently that using personal material in video-essays would be really challenging for me. There is something about storytelling, poetry-reading and film-making that makes it such that the people associated to that, the best ones at least, are generally highly regarded for their ability to produce that kind of material and as a novice there is a lot of pressure to not sound like a pale imitation or to convey pretension about my ideas. Because this video-essay was so personal it is making me get personal in my response to it but I want to say that I find it interesting thhttp://mediacommons.futureofthebook.org/intransition/2015/03/10/emoticonsat there is space for this kind of work in academia.