Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dancing to Architecture - a motion picture about This Is Not Art

Here's an open source documentary video I had a hand in creating back in 2002. Dancing to Architecture. It is made from 100s of hours of footage from a week long event, and less than 3 days in an editing studio on an old Media 100!

The producer Kristefan Minski is working on getting the historic footage archived and online. Back in 2002 we had visions of it being online like this, with a full footage log sheet linked to the original footage for others to use to mix their own versions. Back in 2002 that was kind of visionary as it turns out, but back then we didn't have the awareness we have of the Internet taht we have now.. existed, but we didn't know, socially constructed media was simply a figment of our imagination.. Youtube was a long 2 years away.. the thought that there was free and popular video servers out there that stuffed their nose at copyright and digital rights management, was too good to be true.

Now days, conciousness is radically different. And 7 years on, the footage is becoming more valuable. In 20 years it will be priceless to the archive of Australian cultural development in the age of Internet transformation and digital formats. Apart from all that, its just great memories of a young and enthusiastic time of risk taking and running by the seat of our pants on the smell of an oily rag.

Here's the blurb for the video:

Dancing to Architecture was the first open source documentary of its kind and is to date the only existing motion picture account of the phenomenal This Is Not Art festivals (TINA) - held in Newcastle, Australia every year in October. Filmed in 2002, Dancing to Architecture is essential for anyone who wants to gain an impression of what the TINA festival is like. It is rapid, chaotic, anarchic and urgent. It is dramatic, electric, technical, and socially relevant. It is Australia’s biggest event for communications, new media arts, music and activism.

If you are expecting this film to tell you what This Is Not Art is, then we suggest you stop and go look at their website instead:

If you are looking for an AV impression of TINA, with an experimental and expressive edge and subtle narratives, then you should watch Dancing to Architecture.

Dancing to Architecture was made with a budget of AU$1000 and a hell of a lot of begging. It was shot in Mini DV, Digital 8, Video 8, Hi8, DVC Pro, and Webcams, and edited in Premier and Media100. Audio was recorded in DAT, Mini Disc, cassette tape, and mini cassette tape and edited with Protools.

Basically any format and editing tool we could get our hands on was good enough, so long as we could record and log as much as possible, then edit together what we wanted. By the end of the festival we had collected over 140 hours of interviews, presentations and workshops, events, exhibitions, performances and time-lapse recordings. All of this footage has been thoroughly logged and made available online as open source to anyone who wants to watch it or even make another piece about TINA:

see DTA open source archive

So that’s where the real documentary lays – somewhere in all that 140 hours or more of raw footage. What we have made is a preview to it - an invite to look at the source material.

Dancing to Architecture is a challenge to documentary makers, a challenge to thoroughly break with tradition, confront the notion of documentary and become more creative and innovative with it. We want open source documentary, we want performance documentary, we want experimental documentary, and we want copy left documentary.

Dancing to Architecture is inspired by the early work of Dziga Vertov (Man With a Movie Camera), the conceptual framework established by Michael Snow and co (Wavelength), Ron Fricke and co (Baraka) and the numerous VJ's and performance video artists for their successful popularisation of this particular film genre.

This movie is part of the collection: Open Source Movies

Director: Lery Black
Producer: Kristefan Minski - Vital Focus Productions
Production Company: Vital Focus Productions
Sponsor: University of Newcastle, Octapod
Audio/Visual: sound, color
Language: English
Keywords: DTA, Dancing to Architecture, Vital Focus, Leroy Black, Leigh Blackall, Kristefan Minski, Minski Media, Documentary, TINA, This Is Not Art, Marcus Westbury, Newcastle, Australia
Contact Information:


leroy black
kristefan minski
ass. director and production manager:
clare lloyd
assistant producer:
antonio master
vision editors:
anya beyersdorf
jacqui kimbell
sound editor:
kristefan minski
original music:

leroy black
joshua bowyer
jasmine holm
shaye jewell
paul kimbell
clare lloyd
julia maclean
kim wall
katherine winning

sound recordists:
kim honan
stuart liddell
david mcdonald
kristefan minski
gavin weir

Creative Commons Licence

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons (Attribution) license.

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