Archive for the ‘video’ Category

mark making

April 6, 2014

Very nice video on the fascination of mark making – what applies to children may also apply to adults and even the elderly. (I fixed the broken link.)

fantastic flying books

February 8, 2012

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore 



September 26, 2011

I know, there are too many babies and kittens featured on the internet. But I cannot help posting it, it is just so funny and interesting at the same time, watching those two little people having a conversation. A favourite YouTube video, together with classic “Charlie bit my finger”.


December 26, 2010

A few months ago I was invited to speak at a panel discussion about the future of the book at Vienna’s biggest public library. Usually take the role of an advocate for  new media, however, at this event I found myself in the position of arguing for the superior technology of the book, as opposed to various e-readers and ipads. This very funny video explains it well. (Also with German subtitles here: Kennen Sie BOOK?.)

Unless e-books will become substantially cheaper than paper books, I most likely will prefer to buy paper books. These I will be able to re-read in ten or twenty years without a hitch and/or will be able to pass them on to other readers, at any time in the future.

how to be a realist

September 18, 2010

Holocaust survivor Viktor Frankl speaking in 1972: “If we take man as he really is, we make him worse. But if we overestimate him, idealize him, … see him as he should be, we make him capable of what he can become.”

educational action figures

September 17, 2010

Recently I found out by accident that I have far more subscribers to my blog than I ever imagined. I have not posted for a while, because I have been busy at other sites, but I was so touched when I found out, that I decided to keep posting at least once in a while some of the things I come across, even if I don’t have much time to write thoughtful comments. So here without much further ado a few things related to the educational potential of actions figures, all from a very different perspective. Im my research on superheroes, actions figures played a part, of course. Now here are a couple of videos: firstly, the Brontë Sisters Power Dolls, a must for anybody who loves Victorian novels!

Brontë Sisters Power Dolls

Secondly, Henry Jenkins on “Toying with Transmedia: The Future of Entertainment is Child’s Play” talking at length about actions figures. Jenkins argues such toys served children and young adults as “authoring tools” in stories that grew increasingly elaborate and technologically sophisticated over the years, spawning new kinds of play in our own time. Transmedia is not about “dumbing down popular culture,” Jenkins says. It involves complex mythologies that kids and adults can throw themselves into, with large casts of vivid characters in complex plots rivaling those in Russian novels. Transmedia storytelling also encourages children to “play out different fantasies,” Follow the link to see the video of his talk.Toying with Transmedia: The Future of Entertainment is Child’s Play | MIT World.
This was, kind of, what I wanted to get at in my MA thesis, but of course Henry Jenkins takes it a lot further and much more eloquently than I ever could.

Thirdly, here are David Gauntlett’s actions figures of famous theorists –Anthony Giddens and Michel Foucault – Even though they are almost ten years old, they still makes me smile.

And did I say, that I recently dug out my son’s box of action figures and matchbox cars? (He had wanted to sell them on e-bay last year, but I got upset and I insisted to keep them myself if he did not want to. This summer, I started playing with them and my other new toy, the camera on my iPhone. I might post some of the results soon.

fairy tales 2.0

May 9, 2010

You can create your own Google search stories now with the Google Search Stories Video Creator made by Korean designer Ji Lee. I just made this one.

digital storytelling

April 9, 2010

Parisian Love is a promotional video by Google. Made in the vein of Michael Wesch’s videos I cannot help liking it. It is is really well made.

what the world needs now is love

September 27, 2009

by Dionne Warwick

This is great, bringing back childhood memories:  watching records spinning on the turntable and dreaming about being a hippie when I would grow up, living in a world of love and peace . :-)

If its on the interweb it must be true

September 26, 2009


Museumsquartier by loungerie on Flickr

On July 7 20o9 the “Internet Research Group” from the University of Vienna presented YouTube Cinema with a programme called “Fake!” at the Museumsquartier in Vienna. Everybody had ten minutes to show and talk about  some favourites. It was a fun evening with some lively discussions. Here is our playlist:
YouTube Kino: Fake!

taking video literal

March 14, 2009


White Wedding: Literal Video Version – watch more funny videos

This literal video version of White Wedding by Billy Idol made me laugh out loud. I guess you had to be there in the eighties, when some of your friends were Gothic, some of your friends were New Wave and some of your friends were Straight Edge, and you had a little brother tapping his feet in black leather pants, to really appreciate this wry comment on eighties pop culture.

via boing boing

On a more serious note, this video illustrates well how words and images work best together in juxtaposition. I am just reading Perry Nodelman, Words about Pictures. The Narrative Art of Childrens Picture Books, and here is a quote which fits perfectly: 

“In a discussion of the semiology of film, Christian Metz suggests that films demand from their viewer knowledge of at least five different systems of signification, most of which can also befound in slightly different ways in picture books: culturebound patterns of visual and auditory perception (such as knowing how to understand a perspectve drawing), recognition of the objects shown on screen (labeling), knowledge of their cultural significance (such as knowing that blackclothes stand for mourning), narrative structures (types of stories and how they usually work out) and purely cinematic means of implying significance, such as music and montage.

Metz suggests that each complete film “relying on all these codes, plays them one against the other, eventually arriving at its own individual system, its ultimate (or first?) principle of unification and intelligibility”. In other words, filmmakers make the use of differencees between various means of communication in the knowledge that each medium they bring into play will finally merely be part of the whole along with all the others; consequently, they deberately (or sometimes, given the varying narrative capabilities of different media, inevitably) make each incomplete so that it can indeed be part of a whole and so that the meaning will be communicated by the whole and not any specific part of the whole.

What the clothing and gesture do not reveal to us, the music or the narrative structure might; and what the clothing and music communicate separately is different from what they communicate together. So each medium that filmmakers use always communicates different information, and all of them express their fullest meaning in terms of the ironies inherent in their differencees from each other. Irony occurs in literature when we know something more and different from what we are being told.” (222-3)

Music videos play with visual codes and popular narratives adressing the viewers’s contextual, (sub) cultural knowledge and in contrasting, juxtaposing, contradicting and amplifying music and lyrics add to the overall meaning. In the case of this Billy Idol video spoof, the irony lies in the breaking of these film making and music video conventions, which we all know so well. The lyrics are a literal translation of what is seen, merely labeling the objects and actions on the screen (candelabra! black leather pants!) and the cinematic means of implying significance (letting in the fog, blowing up stuff, going outside) but ignoring their cultural significance. Taking language conventions literal is stand up comedy stuff, here it is applied to film. The new lyrics attempt to undermine the “subversive” interplay of original lyrics (about white weddings) and video narrative  drawing on a different kind of cultural knowledge by calling it what it plainly is in the eyes of a contemporary viewer – a goth wedding, an eighties pop video. 


media studies 101

November 22, 2008

Here are some good videos to get a class of students thinking about new media.This one by David Gauntlett:

Media and Everyday Life (improved version)

Vision of Students Today

A short video made by Michael Wesch, who has made some  of the most widely circulated viral videos. Another one is The machine is Us/using Us:

The Machine is Us/ing Us (Final Version)

And if you have the time to watch this one hour introduction to YouTube and the cultural changes currently taking place made by Michael Wesch and his students – it’s worth watching:

An anthropological introduction to YouTube

participation and creativity

November 22, 2008

David Gauntlett’s Lecture on ‘Participation and Creativity’ given on the 12th of November, the birthday of the world wide web.

Part two is supposed to be out by the 28th of November.

building models of learning in Lego

November 22, 2008

In this video you can see David Gauntlett doing his serious play with lego and a bunch of students. I hope I get the chance to try this out with students training to be teachers to get them thinking about media and learning.

Grassroots Obama Video

October 28, 2008

Watch this Grassroots Obama Video, unfortunately I can not embed it in the WordPress blog.  which I have now found on YouTube.

Thomas Finely from wrote:

Check out this original, grassroots-made music video supporting Barack Obama. The level of effort put into the design and video production is enviable, not to mention the message and impact of the video being incredible. Just… Wow.

Nothing much to add. It seems all the talk about participation enabled through new digital media is epitomized in this really well made video, combining the grassroots aesthetics of  “social realism” used by Obama supporters with Hip Hop lyrics and music and a visual interpretation though animated words and images, which has become so typical for Web 2.0 online video rhethoric.

A quick look at the Cafepress Website (where people can order T-Shirts, Mugs etc with thousands of different designs) and a comparison of the designs for Obama and the for McCain shows that at least one thing is definite: Obama seems to inspire a lot more creativity in people, not only in terms of numbers (87.000 versus 30.000) but also in terms of quality and originality of design. The CafePress Meter, which tracks sales also refelcts a clear Obama lead (in sales).

google maps extreme

July 17, 2008
IT everywhere #18, originally uploaded by Paul The Wine Guy

The IT everywhere series by Paul_The_WIne_Guy on Flickr has plenty more great mashups of graffiti, street art and digital icons. And here is another take on Google Maps, sent by Axinia, which made me laugh: Google Maps Extreme.

I could not embed it so you have to follow the link.

animated poetry

May 9, 2008

Intersting 1-minute typo animation with a poem by Tom Waits:

This blackboard animation is fun:

Reading words and images

March 23, 2008

Gunther Kress
Image: Roman Duszek © 2003

Gunther Kress’ work has been important for my own thinking and understanding of the relationship between word and image. I could not resist nicking this image from Knowledgerepresentation where you can find two of his lectures and a paper on Reading Images: Multimodality, Representation and New Media

Some favourite readings:

Kress, Gunther, Van Leeuwen, Theo (1996): Reading Images. The Grammar of Visual Design. London, New York: Routledge.
Kress, Gunther (1997): Before Writing. Rethinking the Paths to Literacy. London/New York.
Kress, G.R. and Van Leeuwen, T. (2002). Multimodal Discourse: the modes and media of contemporary communication. London: Edward Arnold
Kress, Gunther (2003): Literacy in the New Media Age. London: RoutledgeFalmer

feeling good

January 24, 2008

Great music video of Nina Simone’s “Feeling good” by Tamara Conolly using just type and typographic elements in black and white.

new literacies

January 5, 2008


Literacy as a metaphor has been applied to wide set of practices, however it works better in some instances than in others. Digital practices, such as making video, should they be seen as s form of literacy or not? Burn and Durran state here that: „there are times when the literacy metaphor seems less appropriate.“ Referring to the making of videos, creating animated voices for animated or computer games characters or role playing they state „These forms and representations resemble print literacy less than they resemble traditions of oral composition and performance.” pointing to the work on Walter Ong. “The scholar of language, literacy and literature, Walter Ong, laments the demise of oral tradition as print literacy comes to dominate the cultures of developed societies, but he also argues that residues of oral culture persist, and even transmute into new forms through new technologies of communication, a phenomenon he terms‚ second orality.“

An interesting account of this is given by visual anthropologist Marcus Banks. Anthropologist Lawrence Turner had been working with the „Kayapo, a Brazilian indigenous group since the 1960s, had on various occasions facilitated access for British television crews wishing to make ethnographic film on Kayapo life.”

As a result the Kayapo eventually acquired their own video cameras in the eighties and editing facilities a few years after that and started to produce their own videos. They used video for complex purposes as documented by Turner, partially summed up here:


language and city

December 13, 2007

(Fellow Austrian) Ludwig Wittgenstein described language as a large town, grown from an ancient city into a large town including what today would be modern suburbs:

Our language can be seen as an ancient city: a maze of little streets and squares, of old and new houses, and of houses with additions from various periods; and this surrounded by a multitude of new boroughs with straight regular streets and uniform houses. Ludwig Wittgenstein Philosophical Investigations

(a metaphor which Clifford Geertz expanded to “culture” in his essay “Common Sense as a Cultural System.“) The metaphor can also be reversed, and cities may be read as text:

This video could be seen as a reversal of the project Delete! (I blogged about it here).

In “Kapitaal” (Capital) not the signs but the city is eliminated, and all but the signs remain. The video was created by Studio Smack (via Cross the Breeze). I do agree with the comment of a viewer, that the animation would be better viewed on a big screen, or may be for the small low res YouTube version it could be a bit shorter.

This video “The Child” created by Antoine Bardou-Jacquet is a brilliant animation, showing an entire short story set in an urban (New York) landscape, created only with words and typography. Cult video for fonts lovers and graphic designers says the YouTube description. One of the best typo motion /animations I found on Youtube. Worth watching indeed.

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