tishaturk: (OTW)

[Click here to donate]

If you're reading this post, you probably already know at least a little bit about the ways in which the OTW has gone to bat for vidders over the years. I mean, yes, the OTW has done a lot of other great stuff too; I am endlessly grateful for Transformative Works and Cultures, I love Fanlore, and I hear there's also some big fic archive or something. But it's the OTW's work on behalf of vidders, AMV makers, and other fan video artists that means the most to me personally, as a vidder and vid fan.

I'm grateful not only for the achievements themselves but for the organization that's facilitated them. The OTW has enabled fans to collaborate on big projects, to pool our skills and expertise, in ways that would otherwise be difficult if not impossible. Without the OTW, I would still have been furious about DMCA-related takedowns of vids, but I wouldn't have known where to begin fighting back. I wouldn't have known it was even possible to file an exemption petition, much less known how to do so; I just don't have that kind of legal training! But because of the OTW, I've been able to participate anyway: to lend some tech know-how to the people who do have the necessary legal expertise, to bring a vidder's voice to the hearings in DC. I'm proud to be part of this work and grateful to the OTW for the opportunity to contribute what I can.


Speaking of which: This year's DMCA hearings have been scheduled for the end of May, so I will once again be joining Rebecca Tushnet and Francesca Coppa at the Library of Congress to explain, in the smallest words possible, why vidders need to be able to break encryption on Blu-ray, DVDs, and DRM-protected digital downloads. Some of the arguments on file have already yielded that special "oh my god you did not just say that" combination of hilarity and outrage that I have come to associate with the DMCA exemption process, so the hearings themselves should be... memorable.

I will also be going to several conferences in the next six months.

Gendered Politics of Production symposium

details )

Fan Studies Network conference

details )

Feminisms and Rhetorics

details )
tishaturk: (Default)
You know you've been working on your DMCA statement about video specs too long when you glance at the section on interlacing and realize that it begins "From the point of view of remix artists, interlacing—or, for those who don’t know the technical term, “that weird comb effect”—is perhaps best defined as the devil’s work."

I am so tempted to leave it like that, you don't even know.
tishaturk: (professional geek)
I just. WHAT.

Some of you no doubt remember what happened last year: One of my students tweeted Orlando Jones, he responded, epic hilarity ensued.

This year, I put readings by and about Mr. Jones on the syllabus: A Daily Dot piece from last fall about his interest in fic, an essay he wrote for HuffPo, and of course the Tumblr posts referenced above. I told them about his self-identification as a fangirl and linked them to the videos that Henry Jenkins posted in which Mr. Jones chatted with Henry about fandom and the future and visited one of Henry's graduate seminars. (And then in class one of my students asked me who Orlando Jones is. Pro tip for students: if you don't do the readings, please don't embarrass yourself by advertising that you didn't do the readings.)

Anyway! On Monday evening, one of this year's students tweeted him; once again, he responded. I tweeted to say that he should consider himself contacted and we'd love to talk to him during our Thusday afternoon class. There was some weirdness with DMs not going through; he asked me to email him, I did, I didn't hear anything for a couple of days... Until today, when I checked my email after my morning class finished up at noon and discovered that I had an email from Orlando Jones asking for my Skype address. WHY YES I WOULD BE HAPPY TO SEND THAT TO YOU. *dies* I emailed last year's students to invite them to join us, posted to Tumblr (which prompted this post--check the notes), and then staved off fangirl meltdown by grading papers for an hour.

I got to class early to reinstall Skype on the classroom computer and get the webcam set up; we balanced the webcam on a stack of student notebooks plus copies of Jameson's FIC and Jenkins' Textual Poachers. (SO META.) A few of last year's students showed up and waved at me from the back of the room. I was giving an overview of the plan for the day--I think I had just finished talking about final evaluations--when Skype pinged at us. (!!!) I had managed to screw up the sound settings in Skype, go figure; it's not like working with AV equipment is my hobby or anything. *facepalm* But we got it sorted, and then we Skyped with Orlando Jones for close to half an hour.

I'd heard from various people who've met him how nice he is, but you guys, there's hearing about it and then there's experiencing it. He's smart, obviously, and very funny, but also just so gracious and kind and so genuinely interested in talking to us, laughing with us, being goofy with us. He talked about his experiences in fandom and about what the term "fan" means to him, dodged a question about what Hogwarts house he'd be in (oh students, never change), offered some insights into the way that fan visibility is affecting the TV/film industry, articulated some key differences between the way that the money people at networks see fans and the way that he (and by extension other actors and the creative side of the industry) relates to fans, told us what he's fannish about right now (Orphan Black! Utopia!), broke my class by self-identifying as a Destiel shipper, and, at my request, told us a little bit about the book he's going to be working on.

Of course my students all wanted to take selfies with him, which he agreed to do on the condition that they tweet the selfies to him (which they have done, and he's been marking them as favorites--you guys, I can't even). We turned off the lights and I stood at the front of the classroom laughing in delight as my students all turned their backs to the projector screen and held up their glowing cell phones in the dark, a dense constellation of happy fans. Mr. Jones leaned in close to the camera and smiled hugely for them, and then I held up the webcam so they could all wave goodbye, and we signed off.

I will freely confess that the rest of class was not our most productive day ever, though we did manage to have some small-group conversations about what assignments I should keep and what I should do differently the next time I teach the course, and several of my students came up with really thoughtful suggestions that I need to figure out how to implement.

And that was the last day of class for Fan Cultures & Fan Creativity 2014.
tishaturk: (Default)

You guys, I have the best students. And also the best job.

ETA: Why yes, my student did put this on Tumblr. Feel free to reblog. :D
tishaturk: (Default)
(Title courtesy of [tumblr.com profile] devildoll because OMG so true.)

Already cross-posted lots of places, but here's one final reminder!

The OTW's Fan Video & Multimedia Committee is once again working with the Legal Committee and the Electronic Frontier Foundation to petition for a DMCA exemption granting vidders, AMV makers, and other creators of noncommercial remix video the right to break copy protection on media files. In 2010, we won the right to rip DVDs; in 2012, we got that exemption renewed and expanded to include digital downloads (iTunes, Amazon Unbox, etc.). In 2015, we'll be pushing to add Blu-Ray—and, of course, to renew the exemptions we've already won in the last two rounds of DMCA rulemaking.

And we need your help to do it! If you make or watch vids, AMVs, or other forms of fan video, we need you to tell us:

1. Why making fan videos is a transformative and creative act;
2. Why video makers need high-quality source;
3. Why video makers need to be able to manipulate source (change speed and color, add effects, etc.);
4. Why video makers need fast access to source (such as using iTunes downloads rather than waiting for DVDs);
5. Why video makers need to be able to use Blu-Ray;
6. Why video makers need to be able to use streaming sources; and
7. Anything else you think we should keep in mind as we work on the exemption proposal.

We're also looking for vids that we should add to the Fair Use Test Suite, and we'd love to have your suggestions.

If you have thoughts about any or all of these topics, you can comment on this post OR contact me (Tisha) directly at tisha dot turk at gmail dot com or fanvideo-chair at transformativeworks dot org, or email the Legal Committee at legal at transformativeworks dot org. You don't have to use your real name; we can use your name or pseudonym or describe you anonymously as "a vidder" or "a fan video artist."

The DMCA is U.S. copyright law and only directly affects U.S. vidders, but it does potentially have ripple effects outside the U.S.: Strong DMCA exemptions help send the message that fan creativity should be protected everywhere. With that in mind, please feel free to send your thoughts even if you don't live in the U.S.

Also, please help us signal-boost! This info has been posted to LiveJournal and Dreamwidth vidding communities and on Tumblr; if you can think of other places the OTW should post, please let me know—and if you can spread the word in your own communities, on streaming sites, etc., please do.
tishaturk: (professional geek)
So I was wandering around Tumblr avoiding the essay I'm supposed to be finishing, as one does, and I happened upon a photo of the required readings for a class. And then I said, Hey, that's my class.

Fourth wall, we hardly knew ye.

(Obviously this sort of thing goes on all the time and has for years. It just hasn't usually involved my classes in places where I can see it, is what I'm saying.)
tishaturk: (professional geek)
1) I forgot to post about this when it happened, but: I was interviewed by project-disco.org back in June, and you can read me talking about vidding, copyright, monetization, etc. The interviewer and I talked for more than 30 minutes, so the published version is heavily edited and thus contains a fair number of apparent non sequiturs simply because the intervening five minutes got edited out. *facepalm*

2) I mentioned this to a few people at the con, so I might as well mention it here: I proposed an essay on the role of music in vids for a special issue of the journal Music, Sound and the Moving Image; the special issue's title is "Musical Screens: Musical Inventions, Digital Transitions, Cultural Critique"--is that not just begging for something about vids? The essay's due at the end of December, which... I am trying not to think about lest I panic, ahahaha.

3) VividCon! I was speaking off the cuff from very brief notes so as not to be too boring and ponderous, so I don't have a whole lot to post, but I'm happy to share what I do have (including the presentation I gave as context for the vidshow I put together for my fan studies class last fall).

Quick reminder: I prefer not to link my pro name and my fan name in ways that are Google-able, so while most of you reading this post know both names, please stick to this one if you post about the panel.

notes and slides under the cut )

[personal profile] kouredios has also posted notes from her half of the panel, in which she explained how she uses vid to teach Comparative Literature majors about different schools of literary criticism, specifically deconstruction. To the surprise of no one, I found it super interesting.

We got some great questions. Someone asked how difficult it was to get these courses approved; in my case the answers were "not at all difficult." The fan studies class was a non-issue because content isn't the main feature of the Intellectual Community courses, and the writing course was a non-issue because nobody cares how I teach argumentation and analysis as long as, you know, I teach it. Someone else asked what I do when students aren't fannish about anything, which honestly hasn't been a problem for me; my students are delightfully geeky. I mean, they're not necessarily involved in online media fandom, but they get the idea of fandom, the passionate investment in something. And of course my fan studies students do almost all self-identify as "in fandom," which is just one of the many reasons I'm looking forward to the fall semester. :D


Aug. 1st, 2014 03:24 pm
tishaturk: (professional geek)
Hey, I am going to be at Vividcon next week! ...well, okay, I am at VVC every year, but this year I will be there under my pro name as well as my vidder name, which happens less often. [personal profile] kouredios and I are doing a presentation + discussion on Using Vids in Class; we'll talk about what we do and why, answer questions, and host conversation. The panel's at 4 on Friday, and we would love to see you there! But we will also understand if you want to go to the Also Premiering show instead. :D
tishaturk: (keyboard)
I will respond to comments on yesterday's post later tonight, but: I just had a talk about vids and vidshows with Karen Tanaka, one of the office staff from IAS (the program where I'm on fellowship this semester). She was at the talk I gave last week and is now excited about vids (she's one of the people who wants to see Pacific Rim after seeing "King and Lionheart"), and she had an idea: Why not have an all-night vid show at Northern Spark?

Northern Spark is the Twin Cities' annual dusk-to-dawn arts festival held on the second Saturday of June each summer. It features thousands of people hanging out in various venues around town to see art, theater, film, dance, music, and new media produced by hundreds of artists.

The recently restored Northrop Memorial Auditorium, where IAS is based, has a small theater that, as Karen pointed out, would be perfect for a series of vidshows.

There's a lot to think about before I commit to trying to put this together, but I have to say that I have kind of fallen in love with the idea. I picture a series of 50-minute themed vidshows, like VividCon. (In fact, I'm wondering whether it might make sense to ask the VJs of some of my favorite recent VVC vidshows to let me use the shows they put together, crediting the VJs as well as the vidders, obviously, and checking with vidders for permission.)

It's too late to make it happen for this year--I don't have time to get the money for the space, for starters--but I may have to start applying for grants for next year. The necessary equipment's all in the theater, so the only expense would be the space itself.

I'm trying to think of the various populations it would make sense to reach out to: local media and SFF fans, obviously, but also students, especially film and art students, the film festival crowd... I need to keep thinking about this. And I need to think about how I, personally, feel about asking vidders to screen their work at such a public and not-specifically-fannish event. But when I think about how the reaction of everyone at last week's presentation was so positive and so "OMG this is really amazing art!", about last year's exhibit at the Museum of the Moving Image, about how much fun it would be to do this... I get excited. :D

Thoughts? Ideas? Cautions? Qualms?
tishaturk: (pen)
As mentioned in my last post, I've spent much of this spring reading about music and thinking about how what I'm reading might apply to vids. This post is some background about why I've been doing that.

more background under the cut )

But as I worked on the book, I just kept coming back to the importance of song choice, and I started trying to articulate why I think music is so important to vids. There are lots of answers, but the ones I'm currently working with are these:

1) Genre. No music, no vid.

2) Emotional effects. The music does most of the emotional heavy lifting in vids. (In this, vids are a lot like narrative film and TV, where music does a lot of the work of telling us what to feel about a scene.)

3) Structure. Vids are structured around music at both macro and micro levels. (In this, vids are the opposite of most narrative film and TV, where music is composed/chosen and edited to fit the visual narrative.)

4) Creative process. Song choice is important not just to the vid but to the vidder. For many of us, the song is what sparks a vid idea in the first place; in other cases, it's the thing that has to be found before the idea can get off the ground. It guides clipping, editing, and often the creation of effects. Think about it this way: pretty much any verb you can think of related to the creative processes of actually planning and making a vid (as opposed to technical stuff like exporting or uploading) is going to be related in some way to the song choice. And even where a given vidder is thinking more about the song's lyrics than its music, the whole point of songs is that the lyrics are welded to the music; they can never be completely disentangled.

So those are some of the key ideas and assumptions that I started out with when I began digging around in the fields of music and sound studies to see what I could find that might help me think through how I see music operating in vids themselves and in the way that vidders describe their creative processes.
tishaturk: (professional geek)
I've spent the semester on a research fellowship at the University of Minnesota's Institute for Advanced Study. Fellows meet weekly for lunchtime presentations of our work in progress. My presentation was today; I was supposed to be talking about the role of music in vids (which is the topic I've been researching this semester as a break from the book). Except I didn't actually get very far, because people had so many basic questions about vidding and fandom -- really good questions, but still. I had an hour and fifteen minutes, and I still got through only half of the material that I wanted to, most of which was the inevitable "here's what vids are and why they matter" introductory material and not the new stuff I've been thinking about.

So I am hoping to use this blog to post snippets of the actual research and thinking over the next few weeks.

I did, at least, get to show some vids -- not a full-fledged vidshow or anything, but a small selection rather than just a single vid (which is what I usually have to do when I'm presenting). It was really important to me that this group get to see more of a variety of subjects and styles and genres, even though of course it's still only a tiny fraction of the range of things vids are and do.

Here's what I showed:

[livejournal.com profile] sloanesomething, “Star Trek Dance Floor” (Star Trek)
[personal profile] violace, “King and Lionheart” (Pacific Rim)
[personal profile] kass, “Becoming Brothers” (Friday Night Lights)
[personal profile] laurashapiro, “Hurricane” (Farscape and Battlestar Galactica)
[livejournal.com profile] bradcpu, “Moonlight” (Sleepy Hollow)

I report with great pleasure that, after the presentation, a total of five people told me that now they really want to see Pacific Rim, Sleepy Hollow, and/or Friday Night Lights. Well done, vidders!
tishaturk: (Default)
Issue no. 15 of Transformative Works and Cultures came out today; it's a special issue on fandom and/as labor, and I am really looking forward to reading all the essays. (This is not, for the record, something I say about all the academic journals to which I subscribe.)

And now for the shameless self-promotion: one of the essays is mine! I wrote "Fan work: Labor, worth, and participation in fandom's gift economy" for the Symposium section, which means that it's relatively short and less ponderously academic than some of my other essays. It grew out of thinking about Rache's essay "The Fannish Potlatch" and Karen Hellekson's "A Fannish Field of Value: Online Fan Gift Culture" and agreeing with a lot of what's in both those essays but also thinking about what I wanted to add to the conversation about fandom's gift economy and how it works--and in particular thinking about what what I wrote at the end of this post from last year: "the behind-the-scenes work that goes into reccing, reblogging, running awards sites, administering prompt memes, tagging for meme archives, etc., is why I get so frustrated with definitions of "fan work" that focus primarily on writing fic and making vids and ignore or handwave all the other kinds of work that make my daily fannish experience what it is."

An excerpt from the TWC essay:
While art objects may be the gifts most publicly recognized or validated by fellow fans, and while these gifts are indeed a crucial part of fandom's gift economy, we can better appreciate the scope of fandom's gift economy if we recognize that fannish gifts include not only art objects but the wide range of creative labors that surround and in some cases underlie these art objects. We can better understand the relationship between gift exchange and community formation if we see fandom as a system not just of reciprocal giving but of circular giving. And we can better evaluate the relationship between fandom and production if we attend to not just the giving but the receiving of gifts.

This is the first thing I've published in fan studies that isn't specifically about vidding (although it is very much informed by my own experiences with vids and vidding, especially note 4, in which I am totally poking fun at my own history as a vidder). It was fun! I might do more of it. On the other hand, it turns out that I have a whole lot of things to say about vids, so that will probably keep me busy for the foreseeable future. :D
tishaturk: (pen)
You guys, I am rapidly becoming convinced that my secret superpower is my apparently unstoppable ability to hide my point at the end of a paragraph/section/chapter/whatever. It is not a good superpower. I don't want it.
tishaturk: (pen)
For reasons that don't need exploring at this juncture, I have just spent most of an hour reading through selected write-ups from [livejournal.com profile] strangefandom, and let me tell you, I needed that laugh this afternoon. Oh man. *wipes eyes* Good times, good times.


Dec. 13th, 2013 08:01 am
tishaturk: (Default)
This morning I logged into the fandom class Tumblr to check the notes on the Tumblr version of yesterday's post.

How am I supposed to get work done today when I just keep thinking of this and laughing? HOW?
tishaturk: (Default)
I try to keep this journal focused on research-related stuff rather than teaching stories, but I think that once you read this story you will see why I am making an exception.

So last week in Fan Cultures & Fan Creativity we were talking about representations of fandom—we had groups looking at posts from [community profile] as_others_see_us and OTW’s news of note—and Orlando Jones came up in conversation, as he is wont to do.

One of my students decided to tweet him to let him know, and despite our classroom’s crappy WiFi, she prevailed! And then this happened:


But then she didn’t get a response! So today in class she tried again. I cannot adequately describe the hilarity of this scene—she's composing away on her laptop, reading out her hashtags as she types them, and everyone in the room is exhorting her "COME ON COME ON" "OMG" "HAS HE RESPONDED YET"...

#wecanthandlethis is a pretty accurate description of class at that point; we were essentially having a 25-person meltdown. There was actualfax shrieking, some of it from me. The collective sleep deprivation did not help (Dear students: GET SOME SLEEP), but I suspect that even if we’d all been well-rested we would have been LOSING OUR MINDS. And then, as we were sitting there, he favorited the tweet. At which point I dismissed class, because I could not top that. We were done.


Of course I had to post.

And he favorited that tweet too. BRB DYING.

AND THEN when I logged into Tumblr I found that another one of my students had followed up on Tumblr:

Her tags: #I didn't make any shrill noises when I got this notification #oh no #not at all #orlando jones is my favorite

I just. I HAVE LOST THE ABILITY TO CAN, as the kids say these days. I still don't have the faintest idea how he found out about the class, but I do not fucking care, because this is the most surreal and hilarious thing that has happened to me in I don't know how long, and I LOVE IT. And the class was in absolute hysterics. AS YOU CAN PERHAPS IMAGINE.

tishaturk: (pen)
...but I have just discovered, upon re-reading, that I hid the first paragraph of this chapter in the middle of page 10. Which is good, because it means I've already written it, but also a bit embarrassing, because honestly, what was I thinking?

The book, in case you were wondering, is still not writing itself.

I am strongly tempted to have a beer with lunch. I don't even like beer.
tishaturk: (TV: Buffy)
I keep coming across things I want to share with the students in my fandom class--bits of fandom history, fandom meta, stuff like that--so last night in a fit of... something... I made a Tumblr for our class. When I showed it to them this morning, the reactions ranged from "Whatever, dude" to "...wait, my teacher knows about Tumblr?" to "Awww, you're tracking tags and everything!" Most of them seemed proud, if perhaps slightly bemused.

This is an experiment, and its success will depend largely on what the students decide to do with it. But hey, three people are already following (and class let out less than an hour ago), so who knows? I think it could be fun.

Much of the class's online activity will take place in private online spaces, but the Tumblr is public, obviously--so if you're curious about what we're reading and discussing in the class, it will be a good way to eavesdrop.

And if you're on Tumblr and want to play: I will be tracking the tag #fandom ic. If you see something you think we'd be interested in, tag it when you reblog so I can take a look. :D
tishaturk: (professional geek)
I am super-embarrassed about the fact that I haven't responded to most of the comments on my last entry from over a month ago. *facepalm* The new semester is settling down now, so I should have a chance to get back to that... any day now...

Speaking of teaching: I'm teaching a class about fandom this semester! And it occurred to me that some of you might be interested in seeing what that class will entail (besides lots of classroom discussion, which sadly I cannot reproduce for you but which has thus far been pretty energetic and occasionally hilarious).

Syllabus: Fan Cultures and Fan Creativity

The class is exclusively for first-year students as part of UMM's Intellectual Community program, our version of the first-year seminar program that's common at many small liberal arts colleges. I have a really delightful group; as with any class, especially of first-year students, I have a mix of students who are reallyexcitedtotalkaboutthisstuffomg!, students who are visibly engaged but not as comfortable diving into the flow of discussion, and students who are clearly wishing that they could write down their thoughts and review them once or twice before hitting post. (Having been in the latter category for most of my college career, I empathize.) But we're working up to the first writing assignment, which I hope will give some of the hard-core introverts a better opportunity to show what they can do.

Thanks to everybody who suggested assignments, activities, and readings; I was unable to implement all the terrific ideas that people shared with me, largely because needing to stay focused on the book means I have to limit the number of things that require a lot of behind-the-scenes work for me. But I already have a list of things I want to do or try when teaching the course next time, and I welcome further input and suggestions!
tishaturk: (TV: Buffy)
I'm working on a section about how vidwatchers decide what vids to watch, including things like "I will watch any vid made by X" (which is true for me of... gosh, an awful lot of vidders, honestly, which I guess is what happens to those of us who are fans of vidding and vidders as well as specific shows).

This has led me off on what may turn out to be a total tangent about what for lack of a better term I'm calling fannish migration, meaning migration from one show to another--not necessarily vid-specific. I'm thinking of something like, for example, the movement of a fair number of fic writers from Due South to SGA. (And I gather there was some overlap with Sentinel there, too, though that was enough before my time that I couldn't articulate a timeline.)

What other examples can you think of? Either general examples, or specific writers or vidders that you've moved from show to show with?

They might be direct or indirect; my sense is that Due South --> SGA was fairly direct in that a lot of people were still writing DS well after the 1999 finale and then jumped on SGA when it appeared in 2004 (but I was not in either of those fandoms, so my perceptions may not be accurate!). Buffy --> Firefly is another one. But I wonder about other, less obvious connections. I feel like I saw a lot of names I recognized from Buffy in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles fandom, but maybe that's just because those were the people I was already hanging out with, fannishly speaking?

I should probably admit that this inquiry is also motivated by thinking to myself, when confronted by the periodic appearance of Teen Wolf on my Tumblr dash, "Where did all these people come from?"


tishaturk: (Default)
Tisha Turk

May 2015

34 56789



RSS Atom

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags