Before YouTube we had TakeoverTV – yes like YouTube full of absolute shit, and strangely the same cat/violence/zombie/sex obsession of later web 2.0, but occasionally there was the odd gem. Divine David aka David Hoyle was one of those, popping up in I think his first TV appearance, as well as Adam & Joe and a few other people I’ve not totally fixed but look scarily familiar. You might know David from his Nathan Barley appearance, and someone who should’ve been a lot bigger.
The producers went onto create shows with the best of these artists – the 4 Adam and Joe series (which you can now watch on demand in the UK!), United States of Television (quite influential on my art degree, I did a lot of VJ cutups using the odd cable TV stuff) Divine David Presents (where this clip comes from) and a lot of strange shit and bad-sounding reality shows (Dancing With Dogs anyone? Pete [Burn]‘s PA? 25iest: Celeb-u-tots? Sex Change Hospital? Wife, Mom, Bounty Hunter? I’m not making these up ) as well as Manhattan Cable (Laurie Pike, what happened to her?).
And yes looking at YouTube it seems their idea of TV was right…even down to the odd surreal meme-contexts and weird DIY home productions. And cat/gore obsessions, toy animations (LEGO star wars anyone?) and bad sex/gay jokes. Thankfully we now have the ability to skip and search
Shiny new post on a shiny new host, and something that’s been in my torrent download queue for ages – the film Steal This Film II – a great freely downloadable documentary about file sharing, information sharing in cultures (like teaching) and the social and legal issues within and looking at past technologies like the printing press and how a ‘pirate culture’ helped the French Revolution along.
It’s made by and for the people on the side of angels ie. the pirates so you won’t get a totally ‘balanced view’ (which usually means one biased to the mainstream media and corporates) but the MPAA and heads of Hollywood do get their say and their arguments countered. The strongest impression you get from this is how this struggle of information freedom and ‘piracy’ has been going on a very long time and is constantly on going; how the real fear of the major corporates is probably that the audience becomes the creators and cuts them totally out of the loop, and that the file sharing wars are pretty much lost despite setbacks after this film was made (Pirate Bay and the like).
It’s also much better than Steal This Film I which was a bit of a mish-mash (and out of focus in parts – ouch). Apparently they are expanding both bits into a full film, and then going for a release, which I’m hoping is still officially torrented, unlike RiP: A Remix Manifesto‘ which although very professional looking and interesting sadly seems to be going through the age-old Hollywood distributor/release model – requires different release dates for different world areas (apparently I can’t download it cos I’m ‘not in the US’ – DOH – no release dates for the UK either). Given the subject of that film, it is rather ironic – it may be about remix or online culture in the 21st century but that particular medium is most definitely not the message. Maybe it’s because the film is evolving they’re not officially torrenting it (someone else has put up an unnofficial torrent).
Anyway it has Girl Talk in it, in fact so much the whole film is basically a Girl Talk promo, and y’all know how I feel about him. The Brazil bits showing baile funk are really good, and Cory and Lessig are always brilliant, but it pretty much covers the same areas as Steal This Film I and II, but with more flashy animations/production.
It does have this great funny remix at the end pulled from YouTube seemingly uncredited, but I recognised the Eclectic Method logo:
For those wanting to get into the issues around musical remix/cutup I’d rather recommend Sonic Outlaws by Craig Baldwin, which was created about 15 years earlier and covers the same ground sans some of the later ‘Napster/bittorrent’ stuff covered in STF, some of the footage by/of Negativland is used in ‘RiP’! At the very least you then won’t need to look at a naked Greg Gillis…:-P
Anyway I think the model of Steal This Film and Sita Sings the Blues is the future though, torrenting your movie and letting the world see it in a donation model if they like it, or buying copies if they want them. To trot out my old phrase, they get it. They really do. Go support them.
Already switched digitaldebris.org.uk, greenandsmart.org and a few other of my domains to Hostgator (this is because my current host of 3 years Dreamhost is sadly been terrible for the last 6 months to a year, hence the 500 errors and downtime) mutantpop.net and mutantpop.co.uk is next – should be smooth like the others – but if strangeness happens over the next day or so, or posts disappear as I migrate the database – that’s why.
EDIT: all switched! Now that was painless wasn’t it?