Ariel Garcia, professional filmmaker, philosopher, and writer,  started his project “La Filosofía del Video Social” (The Philosophy of Social Video) a few years ago, and as a writer for Punto Magazine Foto & Video blog site, regularly contributes his articles. The Philosophy of Social Video is conceived as “a system that studies the way in which audiovisual filmmakers” create “the social video, and delves so much in the context where it exercises its work as in the final purpose of the work that composes.

 

The Philosophy of Social Video project is a critical exercise done with prose, an inner monological reflection. When the characteristic of modernity is the change, it seems to me like a good idea to alienate some issues that concern us of the awareness of the transitory, at least for a moment. Philosophy always enables other aspects. Philosophy is the question, not the answer.  

For the Spanish version please follow link: Filosofia Del Video Social 23

With postmodernity and the rush of alternative religiosities The Image becomes more palpable and, in a way, preferential. Technology is about to open a gap in the temple wall of social photographers and videographers. The Image goes out to the streets. An old sign flashes again strongly: God, or The Image is everywhere. Anyone can now find the way without the guidance of photographers and videographers, who until very recently were the official intermediaries. I myself believe, that The Image has multiplied to calm the distressing feeling caused of knowing we are mortals.

A pocket device is enough to reproduce the infinite faces of  The Image. Smart phones incorporate computer applications to connect with the supreme. The act that originates a self-portrait (selfie) has become one of the modern rituals, the most complete proof that that fragment of God, The Image, exists, that we can find it also in each one of us.

As never before, photography now speaks of other photographs, and these of what and who we are. Photography and video are renewed from the masses. The crowd rises to the venerated image to a grandstand tone promise, the promise that very soon it shall return, in a few minutes or an hour, tomorrow, or at any time, breaking with the traditional concept that in life, People should only “photograph” or record “special” moments. The photos that exuded yesterday on the walls of a home are “hung” on other walls today, because the idea of privacy has had to turn to allow the paradox of the massive. Social networks have become public temples where they worship The Image. Figures order reality. That God created man in his own image, and likeness has never been so real and true.

The manifestations of the Image have become diverse and indelible, they are massified.  But now, what happens when the entrance to the sanctuary is in the pocket, in millions of pockets, and within hands reach, when the videographer study is no longer the seat at a sacred place? It happens, fundamentally, that those official middlemen also lose rank and position. At present, photographers and videographers are only involved in some of the many ways of expressing The Image, not “the only one”, “not the best”.

These events have taken unawares a number of professionals who have long lived from video and photography, who, to a greater or lesser extent,  are surprised by the technological outbreak that multiplied God, The Image. In addition, many see the outpouring of the “new” stunned, seeing them as a legion that unknowingly breaks into the sacred profession of another time to accelerate their process of dissolution.

Numerous photographers and videographers wonder why some of the public prefers, in certain cases, a manifestation of The Image achieved by a mobile phone and not the one they would be able to offer. They are encouraged and discouraged in the facebook groups, those new religious councils where we discuss worldly or transcendent solutions. We do not understand why that God, the Image, who for so long and faithfully we have interpreted, has become uniformed with technology to recreate and spread from thousands of screens of multicolored boxes, stripping away the differences, differences which each day become increasingly imperceptible or accepted as possible.

It happens that everything can be different. A considerable portion of “the general public” approves both photographs or videos taken with a cell phone just as those created by professionals, all constitute manifestations of the same entity, because The Image, is not a divinity that accentuates contrasts nor the idea of opposites, but one that includes the whole of the parts. The image is self-sufficient to be what it is and, once achieved, it does not need anything else to exist. In this new social order the idea of evil,  of “what is wrong”  tends to disappear. Good and evil are no longer extreme poles but debatable qualifications that can be defended both for, and against. The essence of video and photography has fused its relationship with the rest of things.

Like it or not, this fragment of God, or The Image,  breaks into postmodernism, accentuates the change, and awareness of the transitory. No one can speak in the name of The Truth because The Truth does not exist, everything is interpretation. This new God, The Image, has enabled other looks, breaking with the binary forms that made of a photograph “good or bad”. It has decentered the senses that videographers, and photographers indicated or imposed as correct.  There are no longer any “bad” photos or videos, except for the valuation of the photographer or videographer in search of a past that continues to narrate its existence. For the generations eager of new experiences, who live outside the “professional field”, the present is tomorrow. There are no longer bad videos or bad pictures, except for those who have not sensed that much of society now reads the new Testament which has dictated The Image. I venture to argue that even that social videographer whom his peers have labeled as “modern,” can be a conservative of the structures, if his innovation does not discover what remains hidden for the traditionalist.

The Image arrives to remedy, as never before, the feeling that the past is nowhere; and if it is true that part of it can be retrieved by memory, it does so conditionally, because to return to the present moment it is necessary to narrate, tell it with words, with text. The Image arrives, for better or for worse, impregnated with an absolutist profile, seeking to show the totality of power, trait of an ancient unitary God.

The social videographer is dead.

The social photographer is dead …

… or rather have died as we have been conceiving them over the past decades, they are no longer the “keepers of the fire”. They have lost centrality. A way of thinking about photography and video has died, an exclusive way of arranging the reality of, The Image. With limitations or without them, the members of  society who make possible the existence of photographers, and videographers begin to distance themselves from the historical corsets and conditions to undertake their own language of The Image. They long to communicate, but also giving progressive space to a whisper or a cry that expresses autonomy, independence.

The Image wants to multiply its reach, invade the media, tell the truth, and the lie, rehearse the irrelevant as an impossible form of the primordial, entertain, persuade, trample intimacy, fall into the sensationalist, and return, counterinform, conspire, denounce , betray … After all, a Goddess can cross-dress, transform or reinvent herself, and even kill, but never, never, die.

 

 

Ariel García 
Filmmaker/Writer

Rosario, Argentina.

Translated by: Monica Pucciarelli/Punto Foto & Video

 

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