How Online Access Changed Amateur Video Editing

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Abstract

Digital technology has often been discussed in relation to how it changed either the production or the reception of audiovisual cultures. This paper will consider a combination of both as a crucial part in understanding strategies of inter- and transmedial amateur creativity. Based on an experimental ethnography of the online video subgenre/subculture “YouTubePoop,” the paper will elaborate on the connection between the individual experience and the creation of digital media. The loose collective of independent amateurs behind the YouTubePoop videos makes use of already existing audiovisual material ranging from television shows to videos of other YouTube users. The re-created remixes and mash-ups are characterized by their random selection of original material and their nonsensical humour. Hence, the rapid montage of this heterogeneous content is just as much part of the intensified aesthetic expressiveness as are the applied special effects available in the digital video editing software. Both aspects highlight the strong interdependence of the rapid accessibility of online content and digital technology and the new aesthetic expressions they are fostering. The paper will show how the experience and navigation of digital interfaces (editing software, media players, or homepages) affect the design and practice of these video-remixes. This will open the discussion about intertextual strategies of media appropriation to an aesthetic and praxeological analysis of media interaction.

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