Moving Image as Cultural Artifact

It is uncontroversial to argue that the moving image has had an immense impact on the development of human culture, but it is unclear exactly how those mechanics have played out in human history.  One reason for this is the lack of a central repository or reliable index for the existing source materials.  A second reason for this is the difficult nature of approaching visual imagery as a scholarly source.  The goal of this website is to challenge both of these problems head-on, and attempt to generate solutions through interdisciplinary dialogue. The first problem will hopefully be handled through the database and mapping tools, giving academics a better understanding of  which material has and hasn’t been archived, digitized, and made available for study.

This video blog is designed to challenge the second problem by experimenting with the analysis of video footage as a scholarly source. In this blog, I will broach questions about what conclusions can be reached from analysis of video footage, and what conclusions can be reached through the evaluation of audience response data, such as correspondence to the station.  These issues, along with many others, are mandatory for scholars to try and evaluate if we are to make any real headway in utilizing moving images as artifacts of human culture.

The attached video is a brief introduction to this blog’s purpose, which will highlight thirteen of the most influential news sequences of video footage recorded during the last 120 years, since the invention of the moving image.  Each sequence — from the victory celebrations of World War I and the dropping of the atomic bombs during World War II, to the video recordings of civil rights protests and the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center — has played an intrinsic developmental role in forming our conception of who we are, both as individuals and as a nation.