Videographic research: Less text and more experience

June 12, 2012 By Joel Hietanen

If the ‘reality’ of the digital moving image is eschewed, video can be considered as a medium of performative expressions rather than 'representations' of some external states. Video becomes an emotional medium, capable to relate evocative feelings. Thus it also has the potential of popularizing academic work.

This is shown in a study by M.Sc. Joel Hietanen for the Aalto University School of Economics. The study especially questions the conventional idea of the moving image as ‘truth’ or a ‘real’ slice of life. Also the moving image’s artistic potential for producing convincing and evocative new forms of thought is foregrounded.

Hietanen’s study finds new possibilities for how research on can have relational effects on the thoughts and the actions of its audiences – whether academic, managerial or the general public. Consumption is ‘bright and noisy’, let’s let it make us feel!

In addition the study presents a message of evocative hope in liberation of thought through further connecting academic research and artistic expressions by foregrounding the expressive potential of the medium.

Philosophical perspectives shed light on knowledge production with video

Liberated in the online virtual spaces through digitalization, video media is now present everywhere in our lives. Yet, its use in research is still relatively uncommon, although the videographic method has been receiving increasing attention especially in the consumer culture theory (CCT). However there has been hardly any discussion of philosophical implications of using video for research in this field.

Hietanen's study begins to address this gap, it sheds light on possible ways of knowledge production with the video medium. Many questions require addressing: How is video potentially different to, e.g., text and photography? How do we experience video? Do we need to learn how to experience it better? What is it like to produce ethnographic video in the field?

In order to explore these questions, Hietanen’s study, in a bricolage fashion, draws from several postmodern perspectives to videographic work in CCT. The philosophical perspectives are also exemplified by drawing illustrations from the author's three videographic projects.

Explore further: Smithsonian holds vote on video games for exhibit

More information: The doctoral dissertation of Joel Hietanen (M.Sc.) Videography in Consumer Culture Theory: An Account of Essence(s) and Production in the subject area of marketing will be examined at the Aalto University School of Economics on Friday, 15 June 2012 starting at 12:15 (Main building, Assembly Hall, Runeberginkatu 14-16).

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