Today I speak with artist Perry Bard about her participatory crowd-sourced film: Man With a Movie Camera, The Global Remake. The piece is exactly what the title suggests — a re-imagining of Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov‘s 1929 experimental documentary: Man With a Movie Camera. Vertov conceived of his film as an attempt to use, what was then the relatively new medium of cinema, to communicate real life events without the help of intertitles, a story, or theater of any kind.
For her remake, Perry broke Vertov’s film into scenes and shots and posted an index of the film on the internet. Then, she solicited people all over the world to recreate or interpret a shot or scene from the film and upload their footage to her website. As the clips came in a software program, designed by collaborator John Weir, matched the new clips to those of the original film. The result: a crowd-sourced shot-for-shot remake of Vertov’s Man With a Movie Camera that constantly changes as new footage is uploaded and the software substitutes and arranges the shots. The Global Remake is presented in split screen alongside the original, emphasizing the contrasts, similarities and humorous coincidences between the two works made over eighty years apart.
Dziga Vertov, who came of age during the Bolshevik Revolution, believed that cinema, could change society, and he imagined a new Russia in which everyone would have a movie camera, constantly filming daily life in a kind of endless newsreel. Perry believes the Internet and YouTube have brought us close to that world, and that her Global Remake follows in Vertov’s footsteps.
I spoke with Perry at Studio 10 Gallery in Bushwick about Vertov and her Global Remake of his famous work, The Man With the Movie Camera.
Perry Bard’s film is screening until January 23rd at Studio 10 Gallery in Bushwick, Brooklyn.
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