• “Music Videos and Reused Footage”

    Sérgio Dias Branco (see profile)
    Cultural Studies, Film Studies
    Motion pictures, Music, Video art
    Item Type:
    Book chapter
    Film, Video arts
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    Music videos, like many other art works, are the result of a creative process of image creation that sometimes does not start from scratch. At times this process relies on visual material previously produced that is reused and recombined. The use and combination of pre-existing film footage is an example of this, an appropriation with the purpose of achieving various effects and of conveying different meanings. Such footage may be used as stock footage to contextualise or to provide a frame of reference for a discourse—a common use in documentaries and television news. It may also be utilised as found footage to decontextualise—a utilisation that has been associated with avant-garde film. Found footage is connected with the placement of images in a framework at odds with their original aim and context. It is this disparity that opens the possibility for the creation of novel signification. This kind of footage inherits its name from the usage of objects as ready-mades—such as Marcel Duchamp's Fountain, a ceramic urinal that the artist signed “R. Mutt” and displayed as a work of art for the first time in 1917. Just like found objects, found footage may be either searched on purpose or found by chance; two complementary ways of construing the word “found”. Within the history of art, the genealogy that includes Duchamp makes something else clear: what is found is not merely the object or the footage, but a new significance. My discussion centres on the use of found footage in music videos. It will also deal with cases in which the reframing of footage is not as radical—or not completely in conflict with its original frame of reference. Consequently, the general term “reused footage” is more appropriate. It is able to encompass any type of reworking of images that already exist.
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    6 years ago
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