Hi—do check out the Hemispheric Institute Digital Video Library. It’s not all indigenous work but there’s a good deal of interesting material there from across the Americas
Thanks to all for this generative space.
A few notable indigenous-produced works from Latin America are online, but are widely dispersed on the web.
Several projects have chosen to upload their work to IsumaTV (works from Video nas Aldeias, based in Brazil), and others to MySpace or YouTube; for example, there are several clips and a full version of the Ecuadorian Amazon video “I am the Defender of the Forest/Soy Defensor de la Selva”, on YouTube (trailer) and (full video, with English subtitles). This work, although posted and English-subtitled, is not in distribution. The video is available on the 2005 Anaconda Festival Awards DVD, or by direct contact with the producers.
I’m pleased that Isuma has taken a global approach and know they have taken language divides into account. Thanks Faye!
Latin American Program Manager | Film and Video Center National Museum of the American Indian | One Bowling Green, New York, N.Y. 10004 | www.nativenetworks.si.edu
Faye’s discussion of Isuma TV inaugurates Indigenous Media week in an important and compelling way. Thanks, too, to Pam for expanding on the conversation by placing this new media outlet in its broader transnational and historical context. From language pedagogy to boarding school survivor’s testimony to Inuit narrative, documentary, and experimental film, Inuit TV provides free access and local and international coverage of events and issues in and around Nunavut.
One of the most intriguing things about this clip from _Before Tomorrow_ is how the filmmakers "people" the Arctic against a literary and visual field that has rendered the far north relatively empty of human imprint and culture. The non-diegetic sound—a heartbeat—serves to strengthen this connection between the community and the landscape.
Thank you, Faye, for starting the week by showcasing Isuma’s groundbreaking work. The launching of the free online portal Isuma TV (www.isuma.tv) less than 18 months ago has revolutionized indigenous media by providing a space for digital distribution by indigenous producers globally.
Not long ago, indigenous films and videos were extremely difficult for seekers to find and expensive for the producers to distribute, but the shift to online distribution has created a global audience for what are usually very localized, low-budget productions. What convergence has done for indigenous media has been to make locally-produced media (formerly only available locally—or very hard to get from across a large nation or across the world) available to anyone at anytime with a click of the mouse.
This digital convergence has lifted much indigenous media from obscure, provincial status into the light of a much larger public, both indigenous and non-indigenous. It has brought the eyes, ears, hearts, and in many cases, funding and political muscle, of interested people from around the world to the perspectives, causes and needs of local indigenous communities and to the visions of local artists and writers.
The increase in opportunities for distribution of native-produced media, either on Isuma TV and other websites or on nationwide television cable channels in Canada (APTN: www.aptn.ca), New Zealand (Maori TV: www.maoritelevision.com), Taiwan (Taiwan Indigenous TV: www.titv.org.tw/about_e1.htm) or Australia (National Indigenous Television: http://nitv.org.au) has kick-started and sparked a political, social, and artistic renaissance of visual media production of new proportions.
Isuma TV, along with YouTube, Facebook, Myspace and other social networking sites, has also provided space for movements defending indigenous rights against states, local communities sharing their media and histories, small communities “broadcasting” their stories to the world, and indigenous artists collaborating from afar.
It’s a different type of labor to some degrees, though, since it’s labor that, if enjoyed, could become its own labor of love that directs the laborers away from watching other NBC shows. I find it interesting when shows end by saying, "now go online," because surely the network would rather you stick around? Admittedly, they can’t exactly say, "stick around, and after Conan tonight, then go online," but NBC first and foremost wants NBC viewers, not just Office viewers. I wonder if such calculations (of "lost" network-viewing-labor vs. "gained" overflow-generating-labor are made when designing overflow?
The ephemerality of overflow is certainly behind its critical marginalization. In recent years, some of it’s been put on DVD bonus materials, and so forth, but by and large, a lot of overflow dissipates, leaving us with a canyon floor that may’ve been crafted in part by that overflow, but where the overflow has since dissipated. This post thus points to a real need for the achiving of overflow. No wonder we haven’t studied it enough when it often hasn’t been there to study.
As someone who has only ever watched half a dozen Simpsons episodes, I enjoyed Jonathan’s clips based on whether or not I recognised the original game — so most of my pleasure came from the lovingly accurate parody of GTA San Andreas. Yes, I mostly know the Simpsons through its paratexts — a t-shirt of Bart inviting “Eat My Shorts”, a news story about 7-11s becoming Kwik-E-Marts, a discussion board post about the new credits. So I don’t really recognise the Simpsons characters in these clips, apart from the primary cast, or appreciate any show-specific in-jokes: the jokes to me are in the way the editing, music and virtual camera movement echoes the Rockstar trailer for GTA, with which I am familiar.
As for overflow, I intended it to describe, and still think of it as referring to, cross-platform extensions of the fiction which offer a further immersion in and interaction with the diegesis: a website run by characters from a TV show, a documentary about the Blair Witch, an ARG that invites you to collect Apollo chocolate bars and call the cellphones of Hanso employees, a news report from an alternate history where superheroes exist. So I wouldn’t include trailers, posters or reviews within that bracket, unless they continue the simulation.
@Nina — I should’ve added that another reason I like these examples is because they’re actually better than the game, which has really poor camera work (not at all smooth when you move, and it gets trapped behind walls a lot). The game still has some very funny game parody moments (Will Wright’s in it, Milhouse is the King of All Cosmos, Lisa’s pronunciations in her Japanese fighting game is classic) … but otherwise it’s kind of meh.
@Avi — I’d agree that the game or ads don’t expand a narrative, since The Simpsons has no uber-narrative, but they are somewhat expansive in how they broaden the show’s parody to another medium, just as did the film: rather than simply peddle sitcom parody in a game or film, the game offers game parody, and the film offers film parody. So, there’s a slight broadening there.
As for your ultimate question, let me deflect that to @Will, as he who coined the term. I tend to think more things are paratexts than do many people, and I think everything is intertextual, but I’d be interested to hear how or if he distinguishes between overflow and paratexts
Thank you Jonathan for bringing these game trailers to my attention, and for the provactive post. I enjoyed the parody of some of my most loved games, which led me to think about your question. Preface: This is an entirely auto-ethnographic response.
As an ambivalent and casual observer of The Simpsons, my personal engagement with the television show has been rather sporadic. I reluctantly saw the movie, but attended because that was what my friends wanted. Never-the-less, I might buy the game having seen these promos. Not because I particularly care for the characters or the narrative, but because the "Simpsonification" of the primary texts (MOH, GTA, Everquest, and Katamari Damacy) promises me viewing/playing pleasure. I want to see how the signature smart, savvy media parody of the Simpsons re-imagines and pokes fun at my favorite games.
So, to answer your question, for me I would say at least half if not more of the franchise I read through its various forms of overflow.