After the Fall

Chris Beckman’s “oops” stitches together appropriated camera-drop pratfalls from uploaded videos to suggest a network of serendipitous mishap. The film reminds me of a short story about a family who finds an instant camera that takes pictures of people and places other than the ones at which it’s pointed; every click of the shutter is an encounter with strangers (full disclosure: I wrote the story). But it’s richer than that, really, in the way it lays bare some of the magical qualities of vernacular video in the YouTube era. Cameras used to be personal recording tools, “pencils of light” as they were called in the early days of photography. Now, they’re nodes on a network. Look into a camera, and you’re staring into the panopticon. It makes us more guarded, perhaps, but does it also make us more generous?

[“oops” won a 2010 Vimeo Award]

oops from Chris Beckman.

2 comments

  1. i enjoyed camera lucida ALOT more than camera dropperama!! seriously, that was one spectacular waste of bandwidth

  2. Glad you like the story, though!

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