Events, Actions and Narrative in Video Analysis

Wednesday, 13 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Hörsaal 13 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Svetlana BANKOVSKAYA, National Research University-Higher School of Economics, Russia
Alexander FILIPPOV, National Research University-Higher School of Economics, Russia
Technically, video consists of a plurality of snapshots, but does not represent merely and simply the sum/set of images. Repeated or prolonged observation can be decoded in written documents (transcripts, then transformed into the narratives), which are a special kind of stories about social events.

Recently important attempts have been made to change the very nature of the video analysis. A detailed study of video's short segments allows to see what any normal observer or participant interactant does not notice (Heath, Luff, Hindmarsh). It occurs to be much more practically sophisticated, than the formal-logical account of action – «intention-purpose-visible act-outcome». Besides, the very method of observation is to be considered in a more reflexive mode –  it makes a difference to see something while making video-recordings (via camera) and to watch the same thing as a video. The difference is in the modes of immersion into the «scene», in the multiple co-existence in the same reality. What then should be the report of the observer? What could be the modes of symbiosis of these two experiences of surviving reality in «making» and «watching»? Is it possible to make the story of these brief occurrences,  which action is divided into, such as of the action itself?

We address two very different approaches to the problem introducing the outcomes of our research on the interaction between man and technological device. One of them is based on the concept of “non-representation” in video analysis (Nigel Thrift), stressing the reflexivity (and affectiveness) of the observer and narrator; and the other - the concept of narrative itself as an outcome of the visual analysis (Ricoeur). We conclude that the possible overlap and the definite contradictions of both approaches give the opportunity to build a more insightful observations’ descriptions and more effective narration strategy.