Cinema and the prefigurative
Keywords:Vertov, Documentary, Database, Prefiguration, Community, Co-creation
Prefiguration is a term borrowed from political science, describing the experimentation with alternative ways of living, doing and being together in the present as a form of activism. In this article I will argue that cinema can be a powerful tool that can be used to support prefigurative objectives. Arguably, the point of origin of this methodology is Man with a Movie Camera (??????? ? K???????????? 1929) by Dziga Vertov. Structurally this film can be described as 'database driven' and as prescient toward the digital age in which databases and hypertexts are common organising principles affecting daily life experiences. But more importantly, the film presages a different, more harmonious society in a style that simultaneously uses documentary, experimental and poetic elements. The purpose of this enquiry is to establish whether subsequent crowd-sourced and community driven documentaries can be seen as equally successful examples of prefiguration.
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