YouTube as an assemblage

Usha Sharma

We know that for cinema to work as an assemblage there needs to be negotiation, where it is essential there be negotiation between film, behavior, space and needs for a cinematic experience according to Casetti and there is recursivity which is a repetitive process that keeps the assemblage moving in a dynamic way. How can we then describe YouTube as an assemblage? If a spectator is watching a film on YouTube, is it only then that it is cinematic assemblage or can we put all material on YouTube as a heterogeneous assemblage?

Vernallis approaches YouTube in a nonscientific way and describes the taxonomies of YouTube of content and experience, which is not enough to establish how YouTube works as an assemblage. The spectator on his phone or tablet watching YouTube creates a bubble for himself, but any passerby who can glance at whatever is being watched can easily break this bubble. Also the experience of the spectator is pretty much individual or shared at most between one or two others unlike cinema where there is group participation. YouTube enables modification and sharing between users, which is not possible with cinema.

As Vernallis puts it, “it speaks differently depending on how and with whom you experience it” (2013, 149)

Therefore as a user of YouTube, we can experience a sense of belonging to a community and this would influence the way we explore YouTube which would, I feel quite inevitable be through recommendations, algorithms and tags suggesting some videos.



Therefore I feel even though we can say YouTube is an assemblage, I feel the argument of all content on Youtube is an assemblage or only the cinematic material is the assemblage is left open to discussion.



Class lecture notes

The Lumière Galaxy Casetti, Francesco



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