Video Vortex: Ted Sterngast – The aesthetics of videoblogging

On: January 19, 2008
Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About Laura van der Vlies
Laura van der Vlies is currently a New Media master student at the University of Amsterdam. After finishing the New Media bachelor program and finishing the propedeuse year CMD at the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam, this is the year to finally really learn the inside of new media today. This summer I participated in the Digital Methods Initiative. This really made me learn to use knowledge in a different way. With interests in the topic of journalism on the web and certain forms of censorship I hope to make valuable contributions to this blog.


Tal Sterngast is the second speaker in the block hosted by Patricia Pisters about online video aesthetics. Sterngast made videos for the German newswebsite Netzeitung named Karasek Speaks from March 2006 till April 2007. She speaks about the program, how the production worked and about how this influenced her work as a media artist.

Sterngast - Photo taken by Anne Helmond

Two years ago Sterngast was invited by the German newswebsite Netzeitung to do ‘something’ with video. In that time it was not usual to use video on a website. It was in the air that websites were about to use video, but the format was not yet known. Sterngast wanted to make a video column. There was already a column on the website, and Sterngast wanted to make a video along with that text. The column was a weekly book review. So a weekly book review accompanied with a video appeared. The video served as a moving image for the text.

During the presentation, Sterngast shows some of the videos she made. They seem to be very different, but all are starring the writer of the text, mixed with still images from journalists’ archives and other images. Sterngast wanted the clips to function as a small film. So she did not only wanted to film the reviewer, but also mix it with images that would make the story stronger. The movies are a quick and cheap production. This is also shown in the way she films the images. She uses brutal jump cuts, which is perfect for online videos but can never be used for television or film.

Only one question was asked after Sterngast’s talk. How was her work received, both the aesthetics as the content? She received some reactions on her work. These were mainly about how she worked as an artist and why she uses video. The reactions also had to do with her timing, because she was one of the first video bloggers in Germany. She also received nice reactions from authors who wanted her to make a promotion video for their books. These were than send to Youtube. Although this was all new for Germany, Sterngast does not want to call her work experimental.

Her video’s are still on the website. For example this video. Although video blogging is much more used nowadays, Sterngast is still recognizable for her own style.

Comments are closed.