Category Archives: x4

x4: Concept in 60

Joseph Harris, Reinventing the University, 2010.

For next week I’d like you to make an original 60-second video that illustrates or explains a concept. Your video may center on any term, idea, or phrase that interests you. You may work with found texts—images, videos, audio files—as well as with materials you shoot yourself.  You can strike any tone that you want—serious, funny, angry, whimsical, lyrical, whatever.  And I encourage you to collaborate with others in this class, especially if you feel unsure about your video skills. Here are the only constraints:

  1. Your Concept in 60 must have both audio and video tracks. These two tracks may not be synchronous for the entire length of your clip. (In other words, you can’t simply shoot a video of someone explaining an idea.)
  2. Your video must run exactly 60 seconds.
  3. Your video must include a title and and credits. (These do not count against the 60-second limit.)

Some other things to keep in mind:

  1. Ask for the consent of anyone whose image or voice you record.
  2. Make it clear where any found images or audio/video clips you use come from. Document all texts authored by others. If you use found texts, it’s your job to make your perspective clear through the ways you edit and frame them.
  3. Feel free to get whatever technical help you need. But acknowledge that help in your credits.

Again, I am much more interested in the idea behind your uses of video than in your technical expertise. My aim in assigning this task is to raise the question of how one might compose an “essay” about an idea in video rather than in prose.

When you have finished your video, upload it to Youtube, Vimeo or any other videosharing platform. Post a link to your video, along with a brief description of it, to this site, by Tuesday, 3/11. at 4:00 pm. Use x4 as your category, and, as always, try to draw readers to your work with a thoughtful and imaginative use of images and tags.

I look forward to viewing and talking about your work!

Acknowledgment: I’ve adapted this assignment from one created by Professor Cindy Selfe at Ohio State University. Cindy helped guide me through making my own Concept in 60 video when I attended the Seminar in Digital Media and Composition (DMAC) in Summer 2010. Thanks Cindy!