Loops of Fury

As you might be aware – Flickr launched video, and amongst much praise for it’s simple, clear implementation there’s been quite a lot of hoo-ha from us wonderful, grateful users, some of whom are afraid the addition of video will lower the tone of the service to that of others, that allow you a tube, if you will.
Part of the differentiating design of Flickr video is that only clips of a maximum 90 seconds duration are possible. In fact, Flickr themselves refer to them as ‘long photos’.
Matt Webb has a wonderful set building at the moment of 11 second video clips. One of them is a mesmerising shot of waves breaking on a beach, that I’ve seen him use to hypnotise his audience as the opening slide of his talks.
So – this led me to wonder if another differentiating design constraint could be set: what if all videos looped automatically as default?
Wouldn’t they then really be long photos?
I’d love to be able to loop the clip posted above, so that you can just see the little door-closing system they’ve erected at Flat White over and over to your hearts content.
A loop would be a captured action or situation rather than a narrative, where the duration of the loop is set but the loop goes on forever so you can study the layers, the detail, the figure and the ground in the same way you can a photo.
A bottled system not a short story.
Think about all the tiny clips you’ve played again and again on the internet just to see one aspect, one moment, act out – a goal or a dramatic chipmunk.

Not stories, but toy moments.
Think about those moving photos imagined in cheesy science fiction films or Harry Potter movies.
Tiny loops of video perhaps are the real long photos…

9 thoughts on “Loops of Fury

  1. Thanks for this. I kept feeling that the 90 second video is like a snapshot or the 6 word story. Looping it makes it feel like an exhibit to study. I think Kubrick wanted “2001: A Space Odyssey” to play on a museum wall. Maybe this is an extension of that.

  2. Somebody on one of the numerous video threads at Flickr suggested that viewers should be allowed to let videos loop. I didn’t give it much thought at the time, but after reading your post, it makes a lot of sense to me now. Nice work.

  3. Short, looping clips are really fun. I’m not even sure if you need sound. Flickr should definately implement looping (and maybe even some basic editing tools to tighten the loop to a specific area). It would be fun to put up loops of short things (a time lapse of cleaning, portraits…there’s a lot you could do).

    We do this at my fraternity’s page, and 5-15 second clips of each of the brothers shows more of their personality than any photo could. Here’s a link

  4. http://outtacontext.com/life/archive/000495.shtml – “I’ve been reading a lot about Flickr’s decision to allow short video clips on the site (and the ensuing dialogue). After thinking about this I remembered the best ‘long photo’ I have ever seen: a scene from Godfrey Reggio?s Koyaanisqatsi where Las Vegas waitresses stand still for what seems like an eternity.”

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