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From Archive to Application (and Back): A Workshop with

by Prasad Krishna last modified Apr 05, 2011 04:08 AM
The first workshop Open House and Participation will be held on Friday, 16th July at 6.30 p.m at 1, Shanti Road, Bangalore. This will be followed by weekend workshops at the Centre for Internet and Society, Bangalore on 17 and 18 July, 2010.

Event details


Jul 17, 2010 04:00 AM to
Jul 18, 2010 12:00 PM


CIS, Bangalore


Suresh Jayaram, Nishant Shah, Ayisha Abraham and from the team- Namita Malhotra, Sanjay Bhangar, Subuhi Jiwani and Zinnia Ambapardiwala.

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For about two years now, has been running as an online archive of digital video with text annotations. During this period, the focus has been on gathering materials, annotating densely, and building an archive. At present, has over 400 hours of footage, in over 600 "events". Almost all of this material is fully transcribed and is often mapped to physical locations. Essays have been written over videos, and narratives created across different clips in the archive. The focus has been on pulling material into the archive.

What are ways to start thinking about pulling material out of From the onset, has had an API, a programming interface that allows you to pull out videos, perform searches, seek to exact time-codes in any video, fetch transcript and map data, and display all this however you please. Also's General Public License is designed specifically for the reuse of the material on Through the experience of running the archive, there have been various imaginations of multiple and layered forms of time-based annotation over video, including for: pedagogical tools for learning and discussion; presentation tools that combine text and video in new ways, essays and other writing formats enabled by rich and context-specific media.

At this workshop, we hope to explore some of these ideas for video on the web, and video's new qualities as a result of online practices. We invite video-makers, coders, writers, artists, students, and other enthusiasts to participate. Considering the term "application" in a broad sense, we invite video material, texts or software that, combined with existing materials and tools in, can become innovative kinds of "output", or new forms. These would also then feedback into the archive, and how we imagine its future.

After a hands-on introduction to and its possibilities and tools, the workshop will break up into streams for content and code. On day two, these streams come back together.

In the content stream, participants could:

  • bring in their own footage, clips from popular or unpopular cinema, science or lab videos, ads or news, artworks or documentary films, to assemble into new forms, using's tools.
  • bring together shots, scenes or sounds from fiction or non-fiction films, and make a new 'movie' or create a 'running commentary' alongside. 
  • write over video in critically or creatively: theorise or contextualise footage, write collaborativey, or weave fiction and/or poetry with moving images. 
  • create teaching units or illustrated lectures using
  • begin a research project or map a phenomenon through video and text.

In the code stream, participants could:

devise new ways in which video and text can speak to each other, and to an online audience

For developers, this 2-day workshop is an opportunity to experiment with the newest web-video technologies. Concretely, we will cover some background and history of HTML 5 <video>, understand how the website works with time-based annotations, server-side seeking of video, etc. and finally work on hacking on applications / prototypes using the API. The developer track of this 2-day workshop is open to all, but knowledge of HTML, CSS and / or javascript would be useful.

By end of day 1, we hope to have interesting content and application projects that could be developed (individually or in groups) through the night and following day. Planning ahead will help, so: video-makers, artists, writers, researchers and coders, may write to with a one-line bio and project idea, and a confirmation of your participation at [email protected]

For more information, visit the following links:

How to use guide: API :

About is an interpretative web-based video archive, which works primarily with footage and not finished films. creates access to material which is easily lost in editing processes, in the filmmaking economy, and in changes of scale brought about by digital technology. Unlike Youtube and similar video sites, the focus here is on annotation, cross-linking, downloading and the reuse of video material for research, pedagogy and reference.

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