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There’s No Place Like Home Video

2002
Author:

James M. Moran

There’s No Place Like Home Video

Defines, examines, and elevates home video to its rightful place

In There’s No Place Like Home Video, James Moran offers a history of amateur home video, exploring its technological and ideological predecessors, the development of event videography, and home video’s symbiotic relationship with television and film. He also investigates the broader field of video, taking on the question of medium specificity: the attempt to define its unique identity, to capture what constitutes its pure practice.

There's No Place like Home Video offers an important and extraordinarily clear critique of contemporary video and media theory's relative inability to deal with media forms and functions as varied, hybrid, and mutable. Moran writes gracefully and meticulously about home video as a mode with its similarities and differences in form and function to a variety of media genres.

Vivian Sobchack, UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television

From its recording of family events to its influence on filmmaking, home video defies easy categorization and demands serious consideration. In There’s No Place Like Home Video, James Moran takes on this neglected aspect of popular culture. He offers a cultural history of amateur home video, exploring its technological and ideological predecessors, the development of event videography, and its symbiotic relationship with television and film. He also investigates the broader field of video, taking on the question of medium specificity: the attempt to define its unique identity, to capture what constitutes its pure practice.

In Moran’s discussion of video, he argues that previous scholars have not sufficiently dealt with its nature as hybrid, varied, and mutable. He argues that such a medium shouldn’t be conceived as pure in and of itself; it is neither autonomous from other media nor entirely dependent on any other, but instead has a chameleonlike interface with films, television, computers, telephones, and even architecture. Rather than look for a grand narrative to define its specificity, Moran places video and home video at the intersections of multiple forms of communication.

There’s No Place Like Home Video

James M. Moran is adjunct professor of visual and media arts at Emerson College in Los Angeles.

There’s No Place Like Home Video

There's No Place like Home Video offers an important and extraordinarily clear critique of contemporary video and media theory's relative inability to deal with media forms and functions as varied, hybrid, and mutable. Moran writes gracefully and meticulously about home video as a mode with its similarities and differences in form and function to a variety of media genres.

Vivian Sobchack, UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television