There's an Invisible Place far away (2012)

by Mikko Lipiäinen


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The full video can be viewed also at:
https://vimeo.com/157064038

This video is a dramatization of the editing history of a Wikipedia article 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch' which describes the phenomenon of discarted plastics accumulation in the North Pacific Ocean.

The video's soundtrack is based on the discussion on the talk page of the 'Great Pacific Garbage Patch' article among a group of Wikipedia editors who find themselves debating over and over again on following questions:

Why isn't there any reliable image of the patch?

and

Is the phenomenon existing at all since there doesn't seem to be any proper image of it?

This video was my second attempt to grasp the complex social phenomenon of collective Wikipedia article editing by the means of drama, based on the assumption that the dramatizing of the editing could organize Wikipedia's many times lenghty and messy discussions and revision histories into a more easily reviewed form: to provide an overall view, articulate interesting textual details, reveal the emotional content and build more or less cohesive portraits of the characters participating in the editing.

As one of the largest reference sites and most widely used web sites in the world, Wikipedia is a noteworthy project of contemporary encyclopedic knowledge production with a global cultural impact on societies around the world, thus deserving a scientific and artistic scrutiny.

Furthermore, encyclopedic knowledge is an essential component of the modern man's worldview. Since Encyclopédie was published during the later half of the 18th century a vast collection of verified info bits produced by experts of knowledge invaded (or colonized) the grounds of earlier forms of storytelling (see also The Storyteller by Walter Benjamin), thus allowing the producers of new kind of universal common knowledge - the encyclopedians - to control the worldview of the masses around the globe.

Wikipedia can be seen as the continuation of the Enlightment's encyclopedia project offering 'anyone with Internet access' to perform as encyclopedians, the producers of commonly accepted truths. More interestingly, it provides an open access to its archives of editing histories which makes the power games of editing processes visible in a novel way.

The voice acting was realized by amateurs as an experiment for learning about the aesthetic possibilities of community theatre form. The voices are:

Elina Ojanperä
Omar Truco-Kallonen
Philip Luddite
Markus Petz
Suvadeep Das
Vera Arjoma
Oscar Fresán Landibar

Original Wikipedia article:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pacific_garbage_patch

and its talk page:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Great_Pacific_garbage_patch

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on 29/2/16
Mikkolipiainen said:
By this far I´ve had some problems to upload the full video to the Water Wheel service so I included a link to my vimeo site where the piece can be viewed in totality.