Using video in sport: learning from artists

Sport has been voracious in its use of video. The availability of domestic video cameras and playback facilities since the late 1970s has made it possible to make permanent recordings of sporting events to augment the information available to coaches and athletes. Converging digital technologies have transformed the ways in which video can be captured, stored, analysed and represented. A plethora of on-line video tools stimulated by YouTube‘s success make video sharing increasingly possible and relatively easy (it is YouTube’s fifth anniversary this month and has a global audience of 400 million people).
Access to video through telephones and portable storage devices such as the iPod has extended the reach of video as augmented information. The transformation of broadcast images through High Definition technology is setting new expectations about quality and clarity of recordings.
Perhaps the next wave of developing the use of video in sport will come from the art community. Shaun Gladwell and Sylvie Bocher are two artists who might inform this change.
Shaun Gladwell was interviewed on Radio National Artworks. Shaun is the most recent war artist commissioned by the Australian war Memorial. His appointment was fascinating as his work to date “has displayed a keen eye for edginess, with meditations on road-kill, the outback and the mesmerising movements and symbols of urban hip-hop culture”. “Unlike most war artists who are invited to take the risk of accompanying soldiers into battle, Shaun didn’t wait to be approached.”
Examples of Shaun’s work can be found on his YouTube channel and Blue and White Linework.

Sylvie Blocher is “one of France’s most outstanding multimedia artists”. She produces “video and film installation pieces which explore the concepts of otherness, representation and art’s political responsibility”. Her work “encourages different ways of viewing and understanding the world”. Her website is a wonderful invitation to explore visual presentation. Sylvie’s exhibition What is Missing? is taking place at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney until 26 April 2010.  This exhibition uses images collected in Penrith, NSW. A note about her exhibition reports that:

When creating What Is Missing? Sylvie Blocher stipulated only two conditions for people appearing in her ‘film’: that the volunteer subjects wear their best outfit, and that they lived in Penrith. Blocher’s interview technique often elicits responses of great candour from her subjects. Unveiling the unspoken needs, hopes, dreams and desires of individual residents of Penrith, What Is Missing? is a portrait of the city in which they live – it is challenging, provocative and riveting.

Shaun and Sylvie’s work have encouraged me to think how video might be used differently in sport settings. Their work inspires a new approach to visual literacy.
Photo Credits
Phillips Video Camera
Sylvie Blocher


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