While it’s reasonably easy to define the nub in words, it’s harder to agree on examples – words just have that slippery way of meaning different things to different people. What we agree on is that a nub has to be educational – but this seems to leave us with two areas of contention. Firstly – does the objective of the video detract from its educational value i.e. if its trying to make you buy something or to make you act in a certain way can it still be a nub? Second – how abstract can the message be in a video for it to still qualify as a educational (more here). The video I’ve posted here by Aaron Valdez is a comment on the portrayal of men and women in US advertising – it’s the sort of thing that I think is probably too abstract to qualify as a nub, but i can kind of see a case. i.e. it simultaneously seems a profound way of showing how advertising charicatures gender roles, but yet it kind of leaves you hanging – it’s all evidence and no argument. I found it as an entry in a competition where film-makers had to respond in a short video to the question ‘what is remix culture’ – there are plenty more border line nubs to peruse in the submissions.
The hunt for nubs is the search for a new genre of video making that has emerged from the new communications environment which comprises of more people who can make videos, more organisations and individuals who want them made + audiences who can choose what they do and don’t look at. This fixation that there is something new out there to define leads me to disqualify;
a) anything that feels like the media-art they put on at the ICA
b) anything that feels like it could have been in an ad break on ITV
c) music videos
Maybe it’d be better not to write these off per-se but to acknowledge the roots of the nub in all these genres. So I guess that means we might have to do a sort of nub history to go alongside the nubonomy.