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After Effects, or Velvet Revolution (Part 2)


This article is a second part of the series devoted to the analysis of the new hybrid visual language of moving images that emerged during the period of 1993-1998. Used first in film titles and television graphics, this language slowly came to dominate our visual culture. Today we see it in short films, music videos, commercials, moving images sequences which appear in interactive projects and media interfaces, and web sites. Because this fundamental shift in the aesthetics of moving images did not received any critical discussion while it was happening – in contrast to other aspects of Digital Revolution such interactivity and the Web – I have called it a “Velvet Revolution” in moving image culture.

My thesis is that this new language can be understood with the help of the concept of remixability – if we use this concept in a new way. Let us call it “deep remixability.” For what gets remixed is not only of the content of different media, but their fundamental techniques, working methods, and ways of representation and expression. United within the common software environment, cinematography, animation, computer animation, special effects, graphic design, and typography have come to form a new metamedium. A work produced in this new metamedium can use all techniques which were previously unique to these different media, or any subset of these techniques.

Article  2006