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Filmmaker Emiko Aono introduced this approach to participants in the media working group of Labor Now, the Tokyo-based labor research and activist group. ( I have doubts about the theoretical project of overcoming the difference between spectator and performance, especially since reading Ranciere's Emancipated Spectator. But I think this technique is perfect for practicing the attentive seeing and verification that is central to emancipated learning. For more information see

1. The Joker explains the Lumiére Rules for creating a video:

  • Place the camera in a fixed position (on a tripod, ideally, or well-braced).
  • Shoot for one minute.
  • No zoom.
  • No effects.
  • No editing.
  • No sound.

2. Participants verify their understand of the rules, perhaps by watching a few examples. (

What should people shoot? How should they choose their subjects? Should the shot be staged? Should there be a plan or script? -- the answer to all of these is "feel free."

3. Shoot videos.

4. Gather and show the videos, one at a time, on a big enough screen for everyone to be able to watch together comfortably. It is important for people to be there, together. Be sure to show the videos with no sound.

5. The question for discussion is "What do you see?" (Each participant should comment; perhaps the video maker should go last.)

6. When everyone has had the opportunity to comment, the joker can ask them to write a short reflection on the video, "What do you think?" These written pieces can be shared. They can also be included with the video if it is uploaded to the web.

If there is not enough time to watch and discuss each video, watch all of them and choose a few, either by chance or through a straw poll.

Collect and save the videos in some way, perhaps by uploading to the web.

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