Book : “Mobile phone and creation”

3 February 2014. Published by Benoît Labourdette.
Reading time: 12 min  

Collective book to which I contributed, with the article “From economy to the conversation and audiovisual creation”.

  • Publication Date : 19 February 2014 published by Armand Colin
  • Link to the official website of the conference that gave birth to the book :


The mobile phone has the means of production and distribution of images, text and sound in the hands of more than six billion people in the world. Rather than trying to define a Mobile Art, this book takes you through the creative process extremely diverse in their terms and in their subject both in regular communication practices but also in film, literature, music or transmedia. This book documents the creative practices by mobile phone and re- creation of the mobile telephone, France to South Africa through the Sahel or Switzerland, mobilizing multiple disciplinary approaches (sociology, psychology, economics, aesthetics, ergonomics, musicology, pragmatic) and plural referred (scientific, artistic, activist).

Complete article

Download article “From economy to the conversation and audiovisual creation” (french).

From economy to the conversation and audiovisual creation

Benoît Labourdette

In history, it was never produced as much photographic and video image currently and since the onset of community video platforms (2005) the most massive amount of images produced in the world is made by non-specialists (people, any people). Web 2.0, that is, sites whose content is not generated by professionals but by amateur (users) becomes a shared space: this is where social networks develop. Note that this transformation could occur before because broadband was available for five good years, but that there was a specific technical problem for the video that made its use on the Internet by fans very difficult, a problem that has settled through automatic and invisible update version 7 of the Flash plugin on almost every computer on the planet in the first quarter of 2005.

Economy and production of amateur films

Home movies, they are made with a Super 8 camera, camcorder, or a camera, were, prior to 2005, published only in a small area (family and / or friends). Roger Odin has long shown that these films did not have to be judged as “inferior” to the professional cinema, but their form was simply responding to other functions, in particular to social and identity function (produce consensus perpetuate the family institution).

In fact, the difference between professional and amateur films films is, at this time, above all economic: you pay to see “content” professional (we bought a place cinema, DVD, it fulfills the TV license, advertisers pay to place their movies on TV, etc.), but it does not pay to see “content” amateur. The economy has traditionally been a professional economics of content sales, while the economy is an amateur equipment and consumables sales economy (hence the regular appearance of new models for the amateur nourish Economy: accessories, films, video tapes, memory cards ...).

Things change after 2005.

Now the Youtube platform is the main space sharing videos: 100 hours of new video content uploaded every minute, 4 billion videos viewed per day. There are mostly amateur videos placed there to be shared, that is to say, viewed by members of the family and friends of each network. Are there and professional content, but were for the most part, posted by amateurs, also in order to share.
The business model is advertising Youtube. Next to each video, there is an advertisement, and before the video (preroll) after the video (post-roll) and video (instream). So the more a video is viewed, the more exposure advertisements is great, and the higher the number Youtube matter increases. Thus, more fans produce and share videos, and the figure will increase Youtube matter: we passed a saving of amateur content. Some amateur films totaling more than 500 million views, producing, Youtube platform for a number of approximate case $ 5 million. This is the case, for example, Charlie bit my finger, a film of 50 seconds, a film so “cool” that makes you want to send emails to share with his friends, a film that says viral: a father filmed her two young children playing when one of them starts to bite the finger of the other. Charlie bit my finger reported amounts much greater than that reported most professional productions and here it is the content that produced that value.

Although most amateur videos only account a small number of views, it does not matter because it is enough that 100 videos viewed 10 times each, or a video view 1000 times, so that, given the almost zero cost of hosting each video, the result in terms of turnover for Youtube is the same.
The economic barrier that separated the amateurs from the professionals has now fallen. The total turnover of Youtube is more important than the number of film industry’s case in its entirety. One can even say, if we take as a criterion the only economic criterion, the professional production is only a subset of amateur production, producing much more promising and profitable commercially speaking. This raises the question: what does it do so now to spend time making professional films?

Note, however, that in the new economic system, the money goes to the platform, not the “authors”. Although revenue sharing is possible for some years, the fact that it is the amount of viewings which bases the economic value of an output result it is extremely rare that the amateur makes money (the If Charlie bit my finger and its millions of viewing is rare).

Last remark about these economic issues: Google, owner of YouTube, is also the manufacturer of the Android operating system found 75% of phones sold, a system that makes it extremely easy and intuitive (almost immediately) the publication of the video we just rotate. Now, the easier it is to upload our videos, the more we do, and Google will earn money through advertisements that accompany each of our exchanges. Thus, the objective of this industrial (and others in its industry) is to ensure that fans not only produce but share as possible of audiovisual content.

Towards audiovisual talk

This incentive sharing has unexpected consequences.

Before the advent of the cell phone to make a video (or photo), he must first decide to take along a camera or a camera; So we always had, even if it was not clearly formulated prior project. Today, the phone is always with us in our pocket: this is our communication prosthesis, become indispensable to life, equipped with a camera prosthesis. It is no longer necessary to feed a preliminary project: we are always equipped. Filming with her phone is now an extremely simple and trivial thing. But the new is that the exchange tools in addition to shooting tools, it becomes possible to engage a kind of conversation interposed pictures or videos.

Prior to 2005, the words around them films, preceded them, followed them. Even family films which nevertheless often had no generic or dialogues were discussed at the screening by family members. The big news is that since 2005, we can make films and make them public by way of words. In fact, thanks to “groups” which one belongs to the “social networks”, when turning a video, we generally know who we want to go and when you press the “publish” button, we know who will receive it, with no other thing to do as pressing a button. It is no longer necessary to “present” his film with words.

Before, the language of words outside the structured language of images. Today, the language of images (from manufacture to distribution, dissemination to the responses they generate) can do without words. The language of images can then be used in conversation. Some sites will even offer to make the fleeting images, reducing their lifespan to a few seconds: the exchange of images is then like a real conversation almost live.

Towards audiovisual creativity

All very well and opens new doors for our brains so malleable ... why not ... But we also know that the images are a real language with its own grammar, its rules, its representations, cultural models underlying his unconscious political office, ethics ... However, in the context of this conversation, we remain in a sort of “visual orality”: we speak, we speak, but we do not know “write” the language we by the. The written (but what does writing in visual orality?) Is the material that “politically” structure (in the broad sense) society. If this work is not controlled by the citizens, society can not be democratic. It seems to me that today, everyone needs to learn to write the images with which we speak every day, just to keep us in a democracy.

But how we learn, how is it appropriate language? By studying the rules, grammar, standard? Of course not. We learn a language by speaking, being supported in the generous act of creating something. Regarding language, we learn writing poems, writing stories, and even telling his vacation provided it is done with a point of view ... In short, we learn a language by exercising their creativity, working shape to transmit to another speech, thought, emotion. We learn a language by integrating with its collective dimension, that is to say, by developing its own generosity. We learn a language by exceeding the ephemeral dual call to move to the production of an object defying time that caters to the collective, that is to say the political.

In the audiovisual field, so it is offering to people, whether young or not, to create movies that will be presented collectively, to tell stories, to enrich others of his worldview that everyone will be able to appropriating the language. The aim, moreover, is not “learn” but to give, to offer the other, an object formed, an object that will outlive us all, and who will address the Another universally (language learning will follow).

Arrange for a few days, a filmmaking workshop with mobile phone, films that will be produced collectively, and that will be the occasion of a public presentation in a room for a tangible human collective, concrete, physical, creates an emotion that can stimulate participants awareness of the issue of production and a desire for risk-taking on the formatting of the message they want to convey, in short all work on the audiovisual language which will lead both authors and spectators to experience strong, unique, shared, memorable, short, a founding experience of writing images to an experience of creation.

Summary of the book

  • Introduction:
    Laurence Allard, Laurent Creton and Roger Odin
  1. Write with the phone
    Maurizio Ferraris
  2. When the mobile phone meets the cinema.
    Roger Odin
  3. Conversation or creation : the virtues of audiovisual creativity
    Benoît Labourdette
  4. Rethinking social documentary
    William Uricchio
  5. Crowdvoice. Images and voices of protest in the World
    Esra’a El Shafei
  6. SMS between form and gesture analysis of a writing practice.
    Anne Jarrigeon and Joëlle Menrath
  7. Yoza Project : Stories for mobile accessible to all
    Steve Vosloo
  8. Music, mobile phone and identity tourègue the Sahel
    Christopher Kirkley
  9. Image in hand image online or how digital photography has freed morbid speech
    Serge Tisseron
  10. Digital mobile reformulations
    Nicolas Nova
  11. Express Yourself 3.0! Mobile as technology for self and others in double communicative action and disjunctive continuum soma - technological
    Laurence Allard
  12. Iranian Stories. A platform for the collection and dissemination of evidence.
    Thibault Lefèvre, Louis Racine, Nicolas Rouilleault Cyril Cadars
  13. This obscure tool of desire... What role for mobile in a conceptual approach to the creation ?
    Thomas Paris

The authors

Laurence Allard
Lecturer in Science Communication.Elle is a researcher at the IRCAV - 3 Paris and teaches at the University of Lille 3. His research interests are the common uses, citizens and humanitarian communication technologies (Internet, mobile phones) but also chips, sensors and other smart objects in the context of an anthropology of technical innovation symmetrical. She has published Mythology including mobile, Editions Le Cavalier Bleu, Paris, 2009.
Professional Website :
His blog specializes in mobile uses :

Cyril Cadars
After studying sociology at Grenoble and some film shoots in Vancouver at various positions, established the company SlumberLand Factory in Paris in 2009. After the first full financial short film by Internet, Alice marvels and product Iranian Stories, the company closes. He has been working with the production company Village 42. The Open debut Village 42 was released in 2014 and an animation teaser webseries, Webcrowd, questioning life major web players with humor, is brought online in late 2013.

Laurent Creton
Professor at the Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 and director of the Institute for Research on cinema and audiovisual (IRCAV EA 185). His work focuses on strategic analysis and cultural industries, and has published numerous articles and books on the economics of cinema, audiovisual and new media.

Maurizio Ferraris
Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Turin, where he directs the Labont (ontology Laboratory) and the Rivista di estetica. He has written more than forty books. Among his works translated into French : Where are you? Ontology of mobile phone, Editions Albin Michel, Paris, 2006 Goodbye, Kant ! What remains today of the Critique of Pure Reason, Publishing shine, Paris, 2009.

Anne Jarrigeon
Anthropologist, Doctor of Science in Information and Communication Lecturer and Laboratory City Transport Mobility (University Paris Est). She conducts research on the experience of contemporary mobility between devices and practices places, social interactions and spatial perceptions. She is the author of several articles and studies on the mobile phone.

Christopher Kirkley
“Ethnomusicologist rebel”, curator and occasional dj. His work focuses on contemporary popular music in an evolving technology landscape, implying an interaction of local traditions with influences transglobales new media models of cultural transmission. His website:

Benoît Labourdette
Benoît Labourdette is a writer, director and producer. He wrote and directed films, documentaries, experimental and participatory works (feature films : The head in the water (1995), Fatigue (2000), Triton (2007), The unconscious actors (2009) He is also expert in the field. digital entries. He founded and directed the Festival Pocket Films (2005-2010) with the Forum des Images (Paris). It is artistic Director of the Festival Mobiles Cameras (Scene lux national Valencia). has published in 2008 by Editions Dixit Turn a movie with your mobile phone. He founded in 2011 “The shortest Day” national holiday short film organized by the CNC. teaches in several schools and universities, and conducts professional training seminars. His personal website :

Thibault Lefèvre
Writer, director and producer and / webdoc sites. He is a journalist specializing in radio and web. After working in France Info, FIP, and France Bleu France Music, he joined in July 2011 multimedia hub France Inter.

Joëlle Menrath
Literary training has formed the methods of ethnology in the cabinet Speeches & Practices she founded and directs it since 2006. Speeches & Practices is a consulting firm specialized and applied research in the uses of digital technology, which brings together teams of researchers in information science, sociology or philosophy around ethnographic research sponsored by companies. She is the co -author of Mobile attitude, What phones have changed our lives, Editions Hachette, Paris, 2005.

Nicolas Nova
Co -founder of the Near Future Laboratory and professor at the HEAD- Geneva (Upper School of Art and Design) where he teaches ethnography, history of digital culture and design research. He holds a Ph.D. in human-computer interaction at EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland) and was invited to Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, California) researcher. Author Joypads ! The design of controllers (The Electric Sheep) with L. Curious Bolli and Rituals : Gestural Interaction in the Digital Everyday (Near Future Laboratory Press), he is also responsible editorial Lift, International conference on innovation and use of technology. It focuses on issues of use and prospective related to digital technologies.

Roger Odin
Emeritus Professor of Information Science and Communication at the University Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris 3 where he directed the Institute for Research on cinema and audiovisual for twenty years (1983-2003). Theorist semiotic pragmatic approach (Movies and production of meaning, Editions Armand Colin, Paris, 1990 From fiction, Editions De Boeck, Brussels, 2000 The communication spaces, PUG, 2011), he is also interested documentary film (the golden age of documentary cinema : Europe 50 years, Editions L’ Harmattan, Paris, 1997), amateur productions (film family Editions Meridians - Klincksieck, 1995 “The cinema amateur” Communications No. 68, Editions du Seuil, 1999, and the relationship between cinema, audiovisual and mobile phone (direction “Il cinema nell’epoca del videofonino” Bianco and Nero No. 568, 2011).

Thomas Paris
Researcher at CNRS and affiliated with HEC Paris, where he directs the Specialized Master Media, Art, Artwork teacher. Ph.D. management, conducting research over the past fifteen years on the creative industries (film and broadcasting, music, fashion, publishing, architecture, advertising, large kitchen, design), their economy and their models organizational. He also works on the digital economy and has published books on copyright, cultural diversity in cinema, audiovisual economy in the era of convergence, creative or management of cities creation.

Louis Racine
PhD student at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) since November 2009. Former student of the Institute of Political Studies of Paris, where he obtained a Masters in Public Affairs in 2006, he also holds a Master of Sociology, EHESS (2008). In addition to its participation in the site Iranian Stories, Louis Racine has written several articles on Iran since 2010 in the French Directory of International Relations, the Cahiers de l’Orient, and Uzbek Rica.

Nicolas Rouilleault
Coordinator of the Workshop Cinéfondation Cannes Film Festival, producer and director of new formats, including Nicolas Rouilleault has studied at IEP Grenoble, Fémis and the Film Academy Baden -Württemberg. He worked as a production manager or production manager for production companies as Zaradoc Movies, Cayman Productions, or Argos Films, and institutions such as Unifrance and the Marché du Film Cannes Film Festival. Founder of collaborative web “Iranian Stories” which he is a member project of producers, it is among other things, the producer of a Webdocumentary Massimiliano Minissale and Marie Blandin on refugees from Arab Spring, “Spring in exile.”

Esra’a Al Shafei
Founder and director of, an organization that aims to amplify the plurality of progressive voices in the Middle East and North Africa using digital media. In 2010, she founded, a platform for underground musicians in the Middle East who uses music as a vehicle for social change. In 2011, she founded a bilingual tool for LGBTQ youth in the Middle East to facilitate quality interactions. She is recipient of the Berkman of Harvard University for “outstanding contributions to the Internet and its impact on society,” was TED Senior Fellow. In 2011, she was featured in Fast Company magazine as one of the “100 most creative people in business.” She was also awarded the Monaco Media Prize, which recognizes innovative uses of media for the good of humanity. She lives in Bahrain.

Serge Tisseron
Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Doctor of Psychology authorized to supervise research (HDR) at the University Paris 7 Denis Diderot. He has published thirty personal essays, including family secrets, our relationship to images and digital technologies. His books have been translated into eleven languages. He has published Empathy in the heart of the social game (2010) and Fragments of an empathic psychoanalysis (2013). He is co- author of the report of the Academy of Sciences Children and screens (2013). It was created in 2008, with the help of MEDDE, the Institute for the History and Memory Reduction (IHMEC), then site whose objective is to contribute to the resilience of present and future generations future. He is president of the Institute for the study of human- robot (IERHR). His website:

William Uricchio
Professor and Director of the Comparative Media Studies program at MIT, where he is principal investigator of the MIT Open Documentary Lab and MIT Game Lab. He is also Professor of Comparative Media at the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands history and has been invited professor in Germany, Sweden, Denmark and China. His research focuses on the interaction of media technologies and cultural practices, and their role in the (re) construction of representations, knowledge and public. He has written on a variety of issues, from television at the turn of the nineteenth century algorithmic media culture

Steve Vosloo
Responsible for the program “Mobile Development” (M4D). He has a special interest in mobile learning, youth and ICT. Currently, he is Senior Project Officer for the Mobile Learning Unesco. He graduated from the Shuttleworth Foundation in South Africa. He founded the m4lit (Mobile Literacy), which demonstrated the enormous potential of mobile publishing to support training in reading and writing in South Africa and Kenya.

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