Imagining the User of Portapak: Countercultural Agency for Everyone!

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademic


    In this contribution the author offers a brief historical exploration of the discursive “imagination” related to the amateur user of the portapak video system in the late 1960s and early 1970s. This contribution does not explore video’s potential to be a media technology for educational purposes or guerrilla journalism. It neither traces its possibilities as a device that enabled users to record and replay at will television programs and feature films. This entry will look at another possible emergence of video: as a tool to make and share experiences of everyday life. Whereas Sony’s marketing rhetoric mainly foregrounds an easy to use operation and functionality in everyday life, a selection of articles in the avant-garde magazine Radical Software (1970-1974) framed portapak’s technological characteristics to be perfectly suited for a countercultural appropriation by everybody.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationExposing the Film Apparatus
    Subtitle of host publicationThe Film Archive as Research Laboratory
    EditorsGiovanna Fossati, Annie van den Oever
    Place of PublicationAmsterdam
    PublisherAmsterdam University Press/EYE
    Number of pages9
    ISBN (Electronic)978-90-4852-449-5
    ISBN (Print)978-90-8964-718-4
    Publication statusPublished - 11-Mar-2016

    Publication series

    NameFraming Film
    PublisherAmsterdam University Press


    Dive into the research topics of 'Imagining the User of Portapak: Countercultural Agency for Everyone!'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this