Afterlife of the Moving Image
Prateek Raja
THE VANISHING POINT: MOVING IMAGES AFTER VIDEO by Edited by Rashmi Devi Sawhney Tulika Books, 2024, 412 pp., INR 1200.00
July 2024, volume 48, No 7

The book The Vanishing Point: Moving Images after Video, edited by Rashmi Devi Sawhney is an incredible compilation of essays that brings together a wide survey of conversations around the format of video and the post-video world in artistic, activist and documentary moving image-making in India. It also successfully reflects on the post-celluloid moment in the history of Indian cinema. A rich and broad-based selection of writings by artists, filmmakers and essayists makes this book a crucial punctuation in viewing the transformation and postcolonial impact in the thinking and the making of the moving image. What is interesting is that it the compendium of essays manages to touch upon an often-overlooked inflection-point in the Indian landscape between cinema and video, where the economies and making cinema and the circulation thereafter of video changed quite dramatically—first after the arrival of the hand-held video camera and thereafter, with economically available digital mediums and their expanded storage. Suddenly video-making was accessible, affordable and differently distributable than ever before. The book in many ways is a reflection of this quick technological change that not only brought about a shift in the aesthetic of the moving image practice emerging out of the region, but also points at the vast range of work the essays refer to.

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