Kino Eye, elaboration


In 1929 Dziga Vertov elaborated on his Kino, cinema eye idea.

Kino-eye = kino-seeing (I see through the camera) + kino-writing (I write on film with the camera) + kino-organization (I edit).” … “Kino-Eye means the conquest of space, the visual linkage of people throughout the entire world based on the continuous exchange of visible fact” … “Kino-Eye is the possibility of seeing life processes in any temporal order or at any speed” … “Kino-Eye uses every possible means in montage, comparing and linking all points of the universe in any temporal order, breaking, when necessary, all the laws and conventions of film construction.

Each of these stages are relevant to the Kino project………

  • Seeing through the Camera
  • Where and how you point the camera
  • How the edit impacts, any temporal order at any speed


By the time Man With a Movie Camera was made, Vertov’s conception of the Kino-Eye was divided into the three stages of the production process that he and his collaborators used to create their films. In 1929, Vertov wrote: “Kino-eye = kino-seeing (I see through the camera) + kino-writing (I write on film with the camera) + kino-organization (I edit)” (87). These three stages correspond perfectly to the three positions occupied by Elizaveta Svilova, Dziga Vertov, and Mikhail Kaufman, collectively known as “The Council of Three” (12).

As the camera-man, and Vertov’s brother, Mikhail Kaufman fulfilled the kino-seeing function, Vertov himself, as director, was responsible for what was shot, the kino-writing, and Elizaveta Svilova, Vertov’s wife, edited their pieces.

Man With a Movie Camera, was possibly the first revolutionary cyborg, the Kino-Eye.

Man With a Movie Camera is the result of Vertov’s ten-year effort to work out a theory of technologically-assisted vision. “Kino-Eye” is the name he gave to his theory, and it involves not only a disappearance of the border between the camera and the eye but a dissolution in the stages separating the process of film production as well.


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