One of my favorite things about the internet is that it encourages serious academic discussions about cats playing pianos. ROFLcon III happened in early May and I just got around to watching a good panel discussion on the Supercut - which is, put shortly, a comprehensive and thematic video montage. The coiner of the term, Andy Baio, and three notable supercutters go over their own work, themes of the supercut and the future of the supercut. Very nice! The video is in four parts, with examples taking up the first half-ish of things.
One point of contention from this supercut obsessed blogger - in part IV, the panel seems to agree that the supercut has run its course as an expressive medium. Disagree! Andy Baio's own Supersupercut is a fantastic example of the use of automation in supercuts. My Supercut-O-Matic software is another example of the power of automation to create thematic montages. Google is now able to crawl through videos and pick out clips of cats. Open source Music Information Retrieval frameworks like MARSYAS can automatically identify specific facets of songs. In the near future, computers will automatically find LOLLY content for us and compile it, putting even the aggregation website editors out of work. I do also think that interactivity will be introduced into supercuts, so that users can move freely through categorized media rather than watching a linear video clip. But hey, maybe I'm crazy.
Certainly the panel doesn't give a very good history of the supercut. The earliest historical example they give is Christian Marclay's "The Clock". If the panel weren't all male, perhaps they would've mentioned Dara Birnbaum's 1978 cut-up of Wonder Woman transforming. To venture a challenge to the internet, here's what I'm calling the earliest supercut - the amazing, brilliant 1965 collage "Argh!" by Folke Rabe and Jan Bark. Listen here and do tell me if you know an earlier example of this concept. I only recently found ARGH! and I'm completely transfixed by its prophetic beauty.