Tuesday, October 26, 2010

YouTube as Venue

Paul Sharits Shutter Interface film (1975)

Last year the New York Times writer Virginia Heffernan proposed an avant-garde emerging from the mass of video material posted every minute on YouTube in an article titled Uploading the Avant-Garde. Even more recently New York magazine wrote of US soldiers posting videos in The Ke$ha-Loving, Coman-Defying Army Auteur: Generation YouTube at War describing the artistry of Cody Wilson. 21st century upstart artists Ryan Trecartin and Kalup Lindzy (who just started a web series "Melody Set Me free") continue to use YouTube as a venue for their work despite having achieved art world recognition. In our teaching, we find the vast trove of experimental film posted on YouTube from the Paul Sharits structural film Tails  (1976) or Nam June Paik's Fluxus work Zen for Film (circa 1962-4) and interviews with artists such as Marina Aramovic useful especially as we recall how nearly impossible it was to gain access to such material when sequestered in remote locations such as central Wisconsin.

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