<videovortex> random rules

Geert Lovink geert at xs4all.nl
Thu Mar 26 08:30:08 CET 2009

Random Rules - A Channel of Artists' Selections from YouTubecurated by  
Marina Fokidis

Phone: 00302110109807
Contact: Marina Fokidis
mfokidis at oxymoron-art.com


Artists: Andreas Angelidakis, Aids 3D ( Daniel Keller and Nick  
Kosmas) , assume vivid astro focus, Pablo Leon de la Barra, Eric  
Beltran, Keren Cytter, Jeremy Deller, Cerith Wyn Evans, Dominique  
Gonzalez Foerster, Dora Garcia, Rodney Graham, Annika Larsson,  
Matthieu Laurette, Ingo Niermann, Miltos Manetas, Ahmet Ögüt, Angelo  
Plessas, Lisi Raskin, Linda Wallace.


The history of moving image seems to have 'seriously' diverted from  
its canonical route ever since the launch of YouTube, in 2005, the  
website which made possible for anyone who could use a computer to  
post a video that millions of people could watch within a few minutes.  
More effectively than ever before, amateur videos, music videos,  
footages of films, commercials and news segments as well as artists'  
videos (in lesser numbers) mingle together, in a random way, free of  
any short of predetermined hierarchy or system.

Does amateur culture have undervalued artistic expertise?

Some would argue that this is true; however, it is neither a major  
concern nor a pragmatic threat. During the last decades, there have  
been a lot of debates about expertise versus amateurism or around the  
idea that everyone is an artist, etc, that it would be redundant to  
renegotiate these notions anew. Maybe it is more interesting to focus  
on the gaps and the relations between the systems of the art market  
and a more open mass culture market, to find some answers, which will  
not be fixed in anyway. Even if artists, in some cases, are reluctant  
to upload their works in there (at least up to now) due to  
reproduction and copyright issues, they still seem to frequent YouTube  
for inspiration, collecting information, socializing, communication,  
activism or entertainment, among other reasons! Active use of YouTube  
is a short of curating, where different 'playlists' of people are the  
exhibitions and 'tagging' is a process of a random archiving.

In a time that invitations for YouTube-exchange private gatherings  
become regular, seemed to make lots of sense to explore what YouTube  
means to a specific intellectual community, by asking a number of  
artists to select videos already exciting in YouTube and create their  
own playlists. The idea was to form a YouTube channel, a short of a  
paradoxical archive, or an emission in an independent media (such as  
YouTube) which includes all these playlists, each under the name of  
the artist-selector. In that plot, the uploader or the broadcaster  
becomes the artist, the artist becomes the curator or the collector,  
and the viewers exceed by far the number that can be contained into a  
normal screening room, since the channel is to be watched in a black  
cube setting and online at the same time.

Through the combination of this specific set of artists -as selectors-  
the aim remains always to come up with an anthology of different  
voices existing within the YouTube context. Perhaps, by watching this  
channel one could come across the notions of political, private,  
humor, narcissism, pop and DIY culture and distribution, -among  
others- as they result from various personal accounts in YouTube today.

Launched at Pulse, Contemporay Art Fair NY, 5th March 2009

More information about the videovortex mailing list