<videovortex> PerpiTube: Repurposing Social Media Spaces

Patrick Hebert pato_28 at hotmail.com
Fri Nov 18 08:54:39 CET 2011

PerpiTube: Repurposing Social Media
Spaces, was co-curated by Pato Hebert and Alexandra Juhasz. The project models a
purposeful, complex, and artful use of social networking technologies and the
spaces that hold them. In the gallery and on YouTube, this novel art show organized the
media of 29
invited participants along side the video production of daily visitors
to the gallery, everyday YouTube users, invited community members, and you.

The Space is Now Open for All of Us. Together we will collaborate to rethink
and remake liveness and delay, mobility and place, presence and absence,
solitude and community, both online and off.

PerpiTube responds
to many of the criticisms expressed by Juhasz and her Pitzer College students
who tried to teach and learn on YouTube. Juhasz’s born-digital, free, online
video-book, Learning from YouTube (MIT Press, 2011) was one end result of this
immersive interaction, and PerpiTube is another.

>From July 12 through September 6, 2011, 29 diverse artists, activists, and
academics interacted with audiences at the art gallery at Pitzer College in
Claremont, California. Gallery audiences included invited youth, community members, and educators, as well as
daily visitors. Over the two months, a collection of their works were archived
and made available to a much larger audience on YouTube. You can add your work
as well.

Each day at 10 am (PST time) the gallery was opened for a unique, fifteen
minute, live, interactive event followed by fifteen minutes of refreshments and
conversation. By the next day, with only the smallest of delays, video
documentation of the artist’s presentation and the audience’s response were
added to the exhibition’s growing archive.

For the rest of each day (10:30 am-4 pm) the gallery was closed to live
presentations and repurposed for videomaking and learning via two workstations:
one for YouTube research and
another for YouTube video

Los Angeles media artist, Natalie Bookchin, whose recent work has
focused on YouTube, presented a video to open each of PerpiTube’s
four themed sections based on chapters from Learning from YouTube. These themes continued to be
activated by invited participants—Italian exchange students, Native California youth, women in a transitional facility, and local educators—who
each attended one of Bookchin’s opening presentation and then a video workshop,
and whose videos were placed into the show’s growing archive to kick off and
expand conversation.

The unique structure of the show was designed to highlight how various
spaces, on and offline, amplify the connections and contradictions between
local place and digital mobility, the reception and production of social media,
the tension between the ephemeral and the archive, and the “artist” and
“amateur.” By so doing, the curators and participants sought to model how
social media, lived spaces, and their intentional interactions can be
repurposed to empower users and communities by using digital technology in
productive, intentional, and focused ways.

On October 21, 2011, over 50 artists, activists, students, scholars and
curators gathered for a day-long symposium to explore the project, critique its
limits and grapple with its ongoing potential. You can read about the Symposium
and the evolution of the project at the project blog: http://perpitube.com/

You can screen the work and contribute your own videos for PerpiTube on
YouTube: www.youtube.com/PerpiTubeSpace

You can read Christopher Michno’s review of PerpiTube for “Artillery  Mag” at: http://www.artillerymag.com/mini-reviews/entry.php?id=perpitube-repurposing-social-media-spaces

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