The Guggenheim’s “Play” Fails To Meet Low Expectations: The Shortlist Announced

by Paddy Johnson on September 20, 2010 · 22 comments Newswire

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If Play, The Guggenheim’s collaboration with YouTube to find 20 new talents looked like a vision-less use of the internet, their finalists aren’t changing that impression. Note the first rock video I had the misfortune of clicking on above. Nobody’s doing anyone any favors by “discovering” Galt Aureus as new talent.

I thought I’d blog a little about a few of the contestants, but YouTube’s produced a website that makes that almost impossible (Update: Unless you click on the youtube symbol on the bottom right of the video, which I never do, but apparently is standard). There is no embed button. Visitors who want to share the videos can do so easily however with facebook, twitter and if you can believe it, that incredibly active social network, Google Buzz. None of these sites provide a space for easily searchable or substantive feedback. This sucks for a number of reasons, not the least of which being the amount of money Youtube must have wasted producing blurby video bios with each of the finalists, no one can parse. Not even a text based list of artists exists on a site that comes with the most annoying scroll bar since The Whitney’s now defunct Bitstreams website.

I’m sure there’s a few good videos in that group somewhere — I noticed We Love Museums… Do They Love Us Back is a finalist — but that’s not the majority. Most of this work would never see the light of day in a museum or even a bad New York art gallery.

  • oliver

    Recently I’ve grown weary of how maniacally negative, cynical, and too cool for school most of the posts on this blog are. I’m done. But before I go…might I suggest that you take the time out to look at all the finalists for YouTube Play before publishing a sweeping dismissal of the entire thing. I’ve watched almost all of them and saw some really incredible work.

    • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

      I don’t have to watch all of the Chipmunks Christmas to know it’s not Citizen Kane. This is not Citizen Kane.

      Nobody’s forcing you to read this blog. I suggest you stop if you don’t like it.

  • oliver

    Recently I’ve grown weary of how maniacally negative, cynical, and too cool for school most of the posts on this blog are. I’m done. But before I go…might I suggest that you take the time out to look at all the finalists for YouTube Play before publishing a sweeping dismissal of the entire thing. I’ve watched almost all of them and saw some really incredible work.

    • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

      I don’t have to watch all of the Chipmunks Christmas to know it’s not Citizen Kane. This is not Citizen Kane.

      Nobody’s forcing you to read this blog. I suggest you stop if you don’t like it.

  • http://vimeo.com/jacknightingale JackNightingale

    I watched all 24 videos in the experimental category and was stunned by the selections – those videos are a joke – every one of them – summer intern staff had to have selected them – I think Nancy Spector is taking Goggle’s money and running – fast – I’m embarrassed for the jury.

  • http://vimeo.com/jacknightingale JackNightingale

    I watched all 24 videos in the experimental category and was stunned by the selections – those videos are a joke – every one of them – summer intern staff had to have selected them – I think Nancy Spector is taking Goggle’s money and running – fast – I’m embarrassed for the jury.

  • Lou

    I agree! So far I am incredibly underwhelmed….

  • Lou

    I agree! So far I am incredibly underwhelmed….

  • publ

    You can just click the YouTube logo in the bottom right of the video to go to the page for the actual video (which is its standard behavior). Embed, comment or playlist them from there.

    • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

      Thanks for the correction.

  • publ

    You can just click the YouTube logo in the bottom right of the video to go to the page for the actual video (which is its standard behavior). Embed, comment or playlist them from there.

    • http://www.artfagcity.com Art Fag City

      Thanks for the correction.

  • Helmut

    Don’t you mean it succeeds in reaching low expectations?

  • Helmut

    Don’t you mean it succeeds in reaching low expectations?

  • Tucker

    It’s a shame because this could have been something amazing. But so few actually exploit the critical potential of youtube. Most are just online music videos and motion graphics glitz. Still, I will certainly be interested in who Laurie Anderson picks as her favorite!

  • Tucker

    It’s a shame because this could have been something amazing. But so few actually exploit the critical potential of youtube. Most are just online music videos and motion graphics glitz. Still, I will certainly be interested in who Laurie Anderson picks as her favorite!

  • rebekkah

    from the get-go it sounded like a bad idea; felt it a real put down…, i love experimental film and video, it gets me, leaves me enthralled and or bawling…..its super; the gumption! putting work up for free in the hopes of re-posts and high hit counts – ultimately just to drive more business to that animated banner add – i think this is problematic. my feeling is that most youTube content is well within commercial/culturally set expectations, which is fine and good, but to promote, and claim it some resource for critically significant art – really now, ouch.
    guess maybe the the ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’….

  • rebekkah

    from the get-go it sounded like a bad idea; felt it a real put down…, i love experimental film and video, it gets me, leaves me enthralled and or bawling…..its super; the gumption! putting work up for free in the hopes of re-posts and high hit counts – ultimately just to drive more business to that animated banner add – i think this is problematic. my feeling is that most youTube content is well within commercial/culturally set expectations, which is fine and good, but to promote, and claim it some resource for critically significant art – really now, ouch.
    guess maybe the the ‘the proof of the pudding is in the eating’….

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