Saturday, April 17, 2010

On YouTube Art's Aesthetics, or "OMGart"

Jacob Ciocci, "The Peace Tape," 2009, on YouTube

Of course this is what art looks like in the 20-teens.

This stuff, Jimmy Joe Roche,

and Ryan Trecartin,

and Everything is Terrible, is more than just pastiche/collage of images/sounds. It's a pastiche of mediums - art about VHS tapes and about what's on VHS tapes. Art on YouTube and about what's on YouTube. Simultaneously. And arranged into microblips (microkitsch?) to mirror the 'frenetic onslaught of information in the digital age' (TM), with the nuggets plucked out and exploded, the art of a world that has too many search engine results for "corgi dog +awesome".

Here's curation in 'the future of art' - just as journalists, stock brokers, photographers and anyone else who had a sweet job in the 20th century has been replaced with some variation of an RSS feed, curation can be done with an iPod touch and a Tumblr app. "We don't need guys in museums" showing us archival 1990's kitsch, because the Tumblrkids and the VHStubers are going to do it for us. And they aren't even going to argue about the role of the curator, or the role of the museum, or the role of the gallery.

Don't worry, you guys, all of that is dead already. The most significant cultural export of the 2010's will be 15-year-old kids reassembling old shit.jpg's / files and passing it on and making fun of how lame instructional videos for the Internet are, while galleries go the way of movie rental stores and newspapers.

Everything is Terrible, 2010, '90s Gaming is Very Cool'

Which is why I have been fascinated by Tumblr as a sort of manifestation of Walter Benjamin's dream to write a book using only passages from other books. Benjamin struggled with it, but now teenage kids in Wisconsin do it for fun without even knowing it's 'art or whatever'. This is a gallery and it's a zine, and it's what curation looks like, circa 2010-2020.

Authors are dead and talking about the author being dead is dead. It's all about the curator and the collector and it's a first-hand, instinctual impulse to make art that makes sense of all these raw materials. And that collector is recombining all of the stuff into a new thing where authorship isn't assumed or considered, where the museum is a museum of images which themselves are museums and it's all under some kid's YouTube screen name followed by a couple of numbers.

OMGArt guys amiright? It's even stupider if you say it out loud.

Peace Tape comes by way of All Everyone, United

1 comment:

E*Rock said...

I think digital art collecting/tumblr only makes galleries more important. Its a nice way to reference, but the real thing is still the real thing.