A Vlog Is A Vlog: Amateur Internet Video
“Video art is a sub-genre of homemade video.” – Vito Acconci
The dissemination of video over the internet has made home movies public and inspired an explosion of new video forms, which currently are transforming the way we look at television and enjoy entertainment more generally.
Where does this work stand relative to artist’s video? Are these amateurs any less technically savvy? Do they spend any less time on their work or have any less funding for their projects than most artists? Might not amateur internet video’s independence from art history in fact be a virtue, which liberates it from the abstract ideals and calcified conventions of art, opening new possibilities for seeing and experiencing the world? Might not internet video, in this way, restore some of what first interested artists in video – as too technological, reproducible, and un-commodifiable to be confused with art? And is this attention to video as un-art perhaps particularly germane now that video has so completely established itself as an art form, and developed from an inexpensive, anti-aesthetic practice to high-budget spectacle?
A Vlog Is A Vlog raised these questions by placing amateur internet video in the gallery. The show explored this rich new territory of moving images and the insights it offers into who we are, how we live, and the roles played by science, technology, art, and performance, in shaping our world.
However, the show did not present a merely objective sampling of internet video as if it were all equally excellent or interesting. To the contrary, much internet video presents little more than the spontaneous aping of culture-industry clichés, and it takes careful discernment to unearth its gems. So we have adopted an aggressive strategy when collecting and presenting this work. We have allowed our own eccentric interests to direct our collecting, focusing on marginalia, accidents, and private moments, rather than general types. We have actively re-mixed the videos to unpack those aspects of them that fascinate us; and we have integrated them to emphasize their often surprising juxtaposition on the web.
Press: Video Killed the Blog,” Hiya Swanhuyser, SF Weekly, October, 2006