Wednesday, 4 March 2009


Random Rules
'A Channel of Artist's Selections from You Tube'
curated by Marina Fokidis

Andrea 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 Ögut, 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 become exhibitions and “tagging” a process of a random archiving.

Having been asked to curate a screening program for Pulse Art Fair 2009, it made lots of sense to somehow use this occasion and explore what YouTube means to a certain intellectual community, by asking a number of artists to select their own playlists, from YouTube. The idea is to create a channel titled Random Rules, Artists selections from YouTube, a short of paradoxical archive which will include all the playlist, each under the name of the artist-selector. In that plot, the curator becomes a filter or the means, the artist 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 the art-fair and online at the same time. As for the content it remains to be seen…However, one could suspect that through a certain combination of artists -as selectors- it might be possible 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.

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