6.14.2010

Guggenheim Taps YouTube For Emerging Talent | ART / TECH


The Guggenheim has teamed up with YouTube, giving amateur and professional video artists alike the chance to gain access to the museum's curators and ultimately be shown at Guggenheim locations worldwide.  The project taps into Digital Natives' open source mindset, where user-created content (e.g. Wikipedia, consumer created advertising) is valued as much as professional. 

According to the NY Times,
The project, called YouTube Play and conceived as a biennial event, is intended to discover innovative work from unexpected sources. It is open even to entrants who don’t consider themselves artists, and actively encourages the participation of people with little or no experience in video. “People who may not have access to the art world will have a chance to have their work recognized,” said Nancy Spector, deputy director and chief curator of the Guggenheim Foundation. “We’re looking for things we haven’t seen before.”
Applicants will be able to submit their videos (only one entry per person) starting Monday, uploading them on a channel created for the initiative, also called YouTube Play (youtube.com/play). The works must have been created within the past two years and cannot be longer than 10 minutes, made for commercial use or excerpted from longer videos. The deadline for submissions is July 31.
As has happened in other hierarchical systems that have been impacted by technology's democratizing forces, some art world insiders are critical of the Guggenheim's foray into amateur content.   Robert Storr, dean of the Yale University School of Art, the organizer of the 2007 Venice Biennale and a former senior curator at the Museum of Modern Art has major issues with bypassing the traditional route to showing at the Guggenheim. 
“Hit-and-run, no-fault encounters between curators and artists, works and the public, will never give useful shape to the art of the present nor define the viewpoint of institutions,”

“It’s time to stop kidding ourselves,” Mr. Storr added. “The museum as revolving door for new talent is the enemy of art and of talent, not their friend — and the enemy of the public as well, since it refuses to actually serve that public but serves up art as if it was quick-to-spoil produce from a Fresh Direct warehouse.”
 Nevertheless, for artists dreaming of showing at a world class museum, the project is an exciting opportunity - and the art world will not be the last institution to be confronted with technology's continuing influence on perceptions of professional vs. amateur.

-ca

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