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I Can Haz YouTube Culture

I Can Haz YouTube Culture

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Published by EmbassyGallery
Publication made for Edinburgh Art Festival 2010. The result of a 3 week anonymised forum.
Publication made for Edinburgh Art Festival 2010. The result of a 3 week anonymised forum.

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: EmbassyGallery on Aug 04, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 An Embassy journal 
August 2010 FREE
Cultivated Xerox
 ue Jun 29, 2010 8:46 am
OMG, the modern soothsayer o useless and innite wisdomalso known as the world wide web has turned 28 and in thattime has managed to revolutionise contemporary modes o living beyond even science ction's wildest dreams, providinga new, multilateral society that welcomes all and rejects none.Always open, predominantly ree and essentially virtual, thistemporally existent world lies seemingly submissive ateveryone’s ngertips, an enticing Eden o instant graticationthat ourishes within the newly acquired concentration spansand desires o 21st century culture users. In the realm o artistic practice, the internet contains within itsel and solely isan amazing compound o (re)searchable material and selpublication, available 24 hours a day and played out to anaudience o innite scope. Tings are easy, lie is cheap andcreativity is universal. But can this state o aairs really allow or the magical utopia o perection it overtly suggests, or is acreative apocalypse looming on the horizon?
George Kaplan
 Wed Jun 30, 2010 8:23 pm
I don't think I understand the question, could you rephrase it?
'Always open'? 'Predominantly ree'? 'Essentially virtual'? 'emporally existent'? 'Instant gratication'? 
Can you qualiy these statements? Do you think this is agreater revolution than, say, the Gutenberg press? Do you notthink the 'creative apocalypse' was already instigated by theanyonecandoit attitude o D.I.Y. culture or even theevolution o the middle class and the concept o leisure? ake'noise' music or example, where talent, skill or any sort o aesthetic judgement are rendered redundant and all you needis spare time and a disposable income.
Cultivated Xerox
 Tu Jul 01, 2010 12:11 pm
I don't think I understand your lack o understanding. Teinternet is instantaneous and always available to us, and as 'us'I mean Westerners, as o course that is all we can reer to, itbeing the economic and social ramework we exist in. Any artthat we produce and any mode that we prolierate it on will bestuck within this construct. Te internet does not play thesame role in Eastern or developing countries in the same way that Western music or art or literature or theory over the lastcentury does not always bear much relevance to theundamental structures o their societies  o course, this ischanging, with the unortunate worldwide Americanisation o culture, but until a Western notion o democracy, equality orreedom is rightly or wrongly installed in these countries(brought about not by supercial works o art but by politicalor economic radicalism) then all we can do is arrogantly talk about our own in a universal manner, like you do talking aboutthe concept o bourgeois leisure pursuits. I am not saying that you can't compare internet usage there to internet usage herein a way to belittle my unavoidably middleclass, overdramaticquestion  go ahead, that is the nature o an open orum  butthen have you ever tried to justiy your own creative output when comparing it to that o someone o a similar age in apoverty stricken country?And when you talk o DIY culture bringing a creativeapocalypse, do you see this as a bad thing? Are you o thetraditional Greenbergian ilk where art can only be proclaimedas such when a ew men chung on cigars have a collectiveorgasm over another man's colourul geometric jism on a largesheet o canvas? I take it as such by your uneducated,conservative judgement passed over the expansive genre o experimental music. But that is another argument entirely andnot something that needs to be discussed here. Where the internet varies rom this old structure o doit yoursel is the new uprising o the selpromotional ratherthan the collective. Which I guess is maybe what I wasalluding to. And I say essentially virtual as the internet is notreal, ie people can create new lives and personalities orthemselves in a way that doesn't work in physical reality. Andit is basically ree, both in monetary terms or content, althougho course you have to pay or access to certain elements o it.
George Kaplan
 Tu Jul 01, 2010 7:38 pm
Ok perhaps that sentence about noise music was phrasedunairly as a clumsy attempt to be provocative, the point I hadintended to make was that within this milieu, qualitative judgements are irrelevant, redundant or at least entirely subjective, and that its creation is as much a social and leisurebased pursuit as its consumption, to the extent that both couldperhaps be considered indistinguishable. Te history o experimentation with sound is as long and as complicated asthe history o human culture and I don't believe 'noise' musicor any other cultural orm needs to be justied on any termsbeyond than those o any single person who enjoys it. I wasattempting to imagine what was insinuated by the phrase'cultural apocalypse' as a negative counterpoint to thepossibility o a 'magical utopia' and my contention is that theuniverse o experimental music could be seen in exactly theterms you describe that o the internet (as could that o contemporary art), essentially both conditions at the sametime. Again, I still don't quite get what you are asking, do youmean to query whether the speed o delivery aects the quality o the result? Or the depth? For example my attaching acouple o web links rather than my own eld research, or yourusing a wikipedia entry as a shorthand or a much richerargument. Does this undermine the relative position either o us takes?
Certainly a degree o subtlety was lost in my own response. Iused extreme examples o poverty in Arica and censorship inChina in the hope that it would be made clear that the internetis neither completely open or universally accessible, but to varying degrees throughout society both globally anddomestically, my personal example being that I cannot access Youube as I cannot nancially aord the new operatingsystem which would allow me to upgrade my browser. As orbeing instantaneous and always available, you obviously have amuch better broadband connection than I do. o be moreserious, you use a ew problematic terms such as 'developingcountries' and 'Americanisation' (which I approvingly note you spell with an 's' rather than a 'z,' but is, some might argue,'Europeanisation'), 'bourgeois' and 'middleclass.' When Iused the phrase 'middle class' (without a hyphen) I in no way intended this to be pejorative, my intended observation wasthat the development o the internet could not unequivocally be considered to be some sort o quantum leap in the progresso human culture, not until we are able to get some historicalperspective at least. Te concept o virtuality is equally raught,and I will not attempt to go into it right now. Your second post appears to revolve around issues o  justication and judgement, rom my own perspective I ndthat there is at least some degree o irreconcilability here. My position is perhaps that any judgement is subjective, that is tosay personal, and this allows the possibility that thereore justication is a question o personal integrity, perhaps evendignity. Like DIY culture, this is all very well as a matter o principle, but in my personal experience o music culture, DIY hasn't turned out to mean that the most musically talentedhave access to make music no matter what their social status,it has come to mean that anyone with enough social status hasthat access, no matter what degree o talent. I could easily trapmysel in a reductive discussion o my own conicting viewpoints on this matter but I nd mysel in the position which I think was expressed by John Cage; "I have nothing tosay, and I'm saying it."
 Tu Jul 01, 2010 11:26 pm
I eel I have to question the use o the G word as a indicatoror cultural elitism in this instance. Although the termGreenberg has become synonymous with a particular variety o uncompromising art criticism he was principally active at atime when there was an unprecedented expansion in thenumber o practicing artists. It was arguably more the sheernumber and homogeneity o 8th St. style painters subscribingto Greenberg’s opinions that spelt High Modernism’s doomrather than any ormal impasse suggested by notions o opticality or atness.Furthermore these Greenbergians you speak o were not parto a social elite but individuals with a lack o ormal arteducation compared with today’s standards. What littleeducation Americans had was requently paid or by theirparticipation in the Second World War as part o the GI Billo Rights introduced in 1944. I think it would be dangerous toseparate a orum dealing with the cultural implications o theinternet rom the great number o preceding devices that haveenabled substantial cultural development. It comes down tothe visibility o such activity as much as it’s volume. Justbecause the countless hundreds o skife bands ormed in the1950’s didn’t have a myspace prole (unlike the swathes o mediocre party noise acts that have succeeded them) doesn’tmean they didn’t exist.
Sat Jul 03, 2010 4:14 pm
I DigressI’m bored so I thought it best to spend my time productively online. I’ve read a lot o articles and seen a lot o things I’venever seen beore, but I orgot to go to work and I lost my  jacket. Te open (to some) source that is the internet is shapingproduction and the work orce, creating creative capital,immaterial labor, speculative investment  a series o wordcombination I overheard on public transport. Te internet or indeed computers and telephones havechanged the way we work, by this I'm not specically talkingabout the work o art. I mean work in the general sense. Temajority o city jobs involve no physical work, you are eyes andears, whereas you use to be arms and legs, but neither give youa head, o any real signicance.
I Digress, i we ollow the DIY ethos then surely the internetis the perect orum as it doesn't cost rent to have a voiceonline well not in the same way it does in the physical world,but yes it is a valid point to note that the continuous updatesrender everyones browsers deunct eventually and then youpay through the nose or http://lowtech.org/projects/n5m3/
"When bankers get together they talk about art. Whenartists get together, they talk about money." - Oscar Wilde 
"Te entertainment business was a distribution business, inother words people who controlled pathways to people’seyeballs, where they sat in the movie theatre or how they got cable, those people controlled the media business...What makes the Internet a radical game changer is that it makesdistribution a commodity – in other words, anybody canhave a pathway to an eyeball – marketing becomes more important but distribution is almost trivial." 
Quote taken rom http://www.standardoslo.no/v1/sql/ex.archive.php?shownews=47
 o narrow this down to art, as I am under the impression that we are not simply speaking about the technological revolutionin general but how culture has been aected by this,predominantly the visual arts.

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