Field Trip Friday: YouTube Play at the Guggenheim

Last Friday night Hae-In attended the Guggenheim’s Art After Dark event, kicking off YouTube Play: A Biennial of Creative Video, which was on view at the museum from October 22 – 24. Art After Dark is a new series of seasonal evening events at the Guggenheim which focuses on a special exhibition or program at the museum.

Guggenheim exterior

For YouTube Play: A Biennial of Creative Video, the museum teamed up with Youtube to find the best creative videos from all over the world in order to select the most unique, innovative, groundbreaking work being created and distributed online during the past two years.

The exhibit addresses the fact that in the last 20 years, there has been a big shift in visual culture and the Internet has become a popular way to share new forms of digital media. More than two billion videos are watched daily on YouTube.

As stated on the Guggenheim’s website, “It is the goal of YouTube Play to reach the widest possible audience, inviting each and every individual with access to the Internet to submit a video for consideration. This global online initiative is not a search for what’s “now,” but a search for what’s next.”

The line for Art After Dark

Over 23,000 online videos were submitted from 91 countries, reflecting just how accessible video has become to produce and watch, even via iphone or digital camera. The submissions were narrowed down to 125 videos, which can be seen here.

Finally, a jury of 13 experts including artist Takashi Murakami, filmmaker Darren Aronofsky and the band Animal Collective, chose 25 videos to display at the exhibition. The Guggenheim Museums in New York, Bilbao, Berlin, and Venice all exhibited the top 25 videos last weekend.

YouTube videos projected onto the Guggenheim's exterior

At the event, YouTube video stills were projected on the museum’s exterior on a continuous loop. Inside the exhibit room, visitors received headsets with channels that corresponded to the 25 videos playing on the walls. In an adjoining room, one could also watch the videos on mounted flat screens, scrolling through and selecting them on the screen. The effect of everyone standing around, watching various videos and smiling, laughing, nodding along to music, and sharing their thoughts was more interactive than expected. The selected videos reflected a wide range of creativity and media within the digital realm.

Some of Hae-In’s favorites included Ladybird’s Requiem by Akino Kondoh, Luis by Joaquín Cociña, Cristóbal León, and Niles Atallah, Strindberg and Helium at the Beach by Eun-Ha Paek, Erin Perkins and James Bewley, Synthesia by Terri Timely and Wonderland Mafia by Lindsay Scoggins. Check them all out here.

Art After Dark bar area

In conjunction with the exhibit, the Take is a blog featuring writing by experts, scholars, and artists from the worlds of film, video, and Internet culture.

During the event, visitors were also able to view Chaos and Classicism: Art in France, Italy, and Germany, 1918–1936 and Broken Forms: European Modernism from the Guggenheim Collection in addition to their permanent collection.

Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
1071 5th Avenue, New York, NY

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