Gun vs. Red

Webcast curated by Artists Space, 2009. Later included in the Video DADA exhibit at the University Art Gallery at UC Irvine in 2010.

New York-based arts organization Artists Space curated a series of webcasts called the YouTube Commentary Project  in 2008-2009. In the words of Artists Space:

“Like ‘special features’ commentary on a commercial dvd, The YouTube Commentary Project involves injecting ideas, critique and comments recorded by artists about a YouTube video of their choice. After overlaying the recorded audio onto the video, we upload the results back onto YouTube and present it here. It’s part of Artists Space’s new WebCast: internet and computer based cultural content co-produced with artists around the world.”

I contributed a piece commenting on a video of a gun owner loading and unloading his gun (actually a toy replica of a .44 magnum, popularized by the movie Dirty Harry) against a red backdrop. It was also screened in the Video DADA show at UC Irvine – other artists included Shana Moulton, Negativland, Miranda July, and Kalup Linzy. From the press release:

“VIDEO DADA: No repeat of history, not neo-Dada, but still wreaking havoc with conventional parameters of art. Nowadays inventive, intelligent, and aesthetically sophisticated videos can be seen far afield, outside traditional art venues like museums and galleries. And artists circulate their videos on a much wider scale than that achieved by any television network. VIDEO DADA asks how these changes complicate the conceptual and aesthetic contours of art. The exhibition features 300 plus videos — playing on eight screens — by individual artists and art collectives that circulate in the hurly-burly multiverse of the internet. Some serious, some humorous, and some both at once, these works exercise manifold strategies: absurd drama, wry animation, politically astute collage, wild performance, and uncategorizable others. Some play with music; some incorporate extraordinary written or spoken texts; some prefer silence and all the noise that offers. In sum, VIDEO DADA surveys the internet’s amalgamation of popular culture and art, calling into question the difference between the two.“


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