VVEBCAM (2007)

VVEBCAM, originally published on YouTube in 2007, highlights the conditions of watching video on the internet, mirroring the passive consumption of online content that the viewer him/herself performs while watching the work.

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Originally published on YouTube in 2007, Petra Cortright's VVEBCAM highlights the conditions of watching video online. Her passive surveillance of her videoscreen is mirrored by the viewer's own experience at that very moment, who is necessarily also consuming online content as they watch the work. Cortright complicates the dynamic of disengaged onlooking, however, by inserting a collection of animations that flash across the video. Default effects taken from the $20 webcam she used to record the work, running the gamut from cats to lightning bolts, literally animate the otherwise nonactive scene. Her passive stare mixed with these flashing images lend the video a hypnotic quality, further accentuated by the background music, Ceephax's "Summer Frosby," playing in Cortright's iTunes as she filmed. Issues regarding how and where an artwork is displayed online, as well as the techniques used for its dissemination, are also alluded to in VVEBCAM's original YouTube version. Cortright includes with it an extensive and dizzying list of tags, luring users who happen to search for any of these terms––"Paris Hilton" or "ESPN", for example––to stumble upon this video, and thereafter mirror its enactment of passive viewership.

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  • Andres Manniste | 3 years ago
    This is a perfect example of why Artbase deserves support.

    Google has banned Petra Cortright's video "VVebcam" because of her search terms. Her important art piece expresses the ridiculousness of search terms and in the infinite wisdom of Google, is banned for its use of such terms!

    VVebcam, a Rhizome Artbase selection, has been written about, discussed and published throughout the world. Furthermore, Google has removed an art work that is taught regularly in art schools. Petra Cortright has a solid reputation as an artist and Artbase assures access to her work.

    Andres Manniste
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