JOGGING COMMEMORATIVE (2010) - JOGGING (Brad Troemel and Lauren Christiansen)

This project features a full archive of all 743 Jogging posts from 2009-2010. Images of these works are viewable in chronological secession on Youtube videos that feature the Billboard Top 100 tracks for the first week of September 2010. Each image is shown for 10 seconds in the videos. The first 24 Jogging posts are presented with the #1 Billboard song playing. Posts continue to unfold chronologically, moving down the chart and ending at the 31st song on the charts...

The songs in Jogging Commemorative are not intended as musical accompaniments. In this project, Billboard Top 100 tracks are the medium Jogging’s history exists through; the sites at which the Youtube viewer’s consensual desire to listen is paired with an unwitting visual experience. By choosing the most popular songs currently available, the artists intend to make use of this music’s universality as a form of digital public space. Here art is a parasite, assuming the shape of popular culture insidiously while seemingly undergoing minimal alteration in visual content.

Though these songs may be commonly heard due to their advantageous corporate sponsorship, they are not cultural commons. Each video in Jogging Commemorative stands as a display of Youtube users’ contextual helplessness in the face of heavily lobbied copyright law. The array of subsidized advertisements to purchase the songs is a constant reminder of the music industry’s tenuous relationship with freely distributed subject matter. “This is property on loan”, the advertisements figuratively tell viewers, as the RIAA hedges a bet that the more widely distributed the forced advertisements for MP3 purchases on available Youtube videos, the more likely they will recoup the lost profits of music listened to without cost. Jogging’s distributive and aesthetic intentions are nestled within this counterintuitive marketing ploy.

Not all will be able to view these videos, as certain recording labels restrict where their music goes through Youtube on a country to country basis. This is a project as much about the public’s inadvertent engagement with these videos as it is about those who are unable to see them. The black void greeting some international viewers upon clicking one of these videos stands in stark contrast to Westernization’s free flowing methods and the cultural accessibility that has typified our understanding of the internet. It’s not unlikely Jogging Commemorative will be deleted or contextually altered even further; Youtube’s history with the music industry has been marked by litigation and ongoing change. To emphasize the fragility of these videos as intellectual property on loan, this project also includes an evolving list of each video’s current level of accessibility.