jubduk, Little Seal in the Altitudes (2011)
In Little Seal in the Altitudes (2011) jubduk staggers, flips, repeats and reverses layered footage of a baby seal waddling on ice. Edited in the style of noisy repeated cuts from Passage a L’Acte, his quixotic editing deconstructs and layers the seals’ struggling until it no longer appears charming— to make anaesthetic an aesthetic experience. After all, irreverence is the best strategy for entertainment and political resistance under a quickened attention economy.
The Exotic and The Naive
Because vernacular video has thoroughly dissolved into the fabric of social web — where video art coexists with cat .gifs and breaking news— video-making is now a challenge of seduction. With 72 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, the work of artists will be competing for attention from professional vloggers, holiday filmmakers, and art students. In democratizing the ability to upload videos longer than 10 minutes, supporting subtitles and high-definition videos, YouTube is solidifying itself as a converged space for media consumption, whether it’s televisual, cinematic, or musical. Pluralism and fragmentation of aesthetics are contingent to conditions of radical openness. Users everyday life with amateur conventions; recall phonecams videos at concerts and protests, the confessional talking-head vlog, parody ads, dance videos and fan-made karaoke songs.
Cultural amnesia, or the inability to be fully aware of the Nineties internet subjectivity informs my fascination for the amateur. Something seems inherently sincere and unabashed about unsyncopated transitions and scrolling text that runs for too long. Artists might choose to work in an amateur manner not only out of convenience, but for the way it harkens to the effortlessness and naivete of early web design. Amateur aesthetics won’t be disappearing anytime soon, but artists who share their work online will try to distinguish their efforts from the rest of the internet. They will attempt to create rarity, to inject information value into their work, to alleviate the intellectual abstraction of contemporary art. Artists will create their own contexts for showing their work.