Automated Youtube Click #1: Democratized Experience of Death Translated into an Image on the Way towards Catharsis

Automated YouTube Click #2: Stop Wars, Financial Violence, Shedding Blood

2018, video-installation, streamed YouTube videos
photodocumentation by Peter Fabo

Within the Czech national art-award Jindřich Chalupecký Award I exhibited two already existing videos linked by the theme of death which are publicly accessible on YouTube. Video #1 (screened in a video-installation Automated YouTube Click #1: Democratized Experience of Death Translated into an Image on the Way towards Catharsis, 43:39) is a recording of a car crash of two young women whose phone camera was switched on at the time of the collision and was doing an online live stream. Although not originally meant for the general public, the recording became viral, some versions were subtitled in English, and it eventually became the most spread Czech video of 2017.

On the contrary the second video (in the installation Automated YouTube Click # 2: Stop War, Financial Violence, Blood Shedding, 10:48) is an associative collage of a youtuber who, through the montage of television images, pop culture and photojournalism, captures the flood of violent images we are being exposed to. The video collage instead of describing the anxiety of violence on the planet, it lets the viewer experience it firsthand. Scenes from fiction movies are put next to scenes from documentary films and reportage photos (for example the Kevin Carter photograph, which caused a discussion on the ethics of journalistic photography) on the backdrop of a music video for M. Jackson Earth Song.

Both videos are streamed online from YouTube in separate black-boxes and complementing each other.

Clear example of the image of suffering is the very first video, which by simply finding itself on the YouTube platform, becomes an aesthetic object. Formal qualities blend in with reality, one video to another is a formal antipode, where single-frame recording is in opposition to constant editing. Here, recontextualization serves as an emphasis on the ongoing aestheticization of reality, the recognition of which creates a critical distance, which is in the conflict with the content of the video itself. Yet, the processes that shape video on the Internet are creating a distance from the very beginning.

Creative Commons

2019, exhibition project, 6 streamed YouTube videos

A series of Automated YouTube Clicks showing videos that probably unknowingly refer to or re-enact renowned artworks. Recontextualizing such content allows to critically review existing artworks and the strategies they employ. At the same time it also points out to the permeability of the artistic environment, where artistic strategies become public shared commons. The selection of the videos is accompanied by the large scale diagram showing the mutual relations.