Brooklyn-based Conrad Ventur makes installations from YouTube videos and currently has a show at MoMA PS1, running through October 18, 2010. Learn more about this video artiste...
1) How do you use video in your art?
I use video in my art in two different ways. First, I find older recordings that I incorporate into installation. I really love archive performances by singers and work with these as material in my art. Secondly, I also direct and shoot videos myself. In these works, I'm essentially re-filming or re-staging underground films from the ’60s using the same actors that appeared in them the first time around. Some of these are Jack Smith and Andy Warhol films. My upcoming projects use some of these actors in stories that are non-quotational.
2) How do you use YouTube in your art?
For the last few years, I've enjoyed browsing YouTube. A video will attract my attention if it's an old recording that may have originally been meant for live television broadcast -- I like LIVE recordings mainly. I'm drawn to recordings that might have the potential to appeal to the collective memory of a larger audience. I take those videos and then project them through new-age crystal prisms or onto mirror balls in order to change the way the video content affects the viewer. I like my art to be more of an experience for the audience. It's best to see it in person.
3) What are you trying to convey through the installation currently at MoMA PS1?
In the installation at MoMA PS1, the curators and I decided to show a three channel video piece that we situated in the lower level of the museum. It's in an unexpected, small room. It's a bit of a surprise for museum-goers when they encounter these three recordings of the singer Shirley Bassey. It's the same song, “This Is My Life,” that she performed in three different decades of her life. Each has its own projector, and the three play at the same time on a continuous loop: the young Shirley singing with the old Shirley, singing a song about her life. Rotating prisms are situated in front of each projector lens. The videos are projected directly through these prisms. Thus, the room becomes a kaleidoscope that you walk into. It's a swirling, refracted, multiplied space that came from the collective (and ever-changing) catalogue of YouTube.
4) If you were to create this installation in 100 years, based on the music icons of today, who/which videos would you include and why?
If in 100 years I could look back and see how the careers and lives of contemporary singers unfold, I would choose live recordings of Micheal Jackson to use in an installation. Most importantly, in 100 years, the varnish will rub off and we'll be able to see clearly how the march of time resonates with the myth of MJ. He was a tremendous talent and was extremely generous to his audiences as a performer. His untimely death is an unfortunate bookend to a life lived in the spotlight which we all are familiar with in some way. An installation would be an interesting format to tell his story in a way that appeals to the audience's senses on many levels.
5) What are your top 5 videos of all time on the site?
I'm always looking for new material to capture my imagination. Here are a few that I like:
You can subscribe to Conrad Ventur’s YouTube channel here.
Wednesday, September 22, 2010
Brooklyn-based Conrad Ventur makes installations from YouTube videos and currently has a show at MoMA PS1, running through October 18, 2010. Learn more about this video artiste...
If you've ever been to the Alamo Drafthouse theaters in Texas (where you can order fried pickles and other delicacies directly to your seat!), you know the Alamo team has a unique knack for programming. In addition to bringing Texans major motion pictures, Alamo theaters play Mad Men on Sundays, host Glee sing-a-longs and coordinate other quirky community events (isn't it time someone brings the Alamo to San Francisco...hint, hint?). The Alamo team is also behind Fantastic Fest, the largest genre film festival in the U.S., which kicks off in Austin, Texas tomorrow. There, genre movie lovers can find horror, fantasy and sci-fi films from around the world.
To celebrate tomorrow's launch, Fantastic Fest programmers are curating the YouTube homepage with a collection of short films from filmmakers who have played at past festivals. Featuring incredible special effects and offbeat comedy, the line-up is as varied as the Fantastic Fest itself.
To learn more about the programming choices, check out this video from Alamo Drafthouse CEO Tim League:
Sara Pollack, Entertainment Marketing Manager, recently watched "Sesame Street: Katy Perry Song: Hot and Cold."
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
UPDATE (5/20/10): This offer has been extended to June 30, 2010.
We want all video creators and curators to put their YouTube channel URL on their business card. In fact, we'd like to think your YouTube channel deserves a place right next to your email address and cell phone number as necessities in this modern world.
We've put together an FAQ which we recommend you read before starting your order. It also contains links to graphics and badges you can use on your cards and other helpful suggestions.
Friday, April 16, 2010
The legendary hip-hop pioneer and graffiti artist curates our homepage today. He took his Flip into his studio to tell you about his picks and also jotted down some thoughts on them:
Blondies' video for the song "Rapture" was like my coming out party in 1981 and introduced me to a world that really wouldn't know me well until several years later in 1988, when YO! MTV Raps would air weekly coast to coast and in many countries around the world.
I was a part of a very cool underground public access TV show in 1979 called "Glenn O’Brien's TV Party" that aired weekly back then and I was a regular guest and one of one of the show’s camera men. Typically, it was a groovy talk show format but this was a theme show. Bad musically, but a lotta fun. Check Jean Michel Basquiat standing there with a guitar on smiling. And he wrote "mock penis envy" on the wall visible behind Blondie's Chris Stein, also with a guitar and shades on.
This is a mash-up video of scenes from my film Wild Style. Some clever guys in Amsterdam did this, and I love it.
Here's a scene from the first film/documentary to showcase New York subway graffiti, "Stations of the Elevated," released or finished in 1981. Back then I'm sure this film was not seen by too many. I don't recall it ever airing on TV, but these days, thanks to digital tech and sites like this, we can see what it was like when nearly every New York City subway car was touched by graffiti. I love this film!
As a kid growing up in New York City, when I cut school I'd often visit the various museums, like the Metropolitan and look at art. Here I got familiar with painters like Jackson Pollock and I would notice later how New York graffiti writers tagging on the inside of trains would let the ink drip, reminding me of his work.
My dear friend, Academy Award winning director Jonathan Demme, invited me to be in his film, Rachel Getting Married. You can see me in this trailer, minus my hat, and in the film my scene is a toast I give to the about to be bride and groom at the wedding rehearsal dinner.
"Talking All That Jazz" is a clip I directed for Stetsasonic which is the first video to deal with the soon to be large issue of sampling. Also, because I grew up in a jazz-loving house hold and drummer Max Roach was my godfather, I knew I'd be able to do a good job with this one.
Max Roach, the legendary bee bop jazz drummer, grew up with my dad, and he played jazz often in the house. Max was also my godfather and he really embraced rap music and hip-hop culture from the minute he heard about it. If you search the site you can see a bit performance we did together in the early 80's.
Sharissa's “Ain't No Half Steppin" was a video I directed in 2004.
The first music video I directed was this clip, "My Philosophy," for KRS ONE in the spring of 1988.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
We're pleased to have Ad Age curating the YouTube homepage today, in a spotlight that celebrates the creative revolution going on now in the advertising and marketing business. In other words, these are ads you won't want to miss. Ad Age digital lead Michael Learmonth and Creativity managing editor Ann Diaz explain further in the video and guest post below:
We, in the business press, love to obsess over YouTube's business model, whether it can make money from the world's video through advertising. But today Advertising Age is curating the front page of YouTube to help tell an even bigger story, and that's YouTube's impact on advertising itself.
Once, TV ads were pretty much foisted on the public. Turn on the TV, and they were there. Some were great; most were not. Indeed, in some TV ads the intent is to annoy and grab the attention of a passive public. Enter YouTube. And while all of that is still true, the marketing world now has another powerful, democratic vehicle to reach a TV-sized audience. But there's a catch: the ad has to be something people want to watch.
Each day, YouTube is a global referendum on the world's video, and ads are very much a part of that mix. TV ads have always had the power of sight, sound and motion; now, to reach an audience in an on-demand world, they also have to delight, entertain and tell a story. That has inspired a creative revolution in the advertising and marketing business, just as it has in entertainment and attracted new talent to the industry. It has also refocused the industry away from obsessing over who's skipping the ads to producing ads no one wants to skip. Just like you can buy a 30-second spot on TV, you can also buy media on YouTube, but you can also earn an audience there, and increasingly ads, both made for the web and for TV, attempt to do just that.
Witness the Super Bowl advertisers, on the hook to the tune of $100,000 a second for time in the big game, increasingly gear their campaigns to live on on YouTube after its over. Or, take Evian's "Live Young" aka the "rollerskating babies," which never appeared on TV but have been passed around and watched more than 71 million times over the past year. The beauty of what works on the web is that there are no hard and fast rules. Ad Age picked some of the best of the recent best with a big hat tip to our sister pub, Creativity. It's true that YouTube sells ads. But it's also true YouTube has made advertising better. Take a look.
Michael Learmonth, Advertising Age, and Ann Diaz, Creativity
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Our curator of the month is TechCrunch, a blog dedicated to "obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and companies...as well as companies making an impact on the new Web space." They polled their whole crew to come up with a list of favorite videos focusing largely on tech, innovation, start-ups, Silicon Valley and, of course, a few unconventional subjects, like a pogo-ing CEO.
Here, Jason Kincaid explains the thinking behind their selection, which is featured on our homepage today:
You can find the full playlist here.
Mia Quagliarello, Community Manager, recently watched "Life in Quarantine - Fully Sick Rapper."
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
If you subscribe to the YouTube channel, you may have noticed a slew of new videos uploaded recently. They're part of an initiative called "YouTube 101," a series that explains basic features to new users. With hundreds of thousands of people creating new YouTube channels every day, there are a lot of folks out there who may not know that they can share a video privately, customize their channel or even how to upload a video -- in full HD, no less.
Each video has a unique flavor and you may even recognize some familiar faces helping us out (Happy Tree Friends, anyone?):
These tutorials will be embedded in our Help Center, the Creator's Corner, and other places where you're most likely to need quick, entertaining tutorials on how to use YouTube.
Let us know what you think in the comments below, particularly if there's a feature you find mysterious and think deserves the 101 treatment.
Mia Quagliarello, Community Manager, recently watched "A Pluto Song."
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
UPDATE (2/17/10): Xeni wanted to add to two more videos to her picks: "Goat Rap" and "Wilkinson's Family Restaurant," both by Liam Lynch. She writes: " Liam Lynch is the one-man-band video genius behind the surreal and long-form 'Lynchland' video podcast at lynchland.net. He is a musician, puppeteer, writer, music video director, and frequently collaborates with Tenacious D. He co-created the Sifl and Olly Show (MTV), and directed Sarah Silverman's film Jesus is Magic. These two clips, uploaded by fans with his permission, give you a taste of the wacko world of 'Lynchland.' " The playlist is updated here.
We're pleased to have Xeni Jardin of Boing Boing curate our homepage today. She goes deep into the Boing Boing archives to give you her personal take on the interesting, funny and sometimes out-there videos that thrive on Boing Boing and YouTube. Below is a video she made just for the occasion, as well as some insightful notes about her selections. To view the full playlist, click here.
"Boing Boing started 20 years ago as a photocopied paper 'zine for "happy mutants," who explore the world with curiosity and wonder. In 2000, Boing Boing morphed into a website, then a blog, and just a few years ago we started producing original video. We've released hundreds of episodes about everything from floating in zero gravity to deep-frying cellphones, featuring personalities from Buzz Aldrin to John Hodgman to David Byrne. Just as Boing Boing's leap from paper to web opened up new possibilities, so did the shift from text-based blogging to video. Some stories and sensations you just can't share in any other medium than video. I cruise YouTube every day for inspiration, light bursts of entertainment, or to follow up on "Oh my God, you have to see this" messages from friends. Here are a few of my favorite-d things.
1) Mardi Gras 1956: Through My Father's Lens (2010)
This episode of Boing Boing Video is a special one, featuring rare and historic film from Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Louisiana, from 1956. Artist Mar Dore stumbled on a box of slides in her family's home in Texas and inside, discovered photographs that her father took of the parades in the era of Mad Men -- that box, like a time capsule she says, opened a door into history. We worked with her to retell that story in video.
2) Peter Serafinowicz: The Boing Boing interview (2010)
My interview with actor and comedian Peter Serafinowicz. He's starring as Paul McCartney in the Robert Zemeckis remake of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine, his Mac parody ads are the stuff of viral legend, his #PSQA tweets delight mutants throughout the globe, and fans of his BBC show find much to LOL in the likes of Brian Butterfield and the robot talk show host Michael-6.
3) Swell Season (2009)
This Swell Season feature is one of the most visually beautiful episodes we've ever produced of Boing Boing Video. Irish musician Glen Hansard and Czech singer and pianist Markéta Irglová speak with us, and perform an unreleased song for us during their current U.S. tour.
4) Flaming Bacon Lance of Death (2008)
This Boing Boing Video episode documents an experiment from PopSci columnist Theo Gray's book MAD SCIENCE. Using prosciutto and an air hose, Mr. Gray constructs a high performance thermic lance that can slice sheet metal. In this video, you'll also see a purely vegan thermic lance built from one cucumber and several dozen thin vegetable-oil coated breadsticks. If you like this, you may also enjoy "Sculpting in Solid Mercury, with Liquid Nitrogen."
5) Spamasterpiece Theater, with John Hodgman (2007-2009)
Back in 2008, we did a series of episodes in which John Hodgman did dramatic readings of actual spam emails received by Boing Boing editors. This one's my favorite. These were so much fun to put together. Related: this sneak-attack on Hodgman in his hotel, while he was writing "Areas of My Expertise." And these fake ads for his book which were also a total blast to film with him "Part 1" and "Part 2."
6) DAVID BYRNE, playing the building (2008)
Music legend David Byrne transformed an entire NYC building into a giant musical instrument. We explored that building with him in this Boing Boing TV episode, and discovered some crazy gems of urban archeology together.
7) Elephant-blogging in Benin with Xeni (2008)
It's not every day that we get to travel to remote stretches of African wilderness to tweet about baboons and videoblog elephants. But this episode documents one such day: it's an ambient exploration of the creatures rustling around in a West African wildlife preserve at dawn.
8) Through the eyes of the pueblo (Guatemala) (2008)
This episode in our BBtv WORLD series was comprised of video shot by K'iche people in a Maya village in the highlands of Guatemala. The world they see around them, through their own eyes and in their own language. Some of what the children shot really surprised me. They caught on right away, faster even than the adults, and quickly taught each other how to record and play back video. Some of them seemed to transform into instant YouTube stars -- new alter-egos showed up out of nowhere. One boy we'd come to know as quiet and well-mannered over the course of many previous visits here shot himself throwing gang signs against the sunlight, like shadow puppets, while he walked a path that leads to a Mayan altar. Another girl who was very shy with us in person recorded video of herself making outrageous silly faces, and speaking in a boisterous, confident voice to her new handheld lens. Two related episodes you might enjoy, also shot in the pueblo in Guatemala: "How to Take a Mayan Sweat Bath" and an episode about a corn grinder the children use.
9) American Furry Part 1 & Part 2 (2008)
This was one of our first Boing Boing TV episodes, and it's still one of my favorites. So: Furries get no respect. Usually, when you hear about people who dress up like life-sized stuffed animals, it's in the context of an unfriendly internet joke. Brooklyn-based filmmaker Marianne Shaneen spent more than two years following these people around, capturing their lives in and out of their "fursonas." She's working on a documentary film called "AMERICAN FURRY: Life, Liberty and the Fursuit of Happiness," and shared some of their stories with us here.
10) Floating in Zero Gravity is Fun, Earthlings! (2008)
This was one the most fun I've ever had shooting a Boing Boing Video episode. With me on this Zero-G weightless flight are Intel Chairman Craig Barrett; my friend Sean Bonner from metblogs; and a bunch of science teachers from grade schools and high schools throughout the United States who were on board to conduct microgravity experiments for the kids back home. As you watch, keep an eye out for the floating lego robot, a flying pig, and the barfing guy who is totally barfing for real. What you see in this episode is what it feels like, guys, and it feels awesome.
11) Challenge Accepted, Boing Boing! "For Tax Reasons" (2007)
Animators Matt Burnett and Ben Levin, aka For Tax Reasons, produced this animated short for Boing Boing with all the elements that make Boing Boing great: Steampunk, LARP armor, papercraft, Commodore 64s, MMORPGs, Final Fantasy, suicide cults, and meditations on bad websites.
12, 13) Man's Game & SHOES
Liam Kyle Sullivan is a video genius. I have so many favorites, and I subscribe to his video podcast. This is one of his more recent uploads, about the manly manly game of football. Also, a classic: Ohmigod, shoes. Betch.
14) British comic genius Harry Enfield
I think this is my favorite clip of all time: Women, Know Your Limits.
15) Eric Wareheim's channel
Tim Heidecker is best known to many as half of the duo behind "Tim and Eric Awesome Show Great Job," but he's an amazing music video director. Some of his recent work is here, on his YouTube channel -- the Major Lazer stuff is insane.
16) We love cute baby videos on Boing Boing
I think this is one of the cutest we've seen yet, in which an award-winning British actor attempts to teach Shakespeare to a toddler.
Monday, December 21, 2009
Entertainment Weekly columnist Diablo Cody stopped writing for a minute (she's also a scribe on Showtime's The United States of Tara and penned Juno) to share her favorite YouTube videos with the world. Here she reveals which videos make her laugh, cry and feel all nostalgic.
"Dog and Elephant":This CBS News report never fails to make me cry. We're talking ugly,ragged sobs. It actually replaced "Christian the Lion: Reunion" as mygo-to animal weepfest.
"Valentine for Perfect Strangers":Though it's a few years old, this bizarre short is still my all-timefavorite thing on YouTube. I wish Otto had made a sequel, but perhapsit's best that he wasn't subjected to "Chocolate Rain"-styleoverexposure.
"Alternate Duck Tales Intro":Truly sick (and from a production standpoint, truly slick.) Those of uswho always suspected Scrooge McDuck was evil will be vindicated afterwatching this. Warning: disturbing content.
"Love in this Club, by the Rock-afire Explosion":If you grew up with the Showbiz Pizza Place chain in your area, youmight remember the "house band"-- a gang of animatronic singinganimals. Today, Rock-afire fan Chris Thrash reprograms the robots toplay modern club bangers. Funny and impressive.
"Suzy Snowflake":I remember watching this vintage stop-motion short on Chicago's WGNevery Christmas. I hope to show it to my kids someday. It's easy toforget that YouTube isn't just a time-suck, it's an archival tool.
For more celebrity playlists, click here.
Mia Quagliarello, Community Manager, recently watched "Norah Jones and Jimmy Kimmel Sing YouTube's 12 Days of Christmas."
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Our curator of the month is eGuiders.com, a site that asks Hollywood and Internet influencers, media mavens and other experts to select and review their favorite made-for-the-web content. On their YouTube channel, they've replicated much of the discovery experience that reflects the collective sensibilities of their team of curators (aka eGuiders) -- it's a team that includes nalts, mediocrefilms' Greg Benson, barelypolitical's Ben Relles, NPR's Margot Adler, blogger/technology advocate Robert Scoble and many more.
The channel hosts seven playlists divided by genre; each one serving as a quick overview of videos eGuiders have determined to be interesting, funny or entertaining. Says CEO/co-founder Marc Ostrick:
"Curation is, and will always be, subjective. Our approach is to allow our team to dig and search for content that they find exciting and valuable. Most of our eGuiders have a specific genre that they specialize in or have a proclivity towards, and we support their passion for online video by giving them a platform to share their sensibilities. However, at the end of the day, eGuiders is not about a single voice -- it is about the collection of many dynamic voices that contribute to overall goal of validating the Internet as a credible medium for storytellers."
The eGuiders channel also hosts original content focusing on different aspects of social media, all shot with HD pocket video tools like the Zi8 and Flip Ultra HD.
As December's guest curators, eGuiders have selected the four undiscovered gems you see in the homepage spotlight today and they've got many more quality clips at the ready as a reward for subscribing to their channel.
Mia Quagliarello, Community Manager, recently favorited "The Watch."
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
You might notice a periodic module on the homepage called Spotlight Videos (if you don't, add it to your homepage). These run a few times per week and showcase interesting and timely videos from our community and partners, all organized around an event or theme. We'll often give you advance notice of upcoming spotlights in the Creator's Corner, our hub for videographers. Subscribe to the Creator's Corner blog and look for posts titled "Creators Call-Outs" to find out about opportunities to appear on our homepage.
As we plan the spotlight calendar for 2010, feel free to drop a comment below with suggestions for themes, milestones, holidays, events, and community stories that need to be told. Though some of our most popular spotlights in '09 centered around newsy themes or celebrities that gripped the whole world (see list below), we are equally interested in highlighting the lesser-told stories of how individuals can use YouTube to catalyze movements, memes, and new forms of creativity.
And with that, 2009's most popular homepage spotlights were:
1. Michael Jackson's Greatest Hits
2. Michael Jackson Tribute
3. Reality TV (at the height of the Jon & Kate Plus 8 frenzy)
4. Susan Boyle / Britain's Got Talent
5. Iran Protests
6. Mythbusters: YouTube Edition
7. Hannah Montana Concert and Vlog
8. Twilight-Inspired Parodies and Rant
9. World Oceans Day
10. Before They Were Stars, featuring Adrian Grenier, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Catherine Zeta Jones in early roles
Surprised? What was your favorite spotlight? What should we do more or less of? Looking forward to hearing your feedback and ideas for 2010. Please leave a comment below.
Mia Quagliarello, Community Manager, recently favorited "PostSecret: Fifty People One Question."
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Anthropology professor Michael Wesch has the awesome job of studying YouTube and thinking about what it all means. We asked him to curate a playlist of his favorite videos, and he came back with an impressive list of clips that exemplify how the "wonderfully playful participatory culture" you've created manifests itself on YouTube. Four of those videos are on our homepage today, but he also wrote this thoughtful blog post to accompany his picks. Reading it, you'll get a sense of how a single video or person can create a ripple that swells into something so much bigger than ourselves.
What I love about online video is the way that it has allowed more people to join a global conversation. Television was a medium whose content was controlled by the few and made for the masses. It created a one-way conversation, and you had to be on TV to get your turn. We have all been excluded from that conversation for so long, it is no wonder that so many people are now jumping in (over 1 million videos uploaded online every day by my count).
One of my first favorites was Gary Brolsma's "Numa Numa dance," which he posted on Newgrounds.com in late 2004. When YouTube came along a few months later and made it so much easier for people to upload videos, thousands of people joined the dance. A search for "Numa Numa" now brings up over 125,000 videos, most of which are people doing their own rendition of the now-famous dance. And it is still going. [Recently], Brolsma led the Michigan State Band (and the whole stadium) doing the "Numa Numa."
There is a wonderfully playful participatory culture popping up all over the online video landscape.
A few days ago, I was having lunch with a guy who told me that he and his kids (ages 2 and 6) were working on their own rendition of blinktwice4y's YouTube hit "Mario Kart Love Song". When they are done, they will join hundreds of others who have also created their own rendition. And if you love participatory culture as much as I do, you might just find the more obscure ones to be the most entertaining (like matrock records jamming it out Brady Bunch style) and sometimes heartwarming (don't you just love these kids playing it live? Or how 'bout these young kids acting out the video? You just know they will be watching this with the tears rolling and hearts warming in 30 years. Or even this wedding serenade).
And speaking of weddings, almost everybody saw the JK Wedding Entrance Dance, but the remixes and remakes are a real treat. There is of course the "Divorce Dance," the live remakes at weddings everywhere (here's one from Spain) and even babies are getting in on it.
Or remember how OK Go made their career with that amazing treadmill dance? But what could be cooler than doing it live at your high school in front of all your friends? Of course, Granbury High was not the only remake. There are hundreds, yes, hundreds of groups of high school kids who somehow wrangled together several working treadmills, rolled them into high school auditoriums all over the world, and did their thing.
Undoubtedly, some people performing on YouTube are hoping to be the next Esmee Denters. It wasn't so long ago that Esmee was just a young girl singing (beautifully) in front of a crappy webcam -- until one day she was singing a Justin Timberlake song in front of a slightly better camera, which slowly panned right to reveal that none other than Justin Timberlake himself was in the room, and that he had just signed her to a record deal.
There's still a lot of unsigned talent out there, like Megan Tonjes or mandyvbats, who was brought to my attention by the absolutely amazing work of Kutiman, a musician who brought together snippets of YouTube artists from all over the world, working in so many genres, to create such beautiful music (which to me is the real YouTube orchestra).
But my favorite online video moments are those where the participatory culture spills out into the real world. There is probably no better example than the Free Hugs movement. Now three years old, it is still going, and it's global. But of course it wouldn't be participatory culture without the clever parody, which Greg Benson of mediocrefilms performed brilliantly by offering his "Deluxe Hugs" for $2.
The tools for such clever commentary and remixing are always growing, and several of my new favorites are coming from the creative uses of Auto-Tune. The Gregory Brothers have really mastered this with their Autotune the News series. Melodysheep is now bringing his amazing talents to set the beautiful insights of the best scientists of recent years (like Carl Sagan) to some moving music.
So much of this creativity relies on the freedom to remix and build on the material created by others, a freedom that's constantly being challenged. Which brings me to one of my more serious recommendations: Brett Gaylor's RIP: A Remix Manifesto. Or for a wonderfully artistic statement within the same theme, one of the most amazing videos on all of YouTube is Us by Blimvisible.
My favorite video of all time still remains MadV's "The Message." It comes from the early days of YouTube, when so many of us were still just amazed that we could reach out to millions of people through our webcams. MadV invited us to write a message for the world on our hands. The resulting compilation may just become one of those iconic videos that our descendants hundreds of years might look back on and say, "So this is what they had to say when they first wired up all those computers and cameras throughout the world..." He's now doing an HD version if you want to join in.
If you are interested in how we try to make sense of all of this in anthropological terms, check out "An Anthropological Introduction to YouTube," where my students and I discuss many of these videos and a whole bunch more:
Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology, Kansas State University
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Social features like commenting, rating, video responses and even just emailing or IMing a video's link have always been a part of the YouTube experience. So that's why we spend a lot of time here thinking about how to make the site an even more social place. We're especially focused on wanting to make it as easy as possible for you to find the people you know on YouTube and to follow their activity (what videos are they rating? favoriting? commenting on?) by subscribing to their channel; it's a great way to stay up on what they're into as well as discover new content yourself. As you consume these videos and start sharing your own, you in turn "feed" your friends a tasty helping of video goodness. It breaks into this virtuous distribution cycle:
As we've built these tools directly into YouTube itself, with things like friend suggestions based on your Gmail address book and connecting your YouTube account to social networks via our AutoShare feature, we've started to see people becoming even more social. Some of this activity is hard to quantify -- every day millions of YouTube links are sent via email, IM, Twitter and other communication methods -- but we can tell you that:
- Over one million people are AutoSharing videos to Twitter, Facebook and Google Reader
- Each AutoShared Tweet you send out from YouTube turns into an average of seven new sessions on YouTube.com
- Over a million people have found and subscribed to at least one friend on YouTube based on our Friend Suggest feature
- Most Tweeted video yesterday? Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance"
- More than one million new subscriptions are created every day
What do you think "social" on YouTube means, and where would you like to see it go? Leave a comment below.
Brian Glick, Product Manager, recently watched "Michael Jackson - Beat It," and James Phillips, Software Engineer, recently watched "New Wearable Feedbags Let Americans Eat More, Move Less."
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
We're thrilled to have the folks behind the Wooster Collective, one of the Web's most-trafficked sites devoted to urban and street art, curating our homepage today. For anyone interested in cool art videos, their YouTube channel is a must-subscribe; from their vast network of artists, they're often the first to know about videos like notblu's MUTO, which has gone on to garner more than 5 million views.
The Wooster Collective are a model of an important -- but often under-the-radar -- group on YouTube: curators, those people who have a knack for finding great videos, organizing and archiving them on their YouTube channel, and perhaps also distributing them off of YouTube via a blog or social media. In this case, the curators post daily to the Wooster blog, while on their YouTube channel they cluster finds into playlists with themes like The Classics, Outdoors, Timelapse, Geek Graffiti, and Guerrilla Knitting. Learn who they are, how they find such gold on the site, and a bit about their philosophy on all this:
How do you find such great videos?
A few different ways. First, amazingly talented artists and videographers from all over the world share links with us of new videos they upload to YouTube. We receive a hundreds of emails about new work every day. But, in addition to this, we use the terrific tools that YouTube offers to keep up with what's new on the site. We subscribe to many artist and videographers' channels. We also check out the videos that are recommended by YouTube. Every day we discover new things.
For us, the key to curation is curiosity. The best curators in the world, both online and off, are curious people by nature. We love seeing new things, learning about new artists, and exploring new subjects. We’re constantly wanting to be inspired and wanting to share what’s inspiring us with others.
Can you offer any tips about organizing these videos on your YouTube channel?
We love organizing the videos into playlists. The playlists feature is great because you can show both breadth and depth of what you’ve curated. We also like changing the featured video three or four times a week so when you go to the Wooster YouTube channel, it’s different each time.
If someone's into street art, what are some of the must-subscribe channels on YouTube relating to that topic?
Some of our favorites are: Walrus TV, Wallkandy and Romanywg.
Which video that you've found do you think is criminally under-seen?
Here’s one of our favorites, a timelapse by our friends The Barnstormers.
Subscribe to the Wooster Collective's YouTube channel to get a notice in your feed every time they favorite, rate or comment on a video.
Know of other great video curators on YouTube or on the Web? Leave their channel name or site URL in the comments below.