Home Is There Art on YouTube? Guggenheim Wants to Find Out

Is There Art on YouTube? Guggenheim Wants to Find Out

The Guggenheim Museum is teaming up with YouTube in partnership with HP to discover the art of YouTube videos. Tasked with uncovering the “most creative video in the world,” the companies have launched an international search by way of YouTube Play, a specially branded YouTube channel that will feature the entries in this new competition.

About YouTube Play

Anyone is invited to submit a video to YouTube Play, even video creators themselves, and the submission deadline is July 31.

The videos may consist of animation, motion graphics, narrative, non-narrative, or documentary work, music videos and even “entirely new art forms” that challenge the perception of what’s possible to do with video, explains the YouTube blog post about this unique collaboration project.

Two hundred of the leading videos will be selected for further attention by an international jury of experts from the worlds of art, design, film and video. Twenty of those initial 200 videos will then be presented at the Guggenheim. Yes, that’s right – at the Guggenheim itself. The YouTube videos will appear in the Guggenheim network of museums in New York, Bilbao, Venice and Berlin on October 21 and will be made available for the world to see on the youtube.com/play channel.

This isn’t a contest per se, as the winning videos don’t receive a cash prize or other sort of physical reward. But having a video dubbed “art” and being showcased internationally in one of the world’s most famous art museums, is a reward in and of itself, most would agree.

This isn’t the first time YouTube has proven itself the medium of choice for artists worldwide. Last year, the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, an online experiment in music, sought out musicians to participate in the world’s first collaborative online orchestra where the endgame was a performance at Carnegie Hall.

YouTube: Internet Leads to Instant Success?

What’s most interesting about this current art competition as well as the Online Orchestra is the way that it is able to surface undiscovered talents and allow them to achieve fame without all the requisite toiling and tolling for years in “starving artist” mode, as was once par for the course for those wanting to break into the art world. Instead, with YouTube, a handful of videos can lead to a lifetime of success. Just ask Justin Bieber. Or Soulja Boy. Or Esmee Denters. Or Journey’s new singer Arenl Pineda, discovered a few years ago. Or FRED, the annoyingly overactive boy whose high-pitched voice befuddles parents but whose videos and associated kid-friendly merchandise have made the teen rich beyond belief.

But while the above are certainly high-profiled examples, let’s be clear about one thing: When it comes to art and music, YouTube hasn’t surfaced the next Leonardo or Monet, the next Beatles or Stones, the next Janis Joplin or Jimmy Hendrix. To date, the folks who have made their way up through YouTube are not necessarily, forgive me Bieber fans, going to make their mark in the annals of history as being among “the best of the best.” In some cases they may be great… but are they the greatest? Really?

However, with this contest, that may change. For next-gen video artists, there’s surely no better place than YouTube to flex your artistic muscles. It should be interesting to see what video creation wins this latest attempt to elevate YouTube to art form. The end result will likely be just that: art.

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