September 20, 2010 / 4:27 AM / in 7 years

YouTube and Guggenheim showcase video artists

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Guggenheim museum has teamed with YouTube in a partnership that reflects the growing influence of new media as an art form.

The two organizations have created “YouTube Play” to discover and showcase artists working in online video.

On Monday, a short list of 125 artists and their videos was unveiled on YouTube.com/play and at kiosks at the Guggenheim’s New York, Berlin, Venice and Bilboa locations. They were selected from more than 23,000 submissions to YouTube from 91 countries.

Nancy Spector, deputy director and chief curator of the Guggenheim Foundation, told Reuters the museum was drawn to the project because they were fascinated by “the idea of looking at how online video is emerging as an art form in its own right.”

“It’s a question, not a declaration,” she said. “So therefore it’s worth exploring.”

YouTube Play is the latest effort by the video-sharing website to push the boundaries of various forms of art and follows the YouTube Symphony Orchestra and the film project “Life in a Day”.

A jury of 11 -- among them filmmaker Darren Aronofsky, U.S. musicians Animal Collective and Japanese visual artist Takashi Murakami -- will narrow down the 125 videos to the final 20.

On October 21, those 20 names will be announced and see their work presented at the Guggenheim museum in New York City. The Guggenheim museums in Berlin, Venice and Bilbao will also showcase the art.

Murakami said that technological innovations have made “drastic changes in both the form and dissemination of artistic expression.”

“YouTube is a medium to communicate with the world at large and we artists can no longer call ourselves artists merely by discovering something special and presenting it to the public alone,” said Murakami.

“In that way, YouTube has incited a revolution,” he continued.

Among the 125 semi finalists are: rock band OK Go, two-time American Woman’s Chess Champion Jennifer Shahade, and Joe Penna, the 8th most subscribed user on YouTube better known as MysteryGuitarMan.

Others also include Dutch artist Evelien Lohbech, Sydney-based photographer Keith Loutit, New York comedic performance art group Improv Everywhere and Netherlands animator Sjors Vervoot.

“The selection is diverse in technique, subject matter, geography and professional status, which reflects the increasing accessibility of new media technologies around the world,” said Spector.

Editing by Jill Serjeant

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