At Paddy's we are discussing Rashaad Newsome's video "The Conductor," currently on view at MOMA/PS1 and the artist's website (but not YouTube). It's a mashup of hand gestures from hiphop videos synced to Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. Learned a new phrase, forum culture, that can be used to distingush internet-hosted-and-vetted work from museum-sponsored media art.
And then proceeded to pound this distinction into the ground over the course of a long online conversation.
when [paddy] used the word “virtuosic” it caught me. even if i thought that about Conductor i’m actually not sure how’d i’d argue the qualification. i guess cos the technical bar for making a mashup is set so low whereas traditional markers of virtuosity – like improvising over rhythm changes at a fast tempo or making it through the hammerklavier unscathed – require an elite skill set by definition. and im not sure if more cuts synced tighter to more music is more virtuosic or not. i suppose it is (marclay video quartet) but that was also pre-youtube. anyway. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sc7nmNJozTc pbd // 24 May 2010, 4:08 pm
[leaked internal] memo to curators, MOMA Dept of Film and Video: “…when evaluating video art please take into account the following: virtuosity, showmanship, editing skillz, mashup style, beatmeistering, beat-matching, eye for pop culture memes, input from forum culture (if any), and general ‘getting down.’” tom moody // 24 May 2010, 5:06 pm
...sounds ridiculous but it’s a bit like that! i was watching Conductor thinking “rapper hand gestures dont match basic conductor patterns (hands always go up on the last beat of a bar). is that a minus? all his cuts are right on beat without fail, is that a plus? cuts on beat aren’t hard to do, is that a minus? focus on mid 90s bad boy records in the first movement suggests artist favors east coast over west coast, is that a plus? and where are bone thugs?”
i dunno maybe something’s there…not in this piece but in the difficulty of comparatively evaluating the stuff generally, but i’m unable to articulate any of it. pbd // 24 May 2010, 6:29 pm