October 10, 2010
I made a YouTube playlist in 2010. I called it 2010. I posted it on my blog (above.) I made it because my iTunes stopped working and I was looking for a way to listen to music. I did it very quickly and simply, scrolling through my list of favourites and adding the ones I wanted to listen to over and over again. I have made many works over the past few years but somehow this YouTube playlist feels like one of the most simple and satisfying things that I’ve done. It feels like pure autobiography, that if someone were to watch it they would know far more about me than I would ever want them to (this can’t possibly be true but it feels that way.)
Some of the songs have video attached but many have only a single image or a slideshow. These images are often album covers or photographs of the singer or band. It’s strange using video to watch still images. It’s strange the collage of still images interspersed with the occasional blast of moving imagery. It is a random assortment of imagery arrived at because of music I wanted to listen to in the privacy of home. But its very randomness is telling, a mirror of the randomness of the internet.
I have always made mixed tapes/mixed CD’s for friends. Of course, the thing my YouTube playlist most resembles is one of these mixes that I have been making for as long as I can remember. But somehow it is also different. It is a mix of old favourites and songs I just discovered moments ago. It is looser, more eccentric. I did it quickly and when I watch it it continues to surprise me. I never remember what’s coming next.
In 2010 I also wrote a text about artists and the internet for the Austrian periodical Spike Magazine. In the text I say that the internet changes what it means to be an artist in ways we cannot yet get our minds around. What I didn’t say, what I realize in a way only now, is that my blog, my YouTube Favourites, my 8Tracks mixes and my Facebook page feel more to me like my real art practice then my actual art practice. They are more a part of my daily life, I am more deeply engaged with them, they are more intimate and more public, they are not labored over and overworked in the same way my professional artistic life is, they are not marred by grant-writing and publicity. It is the old dream of art as completely interwoven with life. It is simple, lonely, semi-public and locked to a larger corporate and social network. I hope in the future that I will understand it more.