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Youtube video artists turn heads

posted 25 Oct 2010, 15:05 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 25 Oct 2010, 15:08 ]
A new exhibition at The Guggenheim Museum reveals winners of a worldwide competition of video art submitted via YouTube.

New York's Guggenheim Museum has joined forces with video website Youtube for a competition, called "Youtube Play".

The museum announced 25 winners from videos submitted via Youtube by artists around the world.

The competition's purpose is to showcase innovative online video artists, says The Guggenheim's Nancy Spector.

Guggenheim Deputy Director and Chief Curator, Nancy Spector, saying:

"The notion of expanding our research into the internet and to try and understand whether platforms such as Youtube are changing how artists are working with the mediums is really compelling to us. And we didn't know what the outcome would be when we started the collaboration, but it's really proven to us that there is an emerging genre and a new kind of energy of artists working with video."

Varying from animated line drawings to cartoons, the top videos were created by 39 artists from 14 countries.

Among those chosen was Lisa Byrne's piece on Northern Irish taxi drivers injured during 'the Troubles' - the decades of conflict between unionists and nationalists in Northern Ireland.

 Lisa Byrne, video artist, saying:

"It's a fabulous feeling, I have to say -- the buildup beforehand and not really knowing what exactly is going to happen, but knowing your work is in such a place -- it feels really amazing."

Brothers Matthew and Erik Huber presented an unusually animated take on a still life.

Matthew Huber says he loves the beauty of the images.

Matthew Huber, video artist, saying):

"Part of what it's about, is taking, like a really kind of a scene that you've seen a million times - a place setting - and then having something dramatic and magical happen to it."

Some artists, like Bryce Kretschmann, were surprised by their success having entered the competition on a whim or a dare.

 Bryce Kretschmann, video artist, saying:

"I make videos, but generally not for public consumption, just as sort of a therapeutic thing for myself. I submitted it on a lark, so it's kind of odd to actually have made it to the top 25."

A jury will reconvene in two years to evaluate another crop of inventive films.

Until then, art and video fans can view the current winning works at www dot youtube dot com, forward slash play.

Tara Cleary, Reuters, New York.