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<nettime> Getty's "Video Revolutionaries" website "overthrown" by digita
Katherine Sweetman on Sat, 7 Jun 2008 07:30:56 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Getty's "Video Revolutionaries" website "overthrown" by digital

Getty's "Video Revolutionaries" website "overthrown" by digital artists.

As part of the California Video exhibition, The Getty launched a website
called "Video Revolutionaries". This website invited the public to upload
their own video art inspired by the works of the artists in California
Video collection. In spite of this request for work influenced by many of
the outrageous and transgressive artists in the show, the website also
lists criteria that the public's videos must abide by. A list of rules and
regulations imposes traditional censorship upon the applicants. The site
then also gives the public rules on how they can interact with the videos
on the website.

The "Video Revolutionaries" website states that all video posts will be
reviewed by the Getty and deemed acceptable before being posted to the
Video Revolutionaries website. It further explicitly forbids sexually
explicit material, certain kinds of violence, and the use of any sort of
automated voting methods.

But this is the Internet. And the website's security features, not to
mention the overall structure, are extremely flawed. For instance, one
could change the number of views the video received by simply refreshing
the webpage. Continuing to click the refresh button could push up the
number of views and put a selected video onto the front page of the site.

One group of artists, The Infinity Lab, exploited the weaknesses of the
website to show The Getty that its experiment into this realm of new media
would not go unchallenged. The Infinity Lab soon came to DOMINATE the
Highest Viewed and the Highest Rated categories of the site. The Infinity
Lab's submission, appropriately titled, "Digital Highjack" is both the
Most Viewed and Highest Rated video on the site. "Digital Hijack" is also
probably the most ridiculous video on the site. A plastic skeleton dances
around a plastic swimming pool pausing to drink beer out of a straw and
then three semi-costumed characters with tin foil masks tell the audience,
"We ... think ... you're ... strange". The description under the video
reads "The Infinity Lab's Digital Hijack has been successful."

The Getty, one of the most powerful art institutions on the planet, tried
to throw themselves into the pop-culture, technological, contemporary art
world without realizing that the Internet is a much larger, stranger place
than the safe confines of a museum.


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