This is a work in progress. Other itterations of this project may emerge in time.
I recently uploaded a video to YouTube straight from my camera. The filename was “IMG_4228.mov” and I didn’t change it immediately. By the time I did the suggested videos in the sidebar included a significant number titled IMG 4228.
I clicked on a few. They tended to be of nothing in particular, snapshots of life across the globe that were significant enough to upload but not to bother adding context. Often they had zero views. After a comprehensive search I found 12 with that title. I posted them to a Tumblr to keep track.
Amongst all the billions of videos uploaded to YouTube these 12 shared something. They were the 4,228th item to be recorded by their creators. Other than that they had nothing in common. It struck me this was a random sampling of an area of “user generated content” from way under the radar. The flotsam and jetsam of personal media.
I like to think of this technique as inspired by geology. To get a sense of the makeup of sedimentary layers scientists will take a core sample by drilling out a cylindrical shape. I chose to take a core sample of YouTube by aiming at IMG 4228 and slicing through time and space.
The sample has been taken. Now I’m working with it to see what these 12 videos tell me about the world. The first piece is the above video where I attempt to juxtapose the videos on a single desktop. Riffing off Jon Satrom’s performance at GLI.TC/H Birmingham where he used the OS desktop as his performance space, I opened all 12 videos in Quicktime 7, set them looping and minimised them to the dock. The “performance” consists of me maximising them and moving them in to position.
Unsurprisingly the processor couldn’t keep up with 12 videos running simultaneously and there was lots of delay in switching between them, but this adds something, I think. It’s not a huge success but I like it enough to share. Next up… something else…