Thursday, 28 February 2013


YouTube is painful when trying to read comments that are a number of 'pages ago'... that could be anything in terms of real time, depending on popularity, i.e. if dozens or hundreds, thousands are posted.

Trying to scroll back is agony. If a a commentator is posting more than a few, and perhaps the comments are attractive, the temptation is to click on the individual's profile to find out more... You might be awarded with a profile of what other interests this viewer has and, if you are really brave, you could send a message.
But if you decide to go back to your original position, you are lost, back at the top of the queue...This can be frustrating.

It is like visiting someone's house, knocking on the door, you look back to see the street view, you turn around again to say 'hi' to the person you were about to meet, but you find yourself back at the very top of the road....

YouTube community

The page is clear and concise. It talks about guidelines for the community, as well as as 'YouTube is for the community.'
I wonder if this is the issue: it is 'for' the community.

Where the community is being created is perhaps on other platforms, through 'share':

In that sense, YouTube is an affordance in the building of communities on other internet platforms.
A Google blog like this one, can integrate videos, and offer the building of a community. But this is not a YouTube community

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Thumbs up/down

You Tube offers commentators the chance to like or  dislike an upload (video), separately from any of the comments made. Comments liked most get listed at the top.

The underlying analytics give some idea of demographics and where the video is popular.
For the first time I can get a sense of who and where, a vague community reference.

AA: Aspiringly Anonymous

It is almost a rule not to have a name on display. Pseudonyms reign and offer little information on the intention of the individual with regards to art or any other form of art association.

The impression is of casual, accidental visit although some viewers must have a certain reason for accessing the YouTube upload. However, their intentions are not clear.

There are moments where the environment of the frame feels like a public space, a street, a square, with individuals crossing randomly.


The first post appears with a spam notice.

BBC Tate

I wonder if the positioning of these videos, part of a news bulletin affects how we perceive the images.
Both have depictions of the gallery space. There is a sharp factual voice-over and the surrounding textual information makes the viewing almost detached form its aesthetic context, i.e. the Tate.

The Tate however, looks impressive.

I posted this here to illustrate the contrast with the Schama documentary. Both give a glimpse of the same gallery space, the Tate. Increasingly we can visit the same gallery spaces in different YouTube setting. Could it be that our online behaviour when visiting these spaces is being refined, sensitised, heightened? This is a question I would like to revisit later.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

are you talking to me?

A number of comments indicate a conversation: one makes a statement on Rothko's power, the other asks to elaborate but there is no reply
Some comments get a thumbs up. All comments were made around 4 months ago.

video reponses

There are  video responses to part 1 of the documentary

one of the videos, posted recently, is entitled

mark rothko and jean michel basquiat at uni freiburg   

it allegedly shows a 'real life' painting of a Rothko, hanging in a corridor, near the cleaning lady's office, some where in Germany. It is odd, and in stark contrast to the sacred space that was discussed by Schama. The second painting shown is an original by Basquiat. The uploader of the clip has posted 960 in total, ZEMDOKU

the post has received 33 views, and 3 comments

a second video response is a video, accompanied by an Italian song entitled, 

ARTE PITTURA - Yellow le Origini dell'Universo - Alessandro Giorgetti

video responses can receive likes and comments.This one has received 799 views

there is very little reference other than the colour scheme that matches a Rothko painting.

a third response refers to the music of Beethoven,used in the Schama programme. The comments do not relate to the Rothko programme and I doubt if any of the commentators actually watched the Schama doumentary.

One arts community seems to have little to do with the other arts community.

hashtag communities

Monday, 25 February 2013

Simon Schama's Power of Art - Rothko, part 1 of 7

The documentary was added in 7 parts, in September 2008.
Part 1 has 278 responses (replies) and 2 video responses

Top comments received 8 likes and were posted 1 year ago. The most recent one was a week ago.
The top comment reflects on the quality of Simon Schama
a second top comment reflects on the music used in the documentary. The question relates to the composer and someone replies it is by Beethoven

Both top comments are about the sound: Schama as a commentator, the music that accompanies to images.

Comments are then listed chronologically:

  • comment about the use of bad grammar in another comment (correcting the language)
  • a comment about a comment, which has been removed: This comment has received too many negative votes
  • a comment concerning the looks of Simon Schama (John Lennon look-alike?)
  • two comments follow, criticizing the artist, the commentators expressing their dislike of the work, although they offer an appreciation of Simon Schama
  • This is followed by a few of comments expressing adoration for Rothko.
Interestingly YouTube gives both likes and dislikes to an upload, in this case Like      Dislike 14

a measure which allows for an instantaneous   impression.

A video entitled

Rothko's Evolution - Alessandro Giorgetti (Italy Art Abstract)  

 is uploaded by ART GIORGETTI· and other than the title has very little to do with Schama's programme.

From the website Artfinder

Mark Rothko wanted you to be totally immersed in his works, so the best way to view his paintings in person is to stand right up against them, so you can’t see beyond the canvas. This way you will be completely submerged in the feeling he is trying to generate. As an Abstract Expressionist, he sought to induce a particular feeling by paying rigorous attention to formal properties such as colour, shape, balance, depth, composition and scale. In this work he applied the paint in thin layers to add luminosity and reduce depth, and made the canvas vast in scale to have that all-encompassing, meditative effect.

How does Google work?

let's get started... more than one video

In the first instance I will have a look at YouTube again, to find out if there have been any updates on the search results.

I have now come across the posting of the BBC Rothko programme by a few others:
davidwebb091370 who has split the programme in 4 parts and uploaded this in July 2011, 3 years after the first uploader, naughtycopycat. (uploaded in 2008)
A third one was also discovered, uploaded byinternationalDocs who provided the whole doc (59 mins) and was added in December 2012. This is in addition to ArtHistoryLuv who uploaded the same programme in January 2013, also the whole documentary.

Question: why does anyone want to add these programmes that are already available?

This already brings an interesting fragmentation of the experience. Accessing the documentary is driven by the search engine in You Tube (native) or from outside the site, determined by other parameters.

The viewer arrives at the doorstep of the BBC, how one enters is determined by technology, not necessarily human decision making

Note: I subsequently discovered an Italian version as well as other fragments of the same documentary.