YouTube as an art work versus visiting art museum?


macrumors 68030
Original poster
Mar 7, 2006
Salt Lake City UT
Being an artist at I was wondering whether YouTube is the future of traditional/digital/video art. Much of the stuff is influenced by Bill Viola but it seems like his work is relegated to the art museums but I want to take a more populist stand for the future of video art (done on a Mac too).

Also anyone thinks that the art museum can use YouTube as the future place for installation or video art? I would love to see digital art reach the masses without the elitism of the "techie art" syndrome.

Any ideas whether YouTube can make video art or any type of art more popular than visiting museums? Or no substitute for the traditional art experience?


macrumors 68030
Jun 26, 2005
Although I suppose YouTube could present fine arts to a mass audience, the Internet and museums seem like completely separate things to me. People who want to view fine arts would rather visit a museum than simply see a picture/video of it on the Internet. If anything, the picture/video on the Internet will encourage people to visit museums.

The casual YouTube viewer might take a slight interest in the piece, but if he/she doesn't view the actual piece in the museum, then he probably won't take a second look at the art.

Separate audiences, separate mediums.


macrumors 6502
May 15, 2007
But is it art?

kind of like trying to put your work on a major television network, it will get lost in the noise. Trying to include it amongst the drivel and irrelevance that that pervades youtube will only serve to water it down unless the artist can hit some extremely 'populist approval' vein (rare and unpredictable at best) and maybe get 'Dugg'. You are more likely to be received positively if you associate with an on-line participatory forum akin to DeviantArt or some like-minded pop-art psuedoPolitico video collective where you can build support and attract a sympathetic audience. Frankly, if I came across your work on YouTube, i'm not sure i'd be all that interested as it seems to me this particular form of expression is geared toward a baser entertainment audience than the notion of 'higher art'. Like does tend to seek Like, and YouTube will likely vote you into obscurity in unholy deference to the latest Paris sex tape. And if you are as serious as you state, maybe "15 min. of fame" is setting the bar too low. Museums, galleries, art installations, collectives and their ilk have had some measure of success in the past because they work, don't throw the baby out with the bath water.


Jan 18, 2005
Course not. Youtube is just a method of displaying videos online. Did Deviant Art revolutionise real art galleries? They're just platforms to get people noticed to get that work into a gallery.


macrumors 603
Dec 19, 2002
Umm...absolutely not in the distantly foreseeable future.

Art galleries and museums are a way of setting apart the work that is recognized as having quality that others don't. If anyone had any regard for the quality of the stuff on YouTube (99.9% of it is absolutely atrocious), people on YouTube recognized to have true talent would be approached and they would be distanced from YouTube, and distinguished as independent artists. The point of an art museum is that it showcases the finest art created through time, permanently.

Replacing the art museum with YouTube is the equivalent of saying that art museums will be destroyed and that their contents will be hung on signposts on new york city streets, alongside the creations of anyone who felt like putting something there. Impermanence and marginalization are what YouTube is all about. I'd think that an artist who took himself seriously would do anything to distance himself from the crass vulgarity that is much of the content on YouTube.


macrumors member
Mar 2, 2007
Any ideas whether YouTube can make video art or any type of art more popular than visiting museums? Or no substitute for the traditional art experience?
It can only be popular once it can achieve a huge number of views. There's no question, YouTube can help popularized anything if the presentation is appealing to the members.