social video: intervene; disrupt; press record; upload

Project: create 3 video works as social intervention

Proposals due for discussion: Monday February 6th

Final works documented on blog for critique: Monday February 27th

GOAL: intervene; disrupt; press record; upload

You will work in teams of 3.

The internet user is a consumer, a producer, and the product itself all at the same time. The aim of these videos is to go viral.

From Rosemary Heather’s essay, Army of Youtube:

Faced with the awe-inspiring popularity of web-monoliths like YouTube, contemporary art risks becoming nothing more than a quaint relic of the 20th century.
It’s probably not fair to compare contemporary art practice with YouTube; yet there is evidence to suggest that somewhere in the ulterior of its collective brain, the art world does just this, and finds itself lacking. How else to understand the ongoing assurances given in art exhibition press releases and catalogue essays about the important role the viewer plays in the construction of meaning? …
If artists once played a leading – avant garde – role in providing a complex and forward-looking framework for reflection on the contemporary world, it now seems most comfortable bringing up the rear, providing explanations for developments that are already intuitively understood and enjoyed by the culture at large. Of course, the argument can be made that conceptualism’s emphasis on the disembodied life of the mind presaged our current embrace of virtual experience. And that the early networks fostered by post-minimalism and its precursors – Fluxus, mail art, conceptualism, etc – anticipated today’s social media. Emphasis on the relational in the last decade of art practice can likewise be seen as having the relevance of putting face-to-face human interaction back into the social media equation. Still. There remains something desperate in the art world’s current desire to kowtow to its audience


  • Each video work must be uploaded to a video-sharing platform (vimeo/youtube)
  • Your videos should have a socio-political function. NOT necessarily in subject matter.

The structure of your workload will be determined within the team. For example, each member could be responsible for 1 video or each video could be produced collaboratively. The assignment rubric will break down the assignment 50/50 between a group and individual score based on your contribution. Therefore it will be necessary for you to work together as a team even if you produce three separate works. The three videos can function as a unit or as stand-alone works with no ultimate connection. 

While there are no specific constraints in terms of media used, length of video, and other means of production (the way it is filmed), please be mindful that the each of these contributes to the meaning of the work and therefore should be considered in depth.

Questions/Themes to keep in mind:

  • How do non-professional images/videos circulate?
  • Is it possible to “create” viral content? What are the methods that creators of viral content use? (Surprise? Humour? Affect? Animals?)
  • How can contemporary art function outside of an art gallery?
  • Is it possible to be avant-garde and acquire popularity simultaneously?
  • What separates professional vs amateur video production when an increasing percentage of people have access to professional equipment?
  • Fake News – what are the politics of adding ‘non-realistic’ media in a time when it is very difficult to tell truth from fiction
  • Anonymity. Do you reveal yourself as the producer, or do you remain anonymous? Why do certain artists assume a ‘fake’ or hidden identity?
  • Distribution mechanisms (how will you promote/share your video)?

For your short proposal prepare to discuss:

  • A title, and a 1-2 paragraph description of the piece.
  • Discuss your means and methods of production
  • Discuss the aims of your project
  • How you will split the workload between your team


  • Flashmob
  • interview
  • re-editing found material a la Omar Fast
  • cats/children/
  • funniest-home videos / bloopers
  • click-bait titles
  • cute/exotic animals
  • heroic acts
  • bizarre/ unexpected acts
  • pranks
  • shock-value
  • tutorials
  • drunk
  • consistent theme
  • persona
  • impersonating


*Reminder: Always create works that are safe for you and others at all times. Discuss your ideas with instructor.