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Chris Cuellar’s T0p 5

25 October 2011 by

YouTube brings us many things: old music, new music, old movies divided into 12 minute parts, trailers for recent movies, trailers for classic movies, incredible scenes from independent film.

Even if there are copyright infringements, the world keeps turning; a video will die, and when it does, we will put flowers on a Flower’s Grave by uploading another. Any ole Table Top Joe can upload a video these days; the Raised Right Men simply enjoy sharing — those motivated by avarice have their own anthem, and in the end, they always lose.

The important treasures of YouTube are the Shiny Things, whether it be content from the Underground, or content from above, where the only way you can Come On Up To The House is to take the Long Way Home.

When it comes to the advancement of technology, no one knows where we are.

This is this fourth installment of T0p5: a DINCuratorial series featuring guest participants that curate five embeddable internet videos. There are no guidelines for their selections, other than participants are encouraged to reflect upon their choices in however many words they deem necessary.

This installment is DINCurated by Chris Cuellar, a LA-based artist:

Chris Cuellar (artist, LA) likes to work with writing, sound, performance & digital media. Topics include but are not limited to the politics of presence, the distribution of information, skeuomorphs, and acceleration. Chris has also published numerous volumes on Lulu, including an early collection of spam poetry and the entire Facebook public directory, circa Summer 2010 (ongoing). He has worked and performed for the Austin New Music Co-op in Austin, TX; the Sullivan & Betty Rymer Galleries; the Hyde Park Art Center & the Red Rover Reading Series in Chicago; Diapason Gallery in Brooklyn; and the Art:21 blog. He has also provided technical assistance for Project Cabrini Green and served as associate editor for the online literary journal, Dear Navigator. You can visit his website (occupied), follow him on Twitter and/or Key Party with him on Facebook.

Below is a written introduction by Chris Cuellar supporting his five selections.

“If we think of Youtube as a utility, as essential to modern life as electricity or sewer systems, it’s worthwhile to think about how people are putting it to use, or “misuse.” Youtube ends up being a lot of things at once: inexhaustible archive of the everyday, the future of TV, the world’s largest and most accessible pirate radio station. Some of the most boring videos ever made are actually just disguised audio uploads, with incidental visual components (such as an album cover, or animated text) tacked on for the sake of utilizing at least some of the video file’s moving-image functionality. In the most stark and literal cases, these “music videos” will simply depict the physical context in which the audio content was ripped and uploaded. Static shots of vinyl records spinning on turntables – these are my favorites.

It’s a bit bland these days to speak of the Benjaminian aura in the context of art objects, maybe less so in the context of outmoded consumer electronics. The nostalgia for these defunct commodities, for the forms of culture they engendered and represent, is so intense that people find it necessary to produce short (sometimes long) films that simply depict them while in operation; to attempt to capture some of the defunct commodity’s physical aura, to share it and propogate it via the online ether, to keep it circulating. Video worship of our technological ancestors. The old tries to live on immaterially in a 360p FLV or MP4 video clip. Ghosts are real in the way that our minds are real.” — Chris Cuellar

(actual records not shown)

Uploaded by John Baldessari. Or Jack Goldstein.

Uploaded by Kenneth Anger.

“This is just a test. YT upload changes the sound quite a bit. The P1 does pretty good with less than perfect vinyl as in this case. Crackly, but the details come through nice when it gets busy. Live sound camera mic. This probably won’t be a real accurate portrayal.”

One of my own contributions to the film genre. Filmed in the summer of 2010, starring the Doors album “Waiting for the Sun,” Numark portable turntable, and my plants (miss you, boos!)



Chris Cueller Website

Art21 Blog: Chris Cuellar’s “Make It Yourself” 

Project Cabrini Green

Shop Chris Cuellar on LuLu 





More T0p5

Jen Stark

Jon Cates

Nick Briz 


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