I love Youtube, to an almost unhealthy degree. So much in fact that I spend weeks at a time locked away in front of my computer, willingly trapped in an endless cycle of cat videos and Fail recommendations. What I love most is not just the mindless escapism Youtube can provide but the microcosm of democracy it represents. Here is an island, as can only be found on the internet, of generally lax regulation and no fees or taxes where any idea or image from the inane to the profound gets an equal footing at the starting line.
With user input and feedback, like all the greatest sites online, democracy just sort of happens and the most significant contributions are quantified through views and up-votes while comments let us qualify the existence of each video. I love that it's a site that rips open the walls of higher education and gives everyone access to lectures, TED talks, any subject and political point of view that you can imagine.
And I love how from cat videos to terrible bands failing on stage to social commentary, there is a brutal thread of common sense that cuts a swath through it all. I love seeing videos of elitist, educated sociologists have to disable comments and shrug off all social media as a cesspool when the people can smell bullshit and hypocrisy. Likewise, I shiver with excitement when I stumble upon total evisceration of dangerous nonsense and pseudo-science.
But most important of all to me, is that anyone who wants to express themselves through art and doesn't necessarily care about getting rich, gets a chance to showcase their work for free. This has led to an explosion in work by video-artists of all levels of skill and perspective, and my absolute hero, the Jean-Michel Basquiat of online video in the 21st century is Yotuber WolfgoreShow.
You may have seen an excerpt from one of his videos that became a meme unto itself, the Gimmie Pizza song from an old Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen straight-to-video movie in which the girls rap with their friends about, well...pizza. WolfgoreShow, aka artist Danial Ryan, mashed up excerpts from a number of Olsen films into one, longer piece that plays with changing duration, pitch and shape of the original material to create a surreal, at times both disturbing and hilarious short film.
These manipulations of time, usually slowing down or rocking back and forth between a few frames is matched with melodic tones or horror film soundtracks juxtaposed with bright video images, often from American TV infomercials. The "videoscapes" that result sometimes also incorporating crude special effects, underscore the perverse vulgarity inherent in advertising and commercial video productions. The Olsen twins for example, from their earliest days pimped out on television, have evolved from a poppy, clean, bright commercial vehicle into one of the largest brands in the mainstream fashion industry. Where once they sold sticker-books and candy-flavoured lip-gloss, now they are behind collaborations with brands like Linda Farrow.
As with the infomercials, Danial Ryan, presents them in an inversely distorted reality. They may be strange and confusing upon first viewing, but that's how confusing, strange, cynical and perverted they appear in their original form -- distortions of reality intended to make your life feel incomplete and inadequate and then offering you their product as a solution. It's thrilling to watch him express his disgust in absurd, surreal, yet very funny ways.
In addition to the video work featured on his Youtube channel, WolfgoreShow, Ryan also does custom paintings and art that you can find featured on this Facebook page, Danial Ryan Paintings. Their it indicates Ryan does commissioned works and the page is a place you can "show works you've purchased, commissioned or have personally eaten. Tell your friends."
WolfgoreShow, the reason Youtube was invented. Well him, and honorable mention to Willy Bum Bum.