In an age obsessed with digital preservation, constantly growing databases, search engine optimization and unlimited encyclopedias, the NoTube is here to investigate in the dark side of meaning production.
The NoTube project questions, in a playful way, the implications of the Web2.0 philosophy of user-generated content. A website such as YouTube is built on the promises that each upload will be saved and preserved, regardless of its quality, usefulness, meaning or value. Therefore, the database of YouTube is constantly increasing in size, and the options for searching and filtering such large amount of data are essential. Keywords, links, descriptions and titles make each video more or less relevant according to the query of the user. Videos with zero views, with no keywords or storyline represent the dark side of YouTube’s inclusive approach. Such videos are all somewhere in there, however they are not expected to be found, seen or discussed. Searching for valueless content is a challenge for the user and a way of questioning the rationale behind YouTube, and the preservation of user-generated content in general.
The NoTube project started in 2009 and since then it has taken multiple forms.
2009-ongoing, contest, http://www.notubecontest.com
The winner of the NoTube Contest is the participant who manages to find the most valueless video on YouTube. A video uploaded on YouTube is generally oriented to a large audience, has a simple narrative and can be easily categorized. A NoTube video, instead, fails in every promise and contradicts viewers' expectations for a meaningful experience. A good NoTube video cannot be summarized, does not offer any keyword for searching it, is not linked by any other web site, has not been discussed and cannot be discussed. An ideal submission to the NoTube Contest should present NO evident reason to 1) make 2) publish 3) watch such video.
2012, video (only trailer available): http://vimeo.com/38059338
The 1-view Video is a 24 hours video recorded by IOCOSE as a prize for the winner of the 2011 NoTube contest 2011, Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg from New York (NY). A copy of the video has been sent exclusively to the winner.
2011, webpage, http://or-bits.com/05truth/05io.php
In ‘An empty postcard’ (2011) , the viewer is invited to watch and share a series of valueless videos from YouTube. Sharing, a buzzword of Web2.0, is thus reversed in its meanings. It is exaggerated in its promises but doomed to result in an overload of empty noise.
Or-bits gallery, 2011
The Influencers, Barcelona (2013)
Click Festival, Helsingor, Denmark (2012)
Shift festival, Basel, Switzerland
Raise your flag! Speed show Barcelona (2011)
Orbits gallery, online (2011)
Jeu de paume, Paris (2011)
BYOB Venice, internet pavillon, Venice Biennale (2011)
Domenico Quaranta (December-January 2011), 'YouTube Play Vs NoTube Contest', Flash Art
Michael Conroy (February 2010), 'The Search for YouTube Dullest Video', February, Wired.co.uk