This is an archive of the ArtCat Zine, 2007-2009. Please visit our new project, IDIOM.
Describing the contemporary media environment as 'viral' does only partial justice. Yes, pieces are passed person to person via friends and acquaintances in a way that is similar to the spread of a virus. However, given that this distribution system has allowed for a decided uptick in quality, the pejorative function of the term seems unfair. This is clear enough in the way it is assiduously avoided in actual moments of sharing; no one ever says 'Hey! Check out this great viral video forwarded me by an aquaintance." Not only an effort to avoid resonances of contagion, this is an attempt to take the smallest bit of credit for the content itself. The more successful the share, the more we like to give the impression that it has been culled by our superior taste from hundreds upon hundreds of offerings. Thus we all have developed minor curatorial stars amongst our extended virtual friends, people whose selections are always the funniest, cleverest, or most compelling: whose blessing guarantees our attention. These people stand in starkest contrast, perhaps, to family members, whose offerings are often the most painful. (A wise friend on a news list combined the two, creating a series entitled 'Love, Mom' wherein he forwarded the wackiest of the right wing e-prop his mother had sent him, to great effect)
In such a saturated environment, the act of selecting and testifying has become more and more important, and we are beginning to see the format filter back out of the virtual. Thus EFA has launched Chaperone, a series in which a group of artists chooses and frames a film that they find interesting in some way. Alex Bag is up next, having chosen, Grandma's Boy, which piques the curiosity. Show starts at 7.