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Meta-Art: How two unrelated projects can create something new

Filed under: We Like — Tags: , , — Martin @ 5:01 pm

September 29, 2009

If you can stomach the pretentiousness of the phrase ‘meta-art’, then please read on;

Yooouuuutuuube is a simple idea, brilliantly executed, it basically copies a youtube video and tiles it endlessly over the background of the page. This would be pretty cool in its own right, but add in the ability to zoom out and pan the camera round and soon you realise you’ve watched the video twice over and you’re still not bored.

If you go to the site’s root you can enter the ID of any youtube video you find online, the video that I’ve set the link above up with is a music video made by the charmingly named “Fagottron“, a kind of meta art work in its own right, re-editing and reusing footage to create his own work.

So, how is this meta? When we talk about meta-*, we’re talking about something being about itself, metalanguage is language that is used to describe language, metaemotions are how a person feels about their own emotions in a certain situation. Well, yooouuutuuube is nothing on its own, it’s in fact a piece of art, that needs more art to complete it, it’s essentially art about art.

The idea of “Meta-something” has flourished on the web, where it has both practical uses, such as adding metadata to a webpage to help give it some context, to the more dubiously practical art of ‘metahumour’ – where an Internet in-joke (known by Richard Dawkin’s term “Meme”) is used as a basis for another joke, usually involving 1 or more other memes. Then there’s ‘recursive metahumour’, where the joke makes a joke about making a joke about itself within the confines of the original joke…
It all gets very complicated. I think it might be best to just watch the pretty colours.

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