In a world where art is recognized through various means of packaging and cataloging, online video stands at a crossroads. Literature, film, art and music have long established their place in the cultural pantheon through means ranging from physical packaging to digital cataloging. Online video, however, with platforms such as YouTube and TikTok, faces a struggle for similar recognition. The central issue lies in the lack of proper packaging, cataloging and distribution.
Literature has found its place on shelves and in libraries, solidifying its status through physical presence and cataloging. Similarly, films with theatrical releases and database logging like IMDb and Letterboxd, have carved their niche. Both mediums benefit from being easily accessed, referenced and preserved. This furthers their artistic recognition.
Visual art, through prints, and music, with widely distributed albums, have also benefited from such formalized packaging. The tangible and digital footprints of these mediums ensure their place in history. Online video, however, continues to lack these foundational attributes, risking obscurity.
The emergence of online video as a legitimate art form has been stunted by a lack of infrastructure. There’s no standard for packaging and cataloging. Unlike traditional art forms, online video is at risk of being lost or overlooked.
The YouTube channel alantutorial exemplifies this dilemma. Its content, ranging from seemingly innocent tutorials on mundane tasks to more complex and dark narratives reflecting a deteriorating mental state, represents an artistic expression deserving recognition. Yet, without a formal way to package or catalog such content, channels like alantutorial may slip through the cracks.
Other online video creators face similar challenges. Without centralized databases, preservation methods or standardized distribution, these valuable pieces of art risk falling into obscurity.
Preliminary solutions have emerged, such as creating specific databases and archiving videos. However, these efforts are in their infancy.
One example solution to the cataloging dilemma is the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine. While not specific to artistic video, the projects efforts to archive YouTube represents a step toward recognizing the importance of preserving online video content. Another example is the Video At Risk project, focusing on preserving digital video.
Initiatives like these are vital. We are still in the early stages of developing standardized methods to package, catalog and distribute online video in a way that ensures it won’t be lost to history. These challenges require collaboration and industry-wide efforts.
Online video’s ascent to artistic recognition requires a concerted effort. It’s vital to develop standardized ways to package, catalog and distribute online videos, akin to how literature, film, art and music have achieved their status.
Platforms, creators and stakeholders must unite to elevate online video to the same artistic status as other well-established mediums. By preserving and recognizing the artistic value of online video, the industry can ensure we don’t lose these creative expressions to history.
The lack of proper packaging and cataloging has hindered online video’s recognition as a valid art form. But there’s hope. By learning from traditional art forms and embracing new methods, online video can someday earn the same artistic status as literature, film, art and music. The path is clear, and the time for action is now.
This is more than a logistical challenge; it’s a call to recognize and celebrate the creativity of a new generation of artists. By properly packaging and cataloging online video, we can give it the recognition it deserves and ensure culturally noteworthy creators and their work don’t fade away.