Mediateka Babel. YouTube jako temat, rama formalna i platforma sztuki

Słowa kluczowe

art platform
cinematic turn
networked culture

Jak cytować

Wójtowicz, E. (2020). Mediateka Babel. YouTube jako temat, rama formalna i platforma sztuki. Artium Quaestiones, (31), 171–189.


The text focuses on the specific features of the so-called 'cinematic turn' within the scope of visual culture emergent within the YouTube platform, particularly during its first, formative years. This turn takes place on the meta-level of the existing circulation of content enabled by YouTube, often being an autothematic reflection on this tool of cultural production. The vernacular aesthetics, a specific formal framework and a particular modus operandi of YouTube became the subject of artistic statements, sometimes in a form of subversive remix. Therefore I think of YouTube as a realm of art because of its meta-media practice that made the cinematic turn visible. It does not rely on straightforwardly understood production of (moving) images, but  postproduction, as understood by Nicolas Bourriaud. Moreover, the cinematic turn taking place within YouTube is different from the one practised by the avant-garde of 20th century, due its being not “seeing” or “writing” (as Dziga Vertov understood montage) but rather “overwriting”, to use language more adequate to the described sphere of digital culture. Artists use YouTube as an open library, working with its resources, applying techniques such as postproduction, remix, re-contextualisation and appropriation. Therefore it becomes a multimedia library, a “Mediateca Babel” of a kind, to recall J. L. Borges' idea. The examples mentioned in the text are of a postproductional nature, such as to-camera-performance and subversive “overwriting” of contents enabled with the circulationism typical for social media. Equally important are the strategies of recognising the cultural framework of YouTube, in the context of 20th-century media art history, as well as the platform’s interface. Also, there is the issue of relations between vernacular creativity and the art system because of “capturing” the amateur-generated content and transferring it to mainstream artworld. These examples let me argue that the cinematic turn is a form of postproduction, which enables the hidden mechanisms behind the circulation of moving images in the overloaded global network. The cinematic turn in the context of YouTube does not mean that cinema and its language are at home within this platform. Also, the meta-artistic way of “making” platform art does not turn YouTube into “art platform” (as understood by Olga Goriunova). Nevertheless, platform art may happen in this context as a result of working with the cinematic turn in its vernacular aspect, which makes it possible to reveal its key features and move them to the meta-level.


Baio A., Fanboy Supercuts, Obsessive Video Montages, „” 11 kwietnia 2008, <> [dostęp: 20 lutego 2020]

Borges J.L., Biblioteka Babel [przedruk z 1957, brak nazwiska tłumacza], „Przekrój” 2019, 3564, s. 141

Bourriaud N., Postproduction. Culture as Screenplay: How Art Reprograms the World, tłum. J. Herman, New York 2002

Debord G., Methods of détournement, w: Situationist International Anthology, red. i tłum. K. Knabb, Berkeley 1981

Dekker A., The Art of Platforms, „Guggenheim Blogs” 2 listopada 2010, <> [dostęp: 6 marca 2020]

Edler D., The Problem with Hennessy Youngman, „Hyperallergic” 8 czerwca 2012, <> [dostęp: 22 maja 2020]

Fritsch M., Music from the Masses, 2008–2013, <> [dostęp: 20 lutego 2020]

Goriunova O., Swarm Forms: of Platforms and Creativity, „Mute” 2007, 2(4), <> [dostęp: 20 lutego 2020]

Goriunova O., Art Platforms and Cultural Production on the Internet, New York–London 2012

Gronlund M., From Narcissism to the Dialogic: Identity in Art after the Internet, „Afterall” 2014, 3, s. 4–13

Gronlund M., Contemporary Art and Digital Culture, London–New York 2017

Guida C., YouTube as a Subject. Interview with Constant Dullaart, w: Video Vortex Reader II. Moving Images Beyond YouTube, red. G. Lovink, R. Somers Miles, Amsterdam 2011, s. 330–335

Heffernan V., Pixels at an Exhibition, „The New York Times” 18 maja 2008, <> [dostęp: 20 lutego 2020]

Jankowska M., Wideo, wideo instalacja, wideo performance w Polsce w latach 1973–1994, Warszawa 2004

Jenkins H., Kultura konwergencji. Zderzenie starych i nowych mediów, tłum. M. Bernatowicz, M. Filiciak, Warszawa 2007

Kamińska M., Niecne memy. Dwanaście wykładów o kulturze Internetu, Poznań 2011

Keen A., Kult amatora. Jak internet niszczy kulturę, tłum. M. Bernatowicz, K. Topolska-Ghariani, Warszawa 2007

Kingson J.A., ‘How Cats Took Over the Internet’ at the Museum of the Moving Image, „The New York Times” 6 sierpnia 2015, <> [dostęp: 20 lutego 2020]

Kino-sztuka. Zwrot kinematograficzny w polskiej sztuce współczesnej, red. J. Ronduda, Ł. Majmurek, Warszawa 2015

Krauss R., Video: The Aesthetics of Narcissism, „October “ 1976, 1, s. 50–64

Krauss R., Two Moments from the Post-Medium Condition, „October” 2006, 116, s. 55–62

Lessig L., Wolna kultura. W jaki sposób wielkie media wykorzystują technologię i prawo, aby blokować kulturę i kontrolować kreatywność, tłum. zbiorowe, Warszawa 2005

Lialina O., A Vernacular Web 2, w: Digital Folklore, red. O. Lialina, D. Espenschied, Stuttgart 2009

Navas E., Remix Theory. The Aesthetics of Sampling, Wien–New York 2011

Pearson E., All the World Wide Web’s a Stage: The Performance of Identity in Online Social Networks, “First Monday” 2009, 3(14), <> [dostęp: 6 marca 2020]

Pettinato I., Viral Candy, w: Digital Folklore, red. O. Lialina, D. Espenschied, Stuttgart 2009, s. 178–209

Raftery B., I'm Not Here to Make Friends: The Rise and Fall of the Supercut Video, „Wired”, 30 sierpnia 2010, dostępny w Internecie: <> [dostęp: 7 marca 2020]

Składanek M., Tworzywo bez właściwości – technologia cyfrowa jako metamedium, „Przegląd Kulturoznawczy” 2011, 1(9), s. 37–45

Stagg N., Treds and their Discontents, w: The Present in Drag, red. DIS, Berlin 2016, s. 92–105

Steyerl H., W obronie nędznego obrazu, tłum. Ł. Zaremba, „Konteksty” 2013, 3, s. 101–105.

Vernallis C., Unruly Media: YouTube, Music Video, and the New Digital Cinema, Oxford 2013

Wiertow D., Człowiek z kamerą, tłum. T. Karpowski, Warszawa 1976

Wójtowicz E., Sztuka w kulturze postmedialnej, Gdańsk 2016

Wright S., W stronę leksykonu użytkowania, tłum. Ł. Mojsak, „Format P#9” 2014, s. 86–87

Zimmermann P.R., Reel Families: A Social History of Amateur Film (Arts and Politics of the Everyday), Bloomington 1995