In conjunction with his exhibition Mall, Punk, we present a new online project by Michael Bell-Smith. Titled 2x3-mp-2017-michaelbellsmith-full, the work is a self-pirated online version of the work 2x3 (MP), which is featured in Mall, Punk at Kunsthall Stavanger.
About the project, Bell-Smith says: "The versions of tv shows and movies that circulate on Youtube often do so illegally, in violation of copyright law. In an effort to combat these acts of piracy, Youtube has developed extensive algorithms to detect and automatically remove copyrighted material. In response, the communities sharing these videos (often cartoons and other media with devout fanbases) have developed elaborate methods to evade copyright detection, altering their video content by shifting its colors, flipping it left-to-right, placing it on top of another video, or obscuring it with a digital watermark. It is a game of cat-and-mouse, the video transformations getting more elaborate as Youtube’s software develops to detect them.
These video transformations, performed "out of necessity", become a formal vocabulary of their own, one that is constantly being erased as Youtube removes the offending videos. 2x3-mp-2017-michaelbellsmith-full is built on this vocabulary. It is a self-pirated version of the work 2x3 (MP) from the exhibition Mall, Punk both an online version of a work in the exhibition and a unique work of its own."
Read our interview with Michael Bell-Smith to learn more about his exhibition and artistic practice.
Michael Bell-Smith (East Corinth, ME, 1978) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He holds a BA in Semiotics from Brown University, Providence, RI, and an MFA from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Selected exhibitions include: Web 2.0. Organized by Paul Slocum and Thierry Tilquin, Senne, Brussels (2017); Tell Me What I Mean, To____Bridges____, Bronx, NY (2016); Greater New York, MoMA PS1, Queens, NY (2015-2016); Sound Spill, Zabludowicz Art Projects, New York, NY; Spectacle: The Music Video, Museum of the Moving Image, Queens, NY; (both 2013); Is This Thing On? Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati, OH; ICA MECA, Portland, ME (solo) (both 2012); Hiroshima MOCA, Japan (solo project); The Cinema Effect: Illusion, Reality, and the Moving Image: Part I – Dreams, Caixaforum, Madrid and Barcelona, Spain (both 2011); Abandon Normal Devices, FACT, Liverpool, UK (2009); The Liverpool Biennial, Liverpool, UK; Montage: Unmonumental Online, The New Museum, New York, NY; Blown Away, Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL (all 2008); The Singles Collection, SFMoMA, San Francisco, CA; Playback, Musée dʼArt Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France; Reality Bytes, Dallas Center for Contemporary Art, Dallas, TX ( all 2007); and Butch Queen Realness with a Twist in Pastel Colors Video Show, Tate Liverpool, UK (2005).