Marcus Westbury’s Not Quite Art is back for a second series.
The show is a remarkably courageous move by the ABC to feature cultural phenomena beyond recognisable high art.
This time around, Marcus looks a bit more confident in front of the TV cameras. Less dissing of the concert hall and opera house, and more enthusiastic, positive investigation of how “low art” channels of distribution (or “audience creation”) are growing exponentially, lending “not quite art” the means of spreading itself all around the world.
The first episode of the new series, then, was fittingly devoted to the grand-daddy of these distro-systems, The Internet. At times, in fact, Marcus’ enthusiasm seemed a bit like a (redundant) commercial for the web (and for Google Corp., whose proprietary application YouTube got a fair bit of free advertising on our ABC!)
But of course you don’t need to sell the net to anyone, and YouTube needs no ads. It does quite nicely on its own. And it’s perhaps The Internet, as a “character” in its own right (rather than any individual example of folks wot use/abuse it) that is the protagonist of this brave new cultural era.
The episode featured the chooky dancers (who did the greek zorba and went “platinum” on youtube) Jodi Rose (who makes bridges “sing” and won a prize for best aussie blog a few years back) and Brisbane’s Yahtzee, who publishes compelling high-paced video-reviews of computer games and is an internet phenomenon in his own right.
These were all interesting case studies. And I reckon Marcus could have substituted any of a thousand alternative not-quite-artists to make his point, and that point would still have come across strongly:
“The Net Is Changing The Way We Live Our Lives.”
Which we all already know. Maybe in 20 years it’ll be interesting to look back on Not Quite Art 2008 and have a giggle at how full of wonder we were about it all, “back then”.
Fittingly, the ABC have decided to vodcast the episodes as they roll out. Amusingly (given the subject matter of the first episode) it is unavailable for download to international viewers from the ABC website.
So for any of you internationals out there who wanna see what it’s all about, I hereby give you, Not Quite Art Series 2 Episode 1. Go crazy.
PS: here is episode two.
…and here is episode three…