"PerpiTube: Repurposing Social Media Spaces" was co-curated by myself and Alexandra Juhasz.

The project models a purposeful, complex, and artful use of social networking technologies and the spaces that hold them. In the gallery and on YouTube, this novel art show organized the media of 29 invited participants along side the video production of daily visitors to the gallery, everyday YouTube users, invited community members, and you.

The Space is Now Open for All of Us. Together we will collaborate to rethink and remake liveness and delay, mobility and place, presence and absence, solitude and community, both online and off.

PerpiTube responds to many of the criticisms expressed by Juhasz and her Pitzer College students who tried to teach and learn on YouTube. Juhasz’s born-digital, free, online video-book, Learning from YouTube (MIT Press, 2011) was one end result of this immersive interaction, and PerpiTube is another.

From July 12 through September 6, 2011, 29 diverse artists, activists, and academics interacted with audiences at the Nichols Gallery at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. Gallery audiences included invited youth, community members, and educators, as well as daily visitors. Over the two months, a collection of their works were archived and made available to a much larger audience on YouTube. You can add your work as well.

Each day at 10 am (PST time) the gallery was opened for a unique, fifteen minute, live, interactive event followed by fifteen minutes of refreshments and conversation. By the next day, with only the smallest of delays, video documentation of the artist’s presentation and the audience’s response were added to the exhibition’s growing archive.

For the rest of each day (10:30 am-4 pm) the gallery was closed to live presentations and repurposed for videomaking and learning via two workstations: one for YouTube research and another for YouTube video production.

Los Angeles media artist, Natalie Bookchin, whose recent work has focused on YouTube, presented a video to open each of PerpiTube’s four themed sections based on chapters from Learning from YouTube. These themes continued to be activated by invited participants—Italian exchange students, Native California youth, women in a transitional facility, and local educators—who each attended one of Bookchin’s opening presentations and then a video workshop, and whose videos were placed into the show’s growing archive to kick off and expand conversation.

The unique structure of the show was designed to highlight how various spaces, on and offline, amplify the connections and contradictions between local place and digital mobility, the reception and production of social media, the tension between the ephemeral and the archive, and the “artist” and “amateur.” By so doing, the curators and participants sought to model how social media, lived spaces, and their intentional interactions can be repurposed to empower users and communities by using digital technology in productive, intentional, and focused ways. It also sought to explore the relationship between gallery and online spaces as potential sits for social practice and change.

You can learn more about the project here.

You can screen the videos and contribute your own work here.