It’s divided into two sections, but moving from part one to part two doesn’t interrupt the film for more than a couple of seconds.There’s even a fairly nuanced (for You Tube) debate in the comments section about the appropriateness of the use of George Antheil’s soundtrack.
Like the rest of the Google empire, which provides aggregating and organizing functions through which advertising can be sold, You Tube itself isn’t particularly interested in the nature of video content.
Intellectual property rights have inevitably become an issue, but a combination of enthusiasm on the part of individuals, and the limited resources of filmmakers and their estates, means that at any given time there will be an unknowable amount of historical avant-garde material available on You Tube.
Even the most enthusiastic individual now has access to more than enough historical avant-garde film and video to reward their interest.
For the audience, the problem now is less how to see it than where to begin, and how to organize, or even understand, it.
With experimentation rejected by the moving-image industry, and moving image shunned by commercial art galleries until the 1970s, film and video artists in the twentieth century relied on film festivals, grassroots film clubs, artist-run co-operatives, and art school curricula as channels of distribution.
1 The Internet may have finally delivered avant-garde filmmakers the audience they always claimed they wanted.There’s also a compilation by Pipilotti Rist (1992–2003), but other than a list of the works, there’s nothing more about Rist.is a relative newcomer as an artists’ moving-image gallery, but archives all its presentations, including a good number of works by Ken Jacobs and Ian White.For archives, co-ops, and filmmakers themselves, the question is whether a vast new audience for the work comes at an unacceptable cost to the integrity of the works themselves.Imagine that you decide to educate yourself in the history of avant-garde film and video.Searching further afield, you find Stefan and Franciszka Themerson’s (1945- a key image from this film is featured in the header on this post) on Luxonline, a dedicated education resource for avant-garde film and video.Luxonline also provides plenty of biographical and background information on the artists.Back on You Tube, there is a fragment of Stan Brakhage’s (1963): the quality is terrible, and there’s no indication that what you’re watching isn’t the complete film.The University of Westminster has been hard at work digitizing the Arts Council of England’s collection of films, mostly documentaries on artists, but also a few experimental works.While by reputation you can trust Luxonline, You Tube doesn’t even tell you when a film is incomplete (though the BFI’s You Tube channel can be considered reasonably authoritative).Perhaps more importantly, you’ve been responsible for your own education, from early European experiments to recent global video works.