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YouTube Art Project 'VVEBCAM' Censored Because Of Its Tags

Petra

First Posted: 12/15/11 07:01 PM ET Updated: 12/16/11 12:11 PM ET

The tension between art and censorship is given a public arena on the internet, where both battle it out for all to see and comment on. Just a couple days ago a sex-doll's transformation into an orca whale was censored on Ustream. And today 'VVEBCAM' by artist Petra Cortright was removed from YouTube, a video that consisted of Petra staring into her webcam while trance music played in the background. Hide the children!

The issues with Cortright's video were its 733 tags, some of which included 'tits', 'boobs', 'vagina' and 'sex'. All of those words... on the internet! This video had been uploaded in 2007 and had since been included in exhibitions worldwide and featured in academic curricula. The tags, Cortright said in an interview are a list of default terms for 'spam' on the Internet. She tried to explain this to YouTube but they did not care. Luckily, Rhizome has managed to keep some footage of the video intact.

This incident gives us much to think on. What these censorship cases teach us is that a doll's nudity is as indecent as a human's nudity and a 'boob' as illicit as a boob. But isn't a tag there to warn viewers of content, not to stand on its own? What is language? Woah.

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Filed by Priscilla Frank  |