MOCAtv is extending the legendary Los Angeles art museum to the digital realm with the first ever original YouTube channel devoted to contemporary art. The YouTube page, which launched Monday, features five-minute videos with artists like Robbie Conal, Alexis Smith and Marnie Weber speaking on their relationships to their work. We particularly enjoyed watching Mark Bradford wax poetic on how to make a painting particularly "badass." Although, as the LA Times pointed out, advertisements do have a shockingly overwhelming effect on the MOCAtv experience. For instance, a World of Warcraft commercial full of battle cries and epic war horns tends to drown out Weber's lovely meditation on her artistic roots.
These concerns aside, we have to admit the TV channel is offering a sweet deal for LA art lovers: a three-month free pass to MOCA for those who sign up for the free digiMOCA before October 21, 2012.
But what is MOCAtv, exactly? The YouTube channel is divided up into six mini-channels: Artist Video Projects, The Artist’s Studio, Art in The Streets, Art + Music, MOCA U, and YouTube Curated by. It will also track art's trickling into the pop culture realm with music videos from Japanther and Bjork. This game plan is par for the course coming from MOCA director Jeffrey Deitch, who has received infinite flak for his not-so-critical inclusion of Hollywood gloss into the art world.
Yet Deitch remains committed to his vision of a rigorous while not necessarily serious museum experience. In August, he defended his directorial choices to the LA Times: "Your average cultured reader ... thinks that I've destroyed the museum, that I've dismantled all intelligence from the program, that we're doing nothing serious, that we're showing, like, celebrity portraits or something, that nobody on the staff gets along with me," he said. "And that is not what's happening here."
The preview below gives a good taste of what we can expect from MOCAtv -- art candy -- often delivered as fast-paced and addictive as the ads that interrupt it.
The end of the video clip contains a quote from Marshall McLuhan: "Art is what you can get away with."
What do you think, readers, is J.Deitch getting away with this one?