Musician Patrick Lidell, decided to partake on an experiment. He recorded a video using his computer’s webcam, uploaded it to YouTube, and then downloaded it. He repeated this process 1,000 times, achieving some very interesting results. YouTube uses a certain codec when uploading content, and this compresses both the video and audio components of the file. With each download, the file became more compressed, loosing pieces of its information. By the 1,000th download all definition is lost. The video is a blur of colored shapes where all of the pixels blend into one another. The audio too is completely distorted, creating a cacophony of muffled tones and noise.

I find the results to be fascinating. The piece itself speaks to massive amount of content that our society is sharing online. We choose to post content so that it can be immortalized and preserved. We believe that what we upload is being presented in the form that we intended, but in fact the content is being slowly destroyed.

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer : Under Scan, 2005 arrow-right
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