YouTube Delivers People
Every time a new technology appears, it promises to solve the problems of an existing medium—but in reality, it tends to introduce new problems all its own. In particular, this describes the relationship between television and YouTube, two tools of mass culture that are good at hiding their technological parameters.
At the height of the era of television in the 1970s, artists blamed television for its power to turn audiences into consumers. Using video—a technology that today is available to millions of amateurs—to tape their critique, Richard Serra and Carlota Fay Schoolman made Television Delivers People. At the early historical juncture of 1973, they criticized, in a humorous way, what pessimists like Neil Postman got worried about in the 1980s. Serra and Schoolman satirized the banality of TV programs by playing elevator music and scrolling critical messages, such as "the product of television is the audience," across the screen.
With the popularization of the Internet,
problems emerged with regard to the relationship between medium and
viewer. The passive television viewer was suddenly turned into an active
with the changes in form, amount, speed, and context of information
This online audience is currently reproducing everything it learned
from TV. The paradox: people undermine commercial media
framework of a corporately owned medium. The participatory paradigm
new disadvantages, because in order to rise to the permanent
creativity, people have to exploit their own means and
skills. Web 2.0 comes
with hours and hours of labor.