This past Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend the Youtube Play Biennial held at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. While the inaugural Biennial was streaming at 8pm, yours truly got to see Ok Go, Mike Relm, The LXD as well as a myriad of other performances go on live. But the main event was to see the twenty-five finalists’ submissions on a grand scale.
The evening first started off at the top level of the rotunda with an HP and Intel meet and greet. HP’s executive director of brand marketing, Tracey Trachta and Intel’s director of partner marketing, John Galvin gave a quick run down of what Youtube Play is and how technology has empowered anyone to create with relative ease. The fortunate folks that got to attend this segment of the evening were also given first dibs to the HP TouchSmart workstations where they can send a webcam postcard shout out to their friends.
From there we funneled down to a room where all twenty-five finalists’ videos were aired. Guests were given headsets to switch between videos. For those that wanted a more solitary experience, there was a backroom with more HP TouchSmart workstations to watch all the videos right out of one box. Had I known about this room earlier, my experience would’ve reached nirvana. Later on in the evening, all the press folks were introduced to the twenty five finalists and so began our speed date-interviews. Since my first post about Youtube Play, I had to speak with the trio that directed ‘Luis‘ and Akino Kondoh who directed ‘Ladybird’s Requiem‘. Anyone that knows me, knows I’m drawn to animation and stop-motion.
Around 8pm, we migrated to the main floor of the rotunda for the celebration portion of this event. Of all things to be amazed at, I’ve developed respect for the catering crew and security. In a room of eight hundred folks, they maneuvered around gracefully carrying hors doeuvres and glasses of wine to and fro. The security staff were firm, but didn’t come off like gatekeepers of a DC top 40’s night club. One even offered a patron to come around the ropes for a better shot of Megan Washington and the Youtube Orchestra’s live performance. As much as I’d like to say the Youtube Orchestra or The LXD’s performance was the best, I can’t. They were all mesmerizing and with Michael Showalter’s mc’ing in between, the night proved to be a huge success for all that attended.
Towards the last thirty or forty minutes, I was invited back to the video room to chat with “Bear Untitled” and “Noteboek” creators, Christen Bach and Evelien Lohbeck. Both gave insight on thought processes and tools they used. Due to time constraint, my chat with Evelien was cut short. However, I was able to gather from Christen Bach a series of collaboration videos he’s currently working on over at Animation Tag Attack.
All in all, my trip up to New York for Youtube’s first Biennial at the Guggenheim was an experience worth blogging about. Many thanks goes to HP, Intel for their right brain initiative, “24|7 Creative”. And an even bigger thanks goes to Rasika Krishna and Bennett Richardson of the David All Group for making this happen.