YouTube – a one-stop destination for enthusiasts of cat videos and music parodies everywhere – has made an unlikely name for itself in the world of high art. It received significant attention for its partnership with the Guggenheim Museum in 2010, and this year, Brooklyn artist Ken Solomon turned stills from the site into paintings. Now five Dutch and Belgium museums are going their own way with the launch of ARTtube, a streamlined, art-only video portal. The concept is already familiar to fans of art video portal Art Babble.
The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, M HKA in Antwerp, Gemeentemuseum in The Hague, De Pont in Tilburg, and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam produce the content, which includes artist interviews, behind-the-scenes tours of exhibitions, curatorial talks, and original animation and remix videos. It’s an elite YouTube without the democracy that makes the original so appealing. Instead, ARTtube partitions the low from the high brow, showcasing only professional expertise. While this type of curation lacks YouTube’s endless possibilities for discovery, there is something to be said for honing in on its content without the onslaught of random amateur footage.