VVEBCAM
VVEBCAM
VVEBCAM
VVEBCAM

Originally published on YouTube in 2007, Petra Cortright's VVEBCAM highlights the conditions of watching video online. Her passive surveillance of her videoscreen is mirrored by the viewer's own experience at that very moment, who is necessarily also consuming online content as they watch the work. Cortright complicates the dynamic of disengaged onlooking, however, by inserting a collection of animations that flash across the video. Default effects taken from the $20 webcam she used to record the work, running the gamut from cats to lightning bolts, literally animate the otherwise nonactive scene. Her passive stare mixed with these flashing images lend the video a hypnotic quality, further accentuated by the background music, Ceephax's "Summer Frosby," playing in Cortright's iTunes as she filmed. Issues regarding how and where an artwork is displayed online, as well as the techniques used for its dissemination, are also alluded to in VVEBCAM's original YouTube version. Cortright includes with it an extensive and dizzying list of tags, luring users who happen to search for any of these terms––"Paris Hilton" or "ESPN", for example––to stumble upon this video, and thereafter mirror its enactment of passive viewership.

Dimensions variable.

About Petra Cortright

Petra Cortright uses a range of mediums, both digital and analog, to explore the aesthetics and performative cultures of online consumption. She is particularly interested in video-sharing sites like Youtube: in vvebcam (2007), for example, Cortright recorded herself on a webcam passively scrolling through different effects on the recording device, while a repetitive trance beat played in the background. Despite the video reaching international viewership, Youtube removed it in 2011, due, the company said, to its excessive use of “offensive” language; Cortright tagged the film with explicitly sexual language, a component which the artist considers part of the work. Espousing a rough home-video aesthetic, Cortright often records herself performing simple acts and gestures, such as kicking a football, tugging at a tree branch, or dancing around a bedroom. Her works, which frequently employ effects, filters, or computer graphics, highlight video memes and behaviors common to sites like Youtube.

American, b. 1986, Santa Barbara, California, based in Los Angeles, California

Solo Shows on Artsy

2016
Zero-Day Darling, Ever Gold [Projects], San Francisco
2015
Niki, Lucy, Lola, Viola, Depart Foundation, West Hollywood

Group Shows on Artsy

2016
Temporary Highs, bitforms gallery, New York
2016
Chatham Square, Foxy Production, New York
2015
Catfish, Anat Ebgi, Los Angeles
2015
The Metabolic Age, MALBA, Buenos Aires