A bootleg of “2×3 (MP)”
The versions of tv shows and movies that circulate on Youtube often do so illegally, in violation of copyright law. In an effort to combat these acts of piracy, Youtube has developed extensive algorithms to detect and automatically remove copyrighted material. In response, the communities sharing these videos (often cartoons and other media with devout fanbases) have developed elaborate methods to evade copyright detection, altering their video content by shifting its colors, flipping it left-to-right, placing it on top of another video, or obscuring it with a digital watermark. It is a game of cat-and-mouse, the video transformations getting more elaborate as Youtube’s software develops to detect them.
These video transformations, performed “out of necessity”, become a formal vocabulary of their own, one that is constantly being erased as Youtube removes the offending videos. 2×3-mp-2017-michaelbellsmith-full is built on this vocabulary. It is a self-pirated version of the work “2×3 (MP)” from Mall Punk, both an online version of a work in the exhibition and a unique work of its own.