Gen “Look at ME!”

This may come as some surprise, but there's more on YouTube than Lady Gaga videos and home movies of cats cuddling with sheep. Plumb the service’s depths, past the clips of men getting hit in the balls with home appliances, and YouTube’s endless archives can reveal some profoundly surreal shit. “The Extreme Animals Sit Down: Music Is A Question with No Answer” is a live presentation using that other YouTube; it mashes up bizarre clips, live music, dancing, and theatrical flourishes in a display of thoroughly contemporary performance art. On a brief tour around the country, the Extreme Animals, a “high-NRG” electro outfit whose digital blips and bloops hold an intensity rare for electronic music, have presented a multimedia sensory assault. Riffing on the hyperactive obsession with youth that characterizes so many online videos, Jacob Ciocci and David Wightman consider the primacy of tween culture in the current attention economy, and they juxtapose displays of adolescent self-obsession (such as the now-notorious haul videos) against Saturday morning cartoons and sound collages. What might sound painfully academic on paper is raw and visceral in practice: It’s uneasy listening for people with strong stomachs and a taste for transmedia overload. If that’s you, there are few deconstructions of the cultural moment as bracing and revealing as this.
Tue., Sept. 7, 9 p.m., 2010

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