Sometimes
we
speak
a little

stuff by staff

DeriveTV appeared at the very moment when on the square in front of MACBA (one of the most important contemporary art centers not only for Barcelona ​​but internationally) a smartphone was stolen from Dmitry Stepanov, one of the co-organizers, which by that moment had already been used many times to bring online drifts around Barcelona and Basel. The lack of the smartphone and the inability to purchase a new one for broadcasting put a formal (or technical, to be more precise) restriction in front of the streamer, which led to a new form in that situation: streaming the previously recorded videos on Facebook. A radical change in the approach to streaming, as it turned out, opened up the prospect of creating online television for co-organizers of DeriveTV.

During one of those broadcasts, Alexander Minchenko, who had then turned his attention to sound, radio, and television, suggested launching a project for delayed online streams on social media, which, on the one hand, would allow to implement and deploy the method (live broadcasts of pre-recorded data), comprehending the possibilities of the medium and working with it; on the other hand, it would create a platform for showing those videos that had not appeared on screens of the large institutional world that tends to restrict the artistic space to fit its needs.

Many video works really have no place to be shown

Many video-based works have no place to be demonstrated since the situation of the show requires an event that would draw attention to itself.
The presence of such an event in contemporary conditions is problematic due to concentration dispersion and tight time management arose from the tremendous speed and amount of data around us.

Many of the works already shown on DeriveTV have never appeared anywhere, and are unlikely to be. Those that are uploaded to online services and platforms, or “published,” are simply drowning in the speed and volume of insane information flows.

Moreover, the truth is: no one watches artworks on Youtube; password-protected videos on Vimeo are uploaded only in order not to be sent to the next festival — just because it is impossible to force yourself to do anything to be represented in the world of great art (and then doing nothing).

To be shown, art needs an exhibition, which means a sociality where the dialog can happen and unfold. That is why our view focused precisely on social media as an environment where various communities gather, and the situation of showing video work can be realized. Facebook and Vk alert mechanisms act in such a way that DeriveTV’s existence and activities are brought to the surface of attention where they cannot go unnoticed. These social networks provide quite totalitarian mechanisms, shaping the informational behavior of their users and modeling the attention space around them. However, in our opinion, their tools are still subservient to work with in order to create that porosity through which the power can flow off.

And the truth is: no one watches artworks on Youtube

From the very beginning, we were aware of the fact that easily perceptible border between open and closed access for one or another media product (in our case, video) no longer exists. Some videos that can be seen at large solo exhibitions, like works created by well-known masters of contemporary art, are demonstrated either under “restricted access” or “access by reference” limitations. No one will ever see those works from “not-so-famous” authors that are posted publicly on Youtube or anywhere by their creators, and even if someone does, then dry figures, such as 27 views or 27,000 views compared to the multimillion hit by Despacito will say all about their perspectives.

There is no video, no artwork outside the situation of an exhibition, the show. A fantastic genre – “video for your own hard drive” – although being maintained by people of very noble spirit, nevertheless speaks more about the symptom of the disease than about its nobility — on the symptom of a particular disease in the field of contemporary art where mechanisms and places for presenting self-produced videos work very poorly. We do not want to declare any rotting tendencies: in the end, there are film and video art festivals with free participation, although it seems to us the audience that watches videos and films there is quite specific and narrow, often being limited by actors of the artistic field, inside which these festivals happen. Here we want to recall the existence (to varying degrees) of specific problems, which are difficult to deny.

Considering all the mentioned above, of course, we wanted to try to create such a field in which the situation of the show could be built in a new way. The live broadcast in FB and VK is still a virtual theater scene that suddenly unfolds in one of the areas of this online space. The space that is being checked by its users every couple of minutes and where free surfing actors can happily connect to a random video — even for a short period.

At the same time, we deliberately refused to store videos in the DeriveTV group so that viewers would not be able to return to watch them later, or, more precisely, postpone them, that means, postpone for a distant moment that will never occur at all.

Oddly enough, this approach, which makes each DeriveTV video viewing activity unique, turned out to have opened an ecological perspective as well. Refusing to store anything and pointing at this, DeriveTV wants to speak up against the overflow of virtual space with petabytes of data, that arises only because of a free possibility for its emergence — but there are very few reasons for it.

We deliberately refused to store videos in the DeriveTV group so that viewers would not be able to return to watch them later

DeriveTV is trying to structure the field of social networks users’ attention in such a way as to begin to see moments of escape and possibility of omission in the array of stored data, thus opening the possibility for restructuring ways of interacting with information on the Internet.

Perhaps everything written here appears to be too pathetic, and we are neither strong believers in all of this and nor firmly convinced of something of this too. For us, the openness of perspective is important, as on the edge of which, like a cloud, looms the possibility of something else, something different in relation to what we already have now. Maybe at the edge of this perspective only aerial materialization of phantasms exist — the same clouds that about to melt. However, being under the influence of these objects, we recall the path from the abstract idea to concrete things, the path of materialization, the path of production.

DeriveTV team, december 2018