Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Last Ten Videos I Watched on YouTube Interview

It turns out that moving continents can be more stressful, anxiety causing, and crazy than I had anticipated. You'd think I'd know better by now. Reviews should return next week, but until then I'll be running some interviews I recently completed.

The first is an interview about my zine The Last Ten Videos I Watched on YouTube that I completed for a girl who attends the London College of Communication (apparently my zine is in their library!). Her project was about how video sites effect how people interact with art, and apparently my zine was interesting to her. Amazing! I still have copies of this zine available, so if you'd like one just let me know.

What made you choose the videos you did for inclusion in the zine?

It was literally the ten videos I watched in full on YouTube in chronological order after I decided to make the zine. It was just after the Lady Gaga Telephone video came out, and the internet was filled with people talking about that, so I choose that as the starting point, and over the next few days I screendshotted (what an awkward word) and wrote about every video I watched. I didn't include videos I didn't watch all of (and there was at least one I stopped so I didn't include it in the zine, I can't remember what it was or why I didn't want it though), or videos I had open in the background so that I could listen to the music.

I thought it was an interesting look at what I actually watched on Youtube, and kind of showed how random some of the stuff up there is.

What made you choose YouTube as a zine subject?

I think it was a combination of several factors, primarily being people not understanding what a zine was and when you told them wondering why you didn't just do it as a blog or a website. I'd recently made a zine in the same format (sideways quartersized?) and realized that an image of a YouTube video would fit on the page pretty well. So I thought "Why not make a zine that _would_ make considerably more sense as a website?". YouTube comments (and many comments on websites in general) are generally thought of as stupid and things that you should ignore, so I found it amusing to write some and print them in a zine, "forcing" people to read them.

You might not be able to tell now (or from the quality of the zine you read), but I really attempted to make the zine look as much like YouTube as possible. It has the same fonts, style, and images as the website did at the time. Funnily about a week after I finished making the zine YouTube revamped the design of their website so that my zine now also functions as an archive of what YouTube looked like in March

Why make this zine in the first place?

Why make any zine at all? Why make anything at all? Because I thought it was a funny thing to do, and because other zine projects I was working on where getting bogged down as I got fed up with them. I like to have a new zine ready for each zine event I go to (even if I don't always manage!), and I made this one in less than two weeks before a Midlands Zinester meetup I helped organize. I can spend ages on zines that I care about a lot, but I seem to get more response from the silly, funny ones that take less time to make (my guide to last year's Eurovision song contest, a zine that reviewed various flavours of crisps). One of the best responses to this one have been people telling me that after reading the zine they've gone out and searched for some of the videos I "reviewed". I don't think this zine could be more successful than that.

I started making a second issue of YouTube videos, but I stopped about halfway through grabbing images. I've got about five videos screenshotted (and some of them are pretty good!), and another one bookmarked, but somehow it would seem weird to specifically go out and watch videos that are wierd on purpose. I liked the mundanity of some of them. I am currently working on another zine about the internet, which is a story/history inspired by a Wikipedia page. We'll see how that one goes.

And just because I can, here are a couple of quotes about the zine from some people.

Jimi Gherkin (one of the organizers of the London Alternative Press Fairs, and who I reviewed last month) said "I really enjoyed [the] zine [...] [I] wish I'd thought of it!!".

Lights Go Out (a UK punk fanzine) said "Genius! [...] Seriously such a fun and unique zine!".

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