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Concepts of the database in contemporary media practice

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Contemporary remix practices in online video have flourished, due to the unprecedented access to our shared media culture that has been made possible by the databases underpinning online space. The technological and functional specificities of the database intercede our experiences in digital culture and influence how we understand our culture that increasingly occupies the database. They also influence how we express ideas about that culture through creative practices. The technological and, correspondingly, cultural significances of the database are articulated in the digitally specific remix video sub-genre, YouTube Poop. YouTube Poop relies on the database for the existing media content that it appropriates. Moreover, it narratively and aesthetically responds to the database by articulating the concepts of technological error, ahistoricism, multi-temporality, media abundance, the constant availability and the achronological, non-hierarchical, unclassified nature of media that the database has introduced to contemporary culture. In this article, the audio-visual narratives of three recent YouTube Poop videos are analysed in order to establish how they articulate the conceptual implications of the database in contemporary digital culture.
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Keywords: YouTube Poop; aesthetics; audiovisuality; database; narrative; remix

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Trinity College Dublin

Publication date: 01 April 2017

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