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In an attempt to disrupt the haphazard collection of archived videos that YouTube has become, artist duo Comenius Roethlisberger and Admir Jahic transformed the visual (and virtual) language of “broadcasting” into a physical medium by producing illustrations and recreating virtual references by allowing elemental art materials to do what they do best.
The two artists literally captured hundreds of individual frames from popular and bizarre YouTube videos and rendered them in colored pencil on handmade paper.
More examples (cropped for better visibility):
Drawings from the project were recently on exhibit at Colette where you can still find some available for purchase:
and here's part of the installation at Miami Basel:
as well as an installation in Kuwait:
Many of the captured frames are from some of the most popular and well-known YouTube videos. Several of these have already sold. I'm sure you'll recognize a few of these. Again, the following images are cropped so you can get a better look at the drawings.
Each drawing measures 21 inches x 31 inches (56cm x 76cm) and is based on a rendered freeze-frame, complete with video title, user ratings and number of views.
Each is available for purchase. Cost is 400 euro for the unframed drawings and 500 euro for the framed drawings.
Size: 21” X 30”/ 56 CM X 76 CM)
Medium: Colored Pencils (CARAN D’ACHE / LUMINANCE) on handmade paper
If you’d like a commission of your favorite YouTube moment, please send the artists the link of the video (send it to email@example.com). If they like the video, they will select a second to render and draw for you.
Part of the project, WITHOUT YOU BABY, THERE AIN’T NO US, shown below at the Scope Art Fair, Basel, featured 605 framed drawings of frames from the YouTube video "The Star Wars Kid":
A review of the project, WITHOUT YOU BABY, THERE AIN’T NO US by Harlan Levey (Modart Magazine):
When Swiss artists COMENIUS ROETHLISBERGER AND ADMIR JAHIC, showed the first selection of their time intensive project Without You Baby, There Ain’t No Us, visitors to the Scope Art Fair in Miami found the same sort of fascination browsing their unique drawings as they likely do surfing through YouTube channels.
Attracted to pieces for personal and diverse reasons, depending who you spoke with people were drawn to an image itself (the colors of the Dramatic Chipmunk come to mind), as often as they were to the amazing amount of interest in a particular video (more than 12 million viewers have checked out the ‘evolution of dance’ already), or for the sake of nostalgia (I couldn’t resist the image of Little Man vs Big Machine or the making of Thriller, both of which have become historical markers in my life).
There are a number of intriguing and relevant aspects of this project, but that is part of the fun labor of viewing in it and won’t be polluted here. Seeing the work in the context of an art fair, one nearly crass point is revealed and this is that the output of what is actually an extensive and complex research, is succinctly translated into a new medium to produce art, which is affordable, desirable and potentially relevant to us all for various personal reasons.
If there were something like a message shining through, it would not be a direct comment on the phenomenon, but rather on the artists’ view that subjective (often absurd) personal experiences provide as much food for thought as any mediated information can. It is a work that is from people, for people and accessible to all people. In a time of diverse crisis, this democratic idealism and strict work ethic is not misplaced.
The artists amongst their work at the Scope Art Fair in New York:
For more information about the project and the artists visit these sites:
Without You baby
Check out Comenius Roethlisberger's Sweetest Invitation exhibit of famous luxury brand logos made of sugar powder and cocaine here.