Art + YouTube = MOCA TV

10.04.12 Lily Streeter

The Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles have made their first foray into the big, scary world of the internet, creating the “first ever original YouTube channel devoted to contemporary art”.

The first incarnation of their brand-new web channel MOCA TV was quietly launched Monday on YouTube, featuring nine videos with artists such as Robbie Conal, Alexis Smith and Dave Muller.

“Contemporary art is the new international language, unifying leading creators across art, music, fashion, film and design,” explained museum-director Jeffrey Deitch. “MOCA TV will be the ultimate digital extension of the museum, aggregating, curating and generating the strongest artistic content from around the world for a new global audience of people who are engaged in visually oriented culture.”

Presumably, Deitch hopes gain a fresh start and breath new life into the museum after a rather tumultuous summer. In June, the art world was shocked to witness the dethroning of chief-curator Paul Schimmel and the subsequent mass departure of high-profile board members such as John Baldessari, Barbara Kruger and Ed Ruscha. Deitch’s previous projects have been criticized by many for being frivolous and critics say they are not happy with the celebrity and fashion element Deitch has introduced to the museum.

While MOCA TV is not exactly an academic endeavor either, the channel marks an important step in the democratization of art. MOCA is clearly making an effort to reach out to the next generation of new patrons, and is offering a free three-month musuem membership for anyone who subscribes to the channel online.

So far, the channel has not received very strong feedback, except for a single eager comment on the promo: at least YouTube user Avi Ghandi thinks the project is “sooo cool.”