Is it art?

If you create a symphony orchestra out of hundreds of individual videos of people playing their notes by themselves somewhere else, is it really an orchestra?

YouTube asked people — amateurs and professionals — to send in videos of themselves playing a piece composed by Tan Dun. Then they created a mashup of all the submissions.

There actually is an orchestra, however. The winners are appearing tonight at Carnegie Hall.

Could this method of creating art somehow bypass the regional orchestra?

  • Lesli in Minneapolis

    How about a choir doing something similar–without knowing what song they were singing?

  • Bob Collins

    I think we should create a News Cut…err… something. Circus maybe?

  • Matt

    Something more impressive (in my humble opinion): ThruYou. Kutiman is an Israeli producer/musician who scoured through clips on YouTube and mashed them together to make new songs. What’s neat is going back through his credits and watching the clips alone — really neat stuff.

  • Lesli in Minneapolis

    Uh, Bob? That circus already exists. It’s called “Facebook”.

    To your actual question “Is it art?”, I’d answer with an unequivocal maybe. These compositions are simply being orchestrated and delivered in a new way, using the tools of the age. If you consider the result aesthetically pleasing, emotionally provocative, or evolving the medium, you’re probably onto something.