apexart :: COMVIDEO
An Open Call Exhibition
With an essay by Pinky Carnage

November 10 – December 22, 2010

291 Church St. New York, NY 10013

Opening reception:
Wed, Nov 10, 6-8 pm

We invited artists and creative others from around the world to cut, dub, reverse, add to, and otherwise manipulate at least one broadcast commercial and submit a 60 second video. We asked you to add a critical element to the exhibition by watching and voting on as many videos as you'd like. The creator of the winning video will receive $2,000, and the top five videos will be shown on a public screen in Manhattan.

comvideo brochure

download brochure pdf
download press release pdf
view images page

Including 124 videos submitted from 19 countries.
Konstantin Adjer, Alterazioni Video, Michael Amter, Joaquin Aras, Mia Ardito, Johnny Ayala, Man Bartlett, Neno Belchev, Stephen Beveridge, Raul Biagi, Kelly Blessing, Anthony Bodin, Kyle J. Bowman, Lisa M Bradley, Josh Bricker, Jason Burns, Marcos Calvari, Marco Casado, Rafael Casarini, Larry Caveney, Christopher Chambers, Dan Chen, Andrea Chung, Roland Robert Cowperthwaite, Paul Crook, Donald Daedalus, Irina Danilova, Harold Davis, Jr., Ian Deleon, Deena DeNaro, Roland Denning, Josh Deveau, Austin Dickson, Alfred Dong, Don Edler, Nicky Enright, Douglas Filiak, Karina Fisher, Kelly Flanagan, Cacy Forgenie, Christopher Garcia, Susan Greenspan, Antonella Grieco and, Martina Allegra De Rosa, H&M, Dr. Mark D. Harmon, Tia Haygood, Tricia Jacobs, Marco Antonio Cardenas Jansen, Maria Fernanda Jaramillo, judsoN, Gautam Kansara, Ji Yong Kim, Jiyeon Kim, Laura Kim, Nicholas Knight, Jinyoung Koh, The Ladies Auxiliary, Jordyn Larkins, Alex Lee, Marcin Lodyga, Cyriaco Lopes, Erik Lumbela, Mores McWreath, Gary Mei, Dato Mio, MomenTech, Johanna Moore, Erik Nelson, Romy Northover, Donald O’Finn, Taryn Packheiser, Katherine Parken, Ben Pederson, Scott Peehl, Ilaria Pezone, Michael Pezzulo, Kara Phelps, Ada Pinkston, Anat Pollack, The Push Pops Collective, Sean Raspet, Ernesto Recuero, Caitlyn Redden, Katelin Rix, Elina Roditou, Dinorah de Jesús Rodriguez, Lisa Rosen, Sim Sadler, Shane Schaber, David Schilling, Lindsay Scoggins, Wesley Shang, Katie Shelly, Beto Shwafaty, Sofia Silva, Ana Skourou, Casey Smith, Kathryn Stiegler, Matthew Stock, Gregory Sullivan, Shashwati Talukdar, Michael Tauschinger-Dempsey, Maciej Toporowicz, Sergio Torres, Angeliki Tsotsoni, Aaron Valdez, Daniela Valle, Giorgia Vian, Echo June Vincent, Paul Vincent, Stavro Christo Vlachakis, Ela W. Walters, Linda Weiss, Jessica Westbrook and, Adam Trowbridge, Beth Wexler, Joy Whalen, Paul Wiersbinski, Jeanne Wilkinson, Lucas Wilson, Jason Wun, Huang Xing, Mary Younkin, Emila Kurylowicz Cezary Zacharewicz, Jody Zellen

Thanks to wooloo.org for their support.

Ah, commercials.

They are so relentless and the antithesis of informative. When they try to entertain it comes off as your annoying uncle who has the ultimate tin ear for humor and can’t make a point if there was a gun to his mother’s head. Commercials are one of the most interesting love children of capitalism and ego, trying to seduce the viewer with a trite marketing equation, formulated to have money ejaculate from your less than aroused pocket. They are all charm with their aggression while pretending to be your buddy. They care about you, what you are into, and what makes you tick. They are so grooooovy that they can play hacky-sack with you or have a beer, go antiquing, or party with chicks with huge tits. Whatever you want, they want, as long as you want them.

Oh golly, those fucking commercials. They are everywhere and never go away. If they could figure out a way to have you sell the first person you see when you come out of your mother’s baby hole they would have done it by now. And in some ways I think they already have. It’s existentialist at times; are the commercials (the product) what it sees in itself, or a reflection of what we see in it? And from whose supposed standpoint is the 5-30 second piece of benevolent art made? In turn we either respond by buying the product or using the same techniques to sell ourselves. I barely know anyone in their 20s who isn’t their own little ministry of self propaganda, armed and prepared at the push of a button to launch an assault of "shock and all about me" in order to sell themselves to each other.

Back in the olden times the burden was on an industry of advertisers to tell us, through their shoddy fabricated research what the best product was, why it was so unbelievably average, and then wrap it up in a tidy catch phrase or jingle. Most people went to work and purchased things and went back to work to get more dough to purchase things. Basically having you middle-manning your own income.

Currently the promotion/advertising genie is not only out of the bottle; it has a car, a condo, and is banging the same chicks with huge tits that your buddy (the commercial) is using in his sales pitch. If anyone wants to check out what is really going on with a product or commodity they can look into it pretty easily; jingles and catch phrases (while still employed like the Dickens) are these amazing dinosaurs, memes unto themselves. The best chance products have anymore of remaining in our collective conscience is to accidentally display how out of touch their masters are. Laundry detergent will most likely always sell but when the pitch is absolutely tone deaf and useless, the more it will be spoken about, passed around, and ultimately discovered. Once perfectly likable hucksters making the product and those using it in the ad (by extension how great you’ll look using it) have more recently evolved into intentional messes. So now they are trying to not sell you a product but sell you a bizarre, poorly conceived concept that has so much uninspired effort poured into it that they still get it wrong. The people who are masters at having no clue are horrible at presenting the world with a clueless concept.

God Damn I love to hate commercials. Every time I see one I can’t even begin to pay attention because all I can think is why do they still make these barely polished turds? Why? Because they work and when they don’t exist the financial house of cards explodes. Next thing you know you won’t be able to watch the latest Jim Belushi/Dan Aykroyd effort or see the latest fear mongering on cable news and you actually may miss something good. I’m speaking mostly in terms of television of course, but thank God there is a God because it has now transferred to the Internet; a place that I remember people idealizing as a utopian commercial free entity. No, no, no. Commercials are the most aggressive virus known to man, why the frig wouldn’t they mutate and find a new host in the body of the lil’ baby Internet.

The Internet is like the paperless office that never was. For a while there were no ads and now fucking commercials are everywhere doing the same thing. I have a website called street carnage (shameless plug) that I do with my lover and confidante Gavin. Recently I was told that we have finally arrived at the point where we can be the hosts of goddamn commercials. We need the revenue to exist and they need to advertise to our audience who immediately and eloquently get to call us assholes and remind that us they hate being advertised to! It’s a glorious lose-lose-win. For the advertisers, they get publicity and their own names spelled right. As long as you say the name of the shoe company or recognize the emblem that’s all that matters to them. Coke and Pepsi don’t need to keep advertising, they are beyond ubiquitous, but it’s like a war of attrition; if one stops the other will most likely win and do so rapidly. Even if that’s not the case they would never take the chance to find out for sure. I mean why bother, Coke ads are more Coke than Coke itself.  However I wish they would give it a go. "Sorry guys, we’ve marketed enough for the next 500 years so we’re gonna take off. Hmm, about 100 yrs off, cool?" Madison Avenue would transform into a pie-chart strewn version of the Road Warrior with feeble, whiney ad people weeping in their Benzes.

The domino effect would be of Puerto Rican proportions! From the printers to the networks, to the websites (like mine at streetcarnage.com where we are proud to say we have a little something for everyone so check us out!), to the photographers, to the actors, to the camera people, to the craft service, to the ….. No one would have enough money to afford a cool refreshing beverage during the financial Armageddon that would ensue.

Or would we just be fine? Why do I have a feeling that the void would be chugging a new beverage made by the same company under the illusion that a newer, tastier, cooler, more bionic, eco-friendly soda was there to save the day along with commercials that echo that free spirit of that brave new world?

Lovely commercials. We are going to be in bed with them forever. I once had an idea for corporate sponsored L.E.D. tombstones. A very cool idea by the way! Death and taxes and taxing commercials. Commercials are oxygen for capitalism and communism where even the proletariat need to be sold on the benefits of their political system. Military parades and missive paintings of the party and its leaders are marvelous commercials. So if they are oxygen let’s take a deep breath and enjoy them. I will break down some of my favorite ads and why they work for me. Whether or not it was the perceived intention of the sponsor.

The "Buddy" ads – Cool trendy say-nothing-good times
The "Straight Talker" – insurance, religious
The "Inevitability Quotation" ads – Just for men - b) Adult diapers
The "heaven sent" ads – Drugs
The "We don’t even get it"ads – Mentos, Stride, sugar cereals
The" Go guilt you parents" ads


apexart’s exhibitions and public programs are supported in part by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Edith C. Blum Foundation, Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, The Greenwich Collection Ltd., The William Talbott Hillman Foundation, and with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.