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Opinion

Reaction. Art Crictics React to

Reaction. Art Crictics React to

In thousands of videos hosted on the web, some of which garner millions of views, we see people reacting to movie trailers, new music releases, vintage TV shows, or trends from other social media. Let's talk about reaction videos, a genre that has gained popularity through platforms such as YouTube and Twitch and hints at both our voyeuristic drives and our need to establish emotional bonds through refraction. and reverberation. We sit in front of screens where we see one or more individuals watching other screens in a potentially infinite return of the viewer. Overlapping, commented, reacted screens ...

Emotional exegesis in which the content hardly matters anymore, what challenges us is the reaction of the observer, now turned into observed. Images where we see what we look at and who looks at it in the same frame. Emerging as something amateur and spontaneous, they have ended up evolving into a much more sophisticated and self-referential genre. On channels such as React, by the Fine Brothers, professional reactionaries - kids, teens, elders, youtubers, adults - watch all sorts of content. Sometimes, the citation (from the citation citation) gives rise to a chain of reactions in which the reactor is in turn “object of reaction”. This is the case of Kids react to Poppy, followed by Poppy reacts to kids react to Poppy, followed in turn by Kids react to Poppy reacts to kids react to Poppy.

In other videos of similar format, the so-called reaction mashups, dozens of screens inserted in the same box produce a cacophony of reactions in an endless coupling of reflections and responses. Product of an internet culture in which the value of exchange prevails, reaction videos allow the restoration of social ties through an elaboration of collective meaning. Users sharing content, viewing it collectively, and commenting on the activities of others to return to the presence of bodies, insert emotions, and discover that we are not alone. And wouldn't art criticism be such an exercise? Doesn't the reaction of the critic often carry more weight than the work itself? Isn’t art criticism an amalgam of reactions that seek to stand out, but end up being lost in the immensity of the like?

I propose a future channel: Art critics react to: art critics reacting in streaming to the best and worst seen in galleries, museums, fairs, biennials ... It could be the resurgence of art criticism, a direct and spontaneous critique, without mediation and without funnels.

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