A little while ago I linked to what some say is the most amazing music video of the year. I agree: It’s impressive.
Most viewers recognized this as a professional effort, but it certainly made use of the amateur aesthetic and idea of collaboration. Where did the concept come from?
Actually, I take that back. The question (where did the concept come from?) isn’t interesting. What’s interesting is the phrase I’ve bolded, “the amateur aesthetic and the idea of collaboration.” It’s particularly interesting because despite this open acknowledgment that this video was not a product of amateurs, and the collaboration was more of an idea (that is, a whole bunch of people simply did what they were told) than a reality, it still evidently qualifies to some observers as an example of something that’s been “crowdsourced.”
If that’s the case — if the crowd’s job is basically to follow orders from well-funded visionary authorities (four directors, two of whom are “creatives” at the global ad agency BBH), and kinda look all crowdy-like while doing so — then what, exactly, does crowdsourcing mean?
Is it about amateurs, or about “the amateur aesthetic”?
Is it about collaboration, or about “the idea of collaboration”?
And given that I’ve just said I think the end result is a really great video, what difference does it make? Is this just a matter of people applying trendy words to something impressive, because the trendy words happen to encapsulate the the 2.0 dogma of the moment?