Among the hundreds of thousands of videos uploaded daily to YouTube, surely a work of art is in there somewhere.
Such is the premise behind "YouTube Play: A Biennial of Creative Video," the first curated search for videos of a higher brow on the popular Google Inc.-owned website. From among more than 23,000 submissions from 91 countries, 125 videos were shortlisted for the inaugural biennial.
A curatorial team from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York selected the videos, which will play at kiosks in Guggenheim museums in New York; Berlin; Bilbao, Spain, and Venice, Italy, beginning Monday.
A jury that includes filmmaker Darren Aronofsky and visual artist Takashi Murakami will whittle the results down further to about 20 videos. Those will be presented at the Guggenheim in New York on Oct. 21.
"It’s become increasingly obvious that this kind of creative video is completely core to YouTube," said Anna Bateson, director of marketing for YouTube. "It’s a fundamental part of what the site is doing, and yet it wasn’t really being celebrated."
The chosen videos vary wildly, from well-known YouTube hits to little-seen works by students and amateurs.
More familiar selections include the OK Go music video "This Too Shall Pass," which features a Rube Goldberg apparatus, a complicated machine designed to perform a simple task, and the "Human Mirror" video, in which a subway car is lined by apparent twins mimicking each other’s movements, by the comedy troupe Improv Everywhere.
Others are less heralded, like a jogging video by multimedia performer Jillian Mayer, in which rural video is projected against the urban landscape along her path.
Many videos utilize various forms of animation, particularly stop-motion animation. Joe Penna, known to most as MysteryGuitarMan, pieces together a classical guitar piece one shot — and one note — at a time.
Joan Young, associated curator of contemporary art at the Guggenheim, said the selected videos show the breadth of the materials on YouTube.
"We focused on works that really were conceived from the start for an online medium, so not necessarily works that were to be projected in a museum space or works that simply documented a performance," she said. "The idea really is working with the medium."
The videos are assembled at http://www.youtube.com/play.