The Guggenheim Museum in New York conducted a competition for the best short videos. (They plan to do this again biennially.) They got 23,000 submissions. Their volunteers cut those down to their "shortlist" of 125 videos. (You can also view these on their YouTube channel.) From the 125, I came up with a list of my favorites and honorable mentions.
To get onto any of my lists, a video usually had to catch my interest within the first minute or two. Some of the submissions run upwards of nine minutes and, as I discovered, could be quite tedious.
I didn't attempt to make this a scientific process, so there are probably some that I would have listed if they had caught me at a different moment. Within categories, the items are presented in no particular order, except for the Best category.
The ones on my Best list were the ones that I really had to watch again. Those on my Very Good list were videos that I was glad to see again. The Honorable Mentions are selections that I found creative, impressive, or otherwise worth watching.
Finally, the Also Noticed list contains those that I had originally listed, but then weeded out so that I would have just 25 finalists on my top three lists. After coming up with my own list of favorites, I looked at the Guggenheim judges' own top 25 list (below).
The Sound of One Tree Clapping
Western Spaghetti by PES
Mother of All Funk Chords
Neurosonics Audiomedical Labs Inc.
We Love Museums
In Order of Appearance
The Tale of Wendylin Wayne
Chronicles of Young Skywalker
The Iron (old and new Russia)
The Coincidental Dreamers
The Light Pressure of a Thought
Taxi III - Stand Up and Cry Like a Man*
This Too Shall Pass
I Met the Walrus*
The Guggenheim Judges' Top 25 Picks
The asterisked items (above) appeared on the Guggenheim Judges' list of the top 25 finalists. That is, my top 25 and their top 25 agreed on only five out of the 125 semifinalists.
When I lived in New York, I got tired of self-important, pretentious old art. I did notice that French was by far the most common non-English language among the entries on the shortlist. I don't know -- are the French just more artistic than everyone else?
Maybe I'm saying that I feel like I've seen a fair number of videos that seem better than most of these, just by browsing around YouTube. Of course, if my opinion carried weight, I'd be at the Guggenheim, selecting videos in French.
Maybe the Guggenheim will rely on YouTube to supply a broader selection of videos next time. I'm sure their process will evolve. I also hope something like the Whitney Museum of American Art conducts its own video contest. I think we'd see a different list.