Sunday, March 31, 2013

"Remarkable Animals" or "Animation"?

The  ambiguity of categorisation.

While I've worked through the ds106 open documents list of categories on Youtube videos, I remembered that there are also categories designed by Youtube.
I've displayed both lists at the end of this document.
The differences are a more general approach in naming the categories by Youtube, whereas in the open document the naming is a kind of insider language, spoken by groups of people, so that I, as a non native speaker, not living in the USA, often could not find out what the content of the videos will be from the naming. Still after watching some videos I was able to sort out what any category means.
I thought it interesting to compare the two lists and at first sight the open document list is longer and I dare say you could unite some items like "everyday life as art" and "everyday life as a musical" which is art, too. Apart from that, ds106 students may have special interests, like stories which may have influenced the list so that some categories stated by Youtube are not included like "travel and event" or "education", whereas they have genres like "redubbed" or "mashups". Still, many points you can find in both lists like "politics", "science" and "animals", but the story tellers often mix this with "entertainment" ( "news politics" <-> funny/ entertaining politics).

However, anyone knows videos or movies often don't have just one genre they fit into, but more. I've already found this out for a movie scene I analysed previously ("Identity Matrices", at the end of the post).

For this post my insight concerning categories and genres expanded in the direction, that we in general  know for movies that they are fiction and that the categories all refer to this understanding of movies. Yet we can not have this agreement regarding Youtube videos, where you can find reality clips as well as clips of invented realms and ... both are often mixed and you do not even realize.

In the following I display two clips of elephants painting. I already can tell you that I prefer the first video as real but not the second.

v e r s u s

I also like the paintings produced by the elephant in the first video a great deal more and consider them art, whereas in the second they try to tell us art is when you display naïve images like elephants and flowers and that it is more impressing when an elephant can draw these images. I on the contrary am impressed by the real possibilities of an elephant concerning doing paintings. Maybe we also have to admit here that the idea of this beautiful art is made up by humans and I really would be curious what an elephant could tell us about what he considers art, if not anyway art is an idea of humans but not animals; and further coming back to genres: what list of genres an elephant would create?

Lists of Youtube video categories

open document list of ds106
  1. parodies
  2. everyday life as art
  3. everyday life as musical
  4. musicians with causes
  5. DIY tech/retro
  6. animation
  7. timlapse
  8. popular culture re-animated
  9. literature animated
  10. computer art
  11. inappropriate for church, but only church
  12. mashups
  13. making science cool
  14. unintentional hilarity
  15. WTF
  16. redubbed
  17. kids with accents
  18. strange and adorable children
  19. stereotyping
  20. funny/entertaining politics
  21. how to videos
  22. surprise of a lifetime
  23. animals doing human things
  24. doodle along song

Youtube list, which you can find on your own Youtube page, when you have to give your videos a category
  1. autos & vehicles
  2. comedy
  3. education
  4. entertainment
  5. film & animation
  6. gaming
  7. how to & style
  8. music
  9. news  & politics
  10. non profits  & activism
  11. people & blogs
  12. pets & animals
  13. science & technology
  14. sports
  15. travel & event


  1. Nice post.
    I like the way you start and then conclude your thoughts. Thanks for this nice information. I really appreciate your work, keep it up.
    animated video production