(GIF by Hrag Vartanian/Hyperallergic)

Clickhole, the Onion‘s clickbait-parodying spin-off, is producing some of the best video art on the internet. The site’s administrators seem to have integrated the tricks and aesthetics of conceptual and video art, from matter-of-fact performance videos like Bruce Nauman’s “Walking in a Exaggerated Manner Around the Perimeter of a Square” (1967–68) to the deadpan humor of John Baldessari’s “I Am Making Art” (1971) and “Baldessari Sings LeWitt” (1972). Witness, for instance, Clickhole’s “You Can Write Whatever You Want On A Baby … And Here’s The Proof.”

The site’s video artists have also incorporated the tactics of more mainstream fodder. For instance, I found it impossible to watch “Get The Tissues Ready: Watch These People React To The First 10 Minutes Of ‘Up!’” without being reminded of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s viral stream-of-consciousness live commentary on Conan the Barbarian. The futility of responding to a film by simply describing what is happening on screen is a bottomless well of comedy — Schwarzenegger inadvertently stumbled into it, and now Clickhole has tapped it.

Recently, Clickhole ventured into self-reflexive territory pioneered by Douglas Gordon in his installation “24 Hour Psycho” with the maddeningly jumpy “Sorry, We Slowed Down This Video Of A Hummingbird Too Much.” There are even nods to Andy Warhol’s appropriations of advertising and mass-produced packaging in Clickhole videos like “Don’t Believe The Hype: This Can Has No Peas In It” and “Yes! Ham Goes Up An Escalator.”

So take note, curators: If Clickhole isn’t included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial or 2018 New Museum Triennial, I will write a scathing takedown — on a baby.

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Benjamin Sutton

Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...

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