Pickle Crash

I made this remix in January of 2006 when Youtube was still relatively new. I remember staying up late mesmerized by this new window onto our culture, and I recall being fascinated by the way that the ethos of online video in that particular moment seemed to reiterate so much of what I’d read about the early days of cinema, when the exhibition context was still so connected to its vaudevillian roots and the cinematic medium was driven by spectacle. This thread of media history has been described by Tom Gunning as the “Cinema of Attractions”. In 2006 web video seemed to have returned us to these themes of slapstick, erotica, violence, and bodily risk. Of course we are still in that moment to varying degrees, but there was something about the early days of Youtube that felt like such a defining moment. For me, the youth driven meme of chugging pickle juice (as a proxy for alcohol binging) along with the erotic overtones of the pickle, as a spectacularized object, seemed ripe as subjects of remix. This material also offered a compellingly pairing with the Youtube era fascination for “Epic Fail” violence as two sides of spectacle—one disturbingly macabre and the other pointing to a potential loss of innocence. In this way, while the two very different tags, ‘crash’ and ‘pickle,’ might at first seem unrelated, for me they represented poles along a much larger continuum. They were part of a new 21st century language of spectacle, but one that harkened back to the early nickelodeon era and its spirit of participation and performative risk-taking. I remember being inspired to edit this after discovering the clip that’s shown in the final shot; it was such a perfect crystalizing moment that the rest of the remix just fell into place.