If you were not acquainted with Cory Arcangel as an artist and you came across his YouTube video of U2′s “Without or Without You” mashed-up with footage of the Berlin Wall coming down, it would read as a “normal” YouTube video. It seems like something that is native to YouTube and not to art.

We could say that it is a work, but not a work “of art.”

Furthermore, it is a really good example of a YouTube video. There is something stirring about it – emotional even. And it seems as though Arcangel went to a lot of work to make it as good as it is.

However, Arcangel is an artist and anything creative he does will inevitably function as an artwork in an art context.

So, what happens when this video is thought of as a work “of art”?

It works as a readymade, illuminating the genre of YouTube video that it mimics – the mash-up.

In the end, though, the beauty of it is not that it works as a YouTube video or as a work of art. Rather, by doing nothing other than shifting context, it illuminates the bridge between the two.

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