YouTube Tries to Get More Artsy, With Help From the Guggenheim

YouTube (s GOOG), the world leader in videos of skateboarding dogs and stupid human tricks, has never been particularly well known for high-brow content. For the most part, it’s left hosting artistic and experimental videos up to the likes of Vimeo (s IACI).

Well now it’s looking to change that approach. In cooperation with HP (s hpq) and the Guggenheim Museum, the video site this morning launched YouTube Play, an initiative to get more artistic content posted. With YouTube Play, the site seeks submissions of artistic, creative and experimental videos, with the best and brightest being shown off at a presentation ceremony at the Guggenheim in October.

In a post on the YouTube blog this morning, senior marketing manager Ed Sanders said the site was looking for “animation, motion graphics, narrative, non-narrative, or documentary work, music videos and entirely new art forms—creations that really challenge the world’s perceptions of what’s possible with video.”

As part of the YouTube Play initiative, the Guggenheim Museum in New York will showcase up to 20 videos at an event on Oct. 21, with simultaneous viewings at the Guggenheim museums in Bilbao, Venice and Berlin. The presentations will also be available on the YouTube Play site. To be considered, entrants must submit their videos to by July 31.

Of course, YouTube isn’t the only video site seeking submissions of creative video work. Vimeo will also have its first annual festival and awards program in October, with categories including Narrative, Remix, Original Series, Documentary, Music Video, Animation, Motion Graphics, Experimental and Captured. But while YouTube’s contest is only available to those with an account, Vimeo is accepting submissions from anyone who’s posted a video anywhere on the Internet. Vimeo’s contest also has a $25,000 grant up for grabs, which will go to the winner for the production of new web video work.

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