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Guggenheim To Showcase YouTube Videos

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the neal-cassady-and-the-star-wars-kid dept.

Social Networks 66

dward90 writes "The Guggenheim Museum in New York has begun a program to submit YouTube videos to be declared High Art. From PCW: 'Are your YouTube videos so good they deserve to be in a museum? Thanks to a partnership between Google and the Guggenheim Museum in New York you stand, at least, a remote chance. The search giant and one of the most famed museums in the world for modern and contemporary art are collaborating on a new project called YouTube Play: A Biennial of Creative Video. The project will showcase up to 20 video works submitted to YouTube at the Guggenheim in New York on October 21, and online at YouTube.com/Play.'"

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66 comments

In case you can't find the YouTube exhibit... (4, Funny)

Izabael_DaJinn (1231856) | more than 3 years ago | (#32578460)

It's wedged in between the Tubgirl and Goatse displays.

Re:In case you can't find the YouTube exhibit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32585152)

It's wedged in between the Tubgirl and Goatse displays.

Wait, I thought that was where the meatspin display went???

i can haz cheezburger (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32578462)

What's next, lol cats?

I hope all of you find peace. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32578478)

I do not know many of you on slashdot. I have read this website for the last decade.

I only have hope that in your lives, you find peace.

God be with you.

Of course Youtube videos can be high art (4, Insightful)

selven (1556643) | more than 3 years ago | (#32578506)

Our society has already accepted that video is a legitimate form of artistic expression, and there are movies that are considered high art. Youtube is just a distribution medium, so if video can be high art so can Youtube video.

Re:Of course Youtube videos can be high art (2, Insightful)

nyctopterus (717502) | more than 3 years ago | (#32578540)

Absolutely. The "can x be art?" angle these sorts of stories pull is inane. "Yes" is the answer.

Re:Of course Youtube videos can be high art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32579198)

Then the question then becomes, "Is it art?" and it's usually less obvious that it's the case.

Re:Of course Youtube videos can be high art (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#32579950)

Actually, anything that is called art is art. You can only then determine if it is 'good' or 'bad' art based on its substance and how well that substance is communicated.

Re:Of course Youtube videos can be high art (1)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 3 years ago | (#32579200)

In traditional media outlets, the production of video is wholly choreographed by professionals with typically years of experience and education.

I don't think the question is "Can video be art?", but more succinctly "Can amateur video be considered high art?"

Undoubtedly the answer is yes. But if you browse youtube, I think you'll find it takes quite a lot of searching to find really well made video that could be considered high art. The only one I can think of off the top of my head, I can't even find right now. It was a short with a guy whose dog had to be put down. Wish I could remember it now, it was really powerful.

Re:Of course Youtube videos can be high art (1)

macshit (157376) | more than 3 years ago | (#32585602)

But if you browse youtube, I think you'll find it takes quite a lot of searching to find really well made video that could be considered high art.

Sooo, pretty much the same as any medium then?

[As an aside, I've never understood the whining by the MPAA that "youtube is all our stuff! (waaahhh)". The best stuff on youtube, by far, is original work, much of it by amateurs (something which no doubt makes the MPAA's blood run cold...).]

Re:Of course Youtube videos can be high art (1)

DriedClexler (814907) | more than 3 years ago | (#32586954)

It's art when an elite, serious-sounding group with an aura of superiority decides it counts as art ... sucks for you if you're the artist and have already died. They just couldn't be *bothered*.

Re:Of course Youtube videos can be high art (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32578832)

See, thats where the twist lies. Youtube has grown to be more than just a medium. It's an entire sub culture of the internet. I think where they are going with this is,

"is your youtube video considered High Art and manages to get half a million views in a weekend? "

I think thats what they are getting at. Calling it "Viral Art" just doesn't sound right, I guess. Any video that is considered art could be uploaded to Youtube and thus becomes Youtube Art, therefor nullifying the whole idea. I think what they are going for is the High Art videos that were uploaded to Youtube to be shared, and got really popular really fast.

The one that comes to my mind is that guy who photographed himself everyday for a few years.

Re:Of course Youtube videos can be high art (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#32580104)

Did somebody question whether youtube videos could be art? The Guggenheim already said they would have an exhibit. The only question is which videos will be selected.

The other question is whether youtube videos play any better at the Guggenheim than they do on your PC at home, i.e. do we really need a Guggenheim any more? Artists love exploring those kids of questions so I'm sure it is part of the purpose of the exhibit.

It's about time (3, Insightful)

SnugglesTheBear (1822258) | more than 3 years ago | (#32578510)

It's about time Chocolate rain, star wars kid, numa numa, and fart in the duck get the intellectual respect they deserve.

Why Youtube? (3, Interesting)

ThoughtMonster (1602047) | more than 3 years ago | (#32578526)

Isn't Vimeo more art-oriented than Youtube? A very large amount of videos on Vimeo can seriously be classified as visual art.

Re:Why Youtube? (4, Insightful)

ladadadada (454328) | more than 3 years ago | (#32578942)

Because Google doesn't own Vimeo. This is a partnership between Google and the Guggenheim Museum.

Re:Why Youtube? (1)

moumine (637104) | more than 3 years ago | (#32584454)

Because Google doesn't own Vimeo. This is a partnership between Google and the Guggenheim Museum.

It should be rebranded as Googleheim Museum then

Re:Why Youtube? (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#32578964)

Because the, "What, what? In the butt," video couldn't be found on Vimeo. And when it comes down to it, that's a pretty good representation of our current cultural values. =P

Re:Why Youtube? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#32580120)

The cultural values of the underclass do not survive over time. People remember the Baroque culturally for Vivaldi not Punch and Judy.

Re:Why Youtube? (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 3 years ago | (#32582480)

It depends [wikipedia.org]

Re:Why Youtube? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#32584896)

Name me one major folk artist or work of folk art that is more than two centuries old without looking it up. I expect that you cannot do it. Almost all folk art over time becomes marginal to culture and society, primarily because it is very localized in scope and appeal to the time and place that it was created. The artists and works that are most commonly remembered transcend time and place.

Re:Why Youtube? (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 3 years ago | (#32586372)

African tribal masks.

Inuit totem polls.

Any fairy tale you can think of.

Ring around the Rosie.

Swedish Dala horses

the subset of graffiti that qualifies as art

Illuminated bibles

Buddha statues

Obviously I can't name folk artists (almost by definition), but a if I ask you to think about a culture (especially a non-western one), chances are you're going to picture their folk art and architecture.

Re:Why Youtube? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32589978)

You're naming categories, not specific works. That's like my asking for a memorable model of vehicle and you say 'Fords!' Bullshit. You're just proving my point that you can't name a work without looking one up.

Fairy tales as they are made memorable to the culture at large are usually filtered as abstractions through high artists in the form of professional authors like Hans Christian Andersen.

The closest you get is with Ring Around the Rosie, which is a short children's rhyme which is probably only a couple centuries old and therefore out of the scope of the challenge (unless you believe the bunk that it comes unaltered from the 14th century then gets forked wildly in the 19th). I suggest that this too will fall out of the collective consciousness in another century or so. No nursery rhymes have survived longer than three hundred years in common practice. It just proves my point further.

Re:Why Youtube? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#32591810)

By the way, the AC was me. I hate it when the box accidentally gets checked.

Re:Why Youtube? (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 3 years ago | (#32594344)

You're mostly right, but I'm not sure that helps your original point, that the cultural values of the underclasses don't survive.

No, there aren't widely known exemplars of folk art, but that's basically axiomatic. However, the thousands of Buddha statues, and shinto shrines, the countless cave painting, embroidery and lace samplers, etc, etc. are examples of the underclasses values and arts surviving.

As for fairy tales, and epic poems, the author is almost universally some unknown traveling bard, not Aesop, not Homer, and not the brothers Grimm. The people the fairy tales are attributed to are the collectors, not the authors, and they are considerably older than a couple of centuries. (Hans Christian Anderson is different - he is mostly an original author, but his work is also much more recent, like Rudyard Kipling).

Re:Why Youtube? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32595610)

Buddha statues are not inherently folk art. Yes, the village statues frequently are, but the ones that are well known are usually commissioned by kings and sculpted by greatly skilled craftsmen. Foreign != folk. The same goes for Shinto shrines. The most famous were constructed at the direction of important figures at varying levels of Imperial Japanese ruling class employing highly skilled craftsmen.

And while cave paintings 'survive' that's pretty much all they do. People value them simply because they are old, the way an archeologist values a stone tool or potsherd, not because many people think they are aesthetically compelling. They are not active or well known to the aesthetic sense of the collective consciousness or culture at large (which is what I meant by 'survive' in my initial statement, not simple physical survival). It's also anachronistic to call cavemen an underclass, as it is unlikely that Paleolithic societies were meaningfully class-based.

You're not helping your argument with fairy tales. If the collector writes, rewrites, and edits them, through whose eyes does society really see the tale? Not the author's, but the collector's. The point is that the middle and upper classes are the ultimate gatekeepers of what survives the centuries culturally because the lower class is, in the civilized world, too fickle to keep teaching the same things generation upon generation, as the middle and upper classes do with the great works of the Greeks and Romans.

Re:Why Youtube? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#32596192)

Jesus, accidental ACing [slashdot.org] twice with the same person... I need to stop scrolling and clicking around.

Re:Why Youtube? (1)

AndersOSU (873247) | more than 3 years ago | (#32597650)

he point is that the middle and upper classes are the ultimate gatekeepers of what survives the centuries culturally because the lower class is, in the civilized world, too fickle to keep teaching the same things generation upon generation, as the middle and upper classes do with the great works of the Greeks and Romans.

Two points, first, of course the upper classes act as gatekeepers for culture. The history of human civilization is uneducated masses looking up to their social superiors. Second, it's not as if the upper classes are incapable of passing on the culture of the lower classes. For example I don't imagine barons were particularly concerned about marrying princes.

Religion is an interesting example. Maybe the powerful penned the texts (since the poor weren't literate), but religious art, including holy texts, more closely reflects folk culture than high society.

It's not about through who's eye the tale is seen, but rather, who's culture it reflects.

Re:Why Youtube? (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#32584294)

Interesting assertion. Perhaps that was true in the case that you refer too, but it is not true in the case of America. By all rights, the pioneer/cowboy archetype/culture was considered an underclass...as compared to the Southern Dandies and the Yankee Industrialists. Yet, cowboy values and culture are still a very inherent part of our national identity. Or did you think all that self-made, independent, rugged, manly huff and puff that we Americans put up was just a bunch of bullshit we pulled out of thin air? When it comes down to it, things like stoicism, scrutiny, skepticism, and mistrust as as rampant as they are in American culture because of the cultural values of an older underclass, the cowboy (and they got a lot of those values from the Native Americans, which were very much considered an underclass in terms of American society).

Re:Why Youtube? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#32585218)

"Cowboy values" are just a derogatory way of stating a value for honest hard work, self-reliance, and common decency. Those things predate the cowboy by a century or two, and were common in the colonial Americans as a matter of nature (only people who were daring or had nothing to lose would come to the colonies in the beginning) and of necessity. You ever hear of the 'Protestant work ethic'?

The cowboy was essentially the colonial culture twice distilled. Where the colonies were founded by only those people daring or rootless enough to leave Europe, the American West was founded by only those people who were daring and rootless enough to leave that society and go deeper into the undeveloped wilderness. It is a direct lineage, and very little if any influence came from Native American society. Not to mention that they were already culture contaminated anyway. There's a picture in the US Senate Indian Affairs committee room of a tribal chief returning from Washington, DC, walking with a snazzy cane and wearing a suit coat with tails, a top hat, and with pockets full of trinkets. You might as well speak of how Japanese culture is affecting American youth through anime, regardless of the fact that anime itself is a direct product of the influence of American culture on Japan. Cultures in relationships of any kind of exchange are an ecosystem of varying degrees of feedback (cultural synthesis/syncresis). And on that note, you're ignoring the socio-cultural contributions of second wave immigration.

The cowboy was the last bastion of the distilled American frontier spirit, born in the colonies. I should add it is remembered primarily as an abstraction. Movies like High Noon might also be high art, but that doesn't make their subject art any more than a painting of something makes the thing painted art in of itself. 'Western art' is an abstraction, and only gets more so as time makes it more and more romanticized until finally it is as much fantasy as the art related to medieval life.

Re:Why Youtube? (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#32591892)

Hmmmm. Well I didn't really put much effort into making my case, but you still ignored my point entirely. Whether or not, 'cowboy values,' are the products of other cultural lineage (which, I have no doubt, they are) has little to do with my assertion that those same frontiersmen, pioneers, colonial settlers, etc. were, during their respective time periods, considered members of an underclass (or, at the very best, an alternative class). Either way, they were not members of an elite social order. Yet, their values (self-reliance, etc.) have survived into modern day in a very powerful manner. Much of the dichotomy in modern American politics between the, 'elite, intellectuals,' and the, 'simpleton redneck cowboys,' can be understood by observing the existence of the prevalence of those pioneering values in modern American culture. Furthermore, your assertion that movies like High Noon, and for that matter, much cowboy art, simply are ever-further romantic projections of Western development just goes to underscore my original point that the art of the underclass sometimes does survive. It may not be mainstream art, but it certainly does survive. That was my main point.

I would also protest your notion that Native Americans had little influence on the spirit of western settlers. As a fellow who grew up in a damn small, behind-the-times gold-rush town, I can personally attest to knowing numerous folk who are genuine cowboys (no, really, I know guys that have been in shootouts over gold-panning territory disputes) and the general appreciation/integration of Native American culture that they display in their everyday lives.

And for the record, I do not consider, 'cowboy values,' or for that matter cowboy anything to be a derogatory comment when placed in the proper context. That same pioneering spirit that drove the cowboys a century ago is a very important part of modern American culture and I consider it something to be celebrated. That's just a personal remark though.

Re:Why Youtube? (1)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#32592396)

I didn't ignore your point, I invalidated your point. Self-reliance was a key value in the whole of colonial society from top to bottom. You can see the elite founding fathers, who were landed gentry to a man, talking about that sort of thing all the time because it was prerequisite to getting a population onboard with the concept of independence. The 'cowboys' did not originate these things, they perpetuated these things, only because they were among the last group of people to display these values in a romanticized 'pure' form is there this association linked to them. Once the Greatest Generation is all dead, it will be free for society to romanticize into a 'pure' concept free of the reality of human deficiencies.

'Survival' of a thing as an abstraction is entirely not the same thing. Cowboys did not themselves create High Noon. High Noon was created by a bunch of wealthy, educated aesthetes as their conception of what the cowboy culture was, but they had no first hand experience or perspective, nor could they have. I don't think you grasp how important that is. The cultural survival of the American West as art is the product primarily of the conception of wealthy, educated people who have had no perception of the thing itself. That's why it is a romanticization. Cowboys themselves did not and do not create the actual cultural understanding that contemporary society believes it has of that period and phenomenon. It's as I said, painting something does not make the thing painted art in of itself. Just because Victor Hugo wrote about the experiences of the poor does not magically make the experiences of the poor a higher thing or Victor Hugo some lesser figure. The subject does not change the artist, the artist does not change the subject.

Your protest is vague and not specific. I know people too. My wife is part Native American from Choctaw and Chickasaw stock. However I didn't and don't use that as any kind of support or justification for my opinions about cultural exchange. Knowing people does not by itself accomplish anything.

Re:Why Youtube? (1)

yttrstein (891553) | more than 3 years ago | (#32580434)

Also, don't worry too much. Here in NYC (my family has a long history of working in restoration in a number of NYC museums) the Guggenheim isn't really taken terribly seriously, and really hasn't been since a certain musician famously intoned upon its completion: "Christ, it looks like a giant toilet!".

For a higher consistent caliber of a similar kind of media and form, check out the Whitney. Maybe they'll do a deal with Vimeo.

Re:Why Youtube? (1)

alienvampire (161680) | more than 3 years ago | (#32581506)

Are you taking a shot at the museum or it's architecture? Say what you will about the way the museum is run, but Frank Lloyd Wright's genius cannot be questioned. His building is the best piece of artwork in the Guggenheim collection.

deserve to be in a museum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32578586)

"so good they deserve to be in a museum?" Have you ever been to a modern art museum? There is stuff on youtube that blows away the crap you will find there, on all fronts of effort, aesthetics, cultural significants, commentary. Half the stuff in these museums are propagated by the old guard trying to tell you what is relevant and edgy. The problem is that doesn't fly anymore in the new information age and their version of edgy is old. I welcome an opening of art to the real art of society. That doesn't mean any old video on youtube is art, but there is a ton of stuff on there that blows the stupid random video loops you see in these museums being passed as art cause they were edgy 40 years ago.

Does the Guggenheim have a TV wing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32578594)

They could show America's Funniest Home Videos.

They could sponsor a debate: Bob Saget or the Hollywood Squares guy?

Desperately trying to stay relevant (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 3 years ago | (#32578664)

They're just trying to stay relevant in the modern age by rubbing themselves up against a current trend. Sad to see a myrmidon of Art feel that it needs to chase tasteless consumer idiots. Youtube videos are definitely vulgar "art" in that they are seldom produced by Artists. The videos in some cases may be safely considered craftsmanship.

Re:Desperately trying to stay relevant (1)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#32578878)

One mans art is another mans ruined block of stone or smeared oil mess on canvas. I don't doubt that some videos by people you otherwise wouldn't consider artists can be viewed as such but I'm at a loss as to why we would want to pay an admission to see videos you can see at home, or on your phone.

This isn't art that was hand crafted and could potentially be more beautiful in person.

Oh well, whatever sells tickets I guess.

Re:Desperately trying to stay relevant (1)

dave562 (969951) | more than 3 years ago | (#32606340)

You pay for the curation of the videos. Anyone can go watch random YouTube videos. Anyone can curate their own show for their friends. Heck, you can probably even put together a playlist and share it through whatever medium you want. It all comes down to the curation though.

Re:Desperately trying to stay relevant (2, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 3 years ago | (#32580282)

Why don't you burn an Henri Rousseau painting while you're at it? Art is not the captive of schools and demagogues. Just because somebody doesn't have some kind of background or pedigree does not automatically make their product irrelevant, tasteless, or vulgar (connotatively as a negative, it remains denotatively vulgar as a neutral {funny, the spell checker thinks 'connotatively' is a word but not 'denotatively'}).

I will submit (2, Interesting)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#32579082)

A completely blank video, extending the concept of the blank canvas in the temporal dimension.

Not trying to be modern at all, but that's the only video my i7 Debian laptop can play (unless the Guggenheim has joined the HTML5 Beta...).

Re:I will submit (1)

ProdigyPuNk (614140) | more than 3 years ago | (#32579230)

With Debian Squeeze flash *usually* works (in IceWeasel/SwiftFox), but occasionally the sound will glitch and repeat the same half a second sound over and over again for about 5 minutes at a time. That's when I break out some techno and scream "REEEEMIXXXX!" ...You should try that some time ;p

YouTube High Art (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32579270)

Best example of YouTube high art: Richard [youtube.com]

The greatness of art (1)

Chowderbags (847952) | more than 3 years ago | (#32579304)

Art is great because it can give you up, let you down, run around and desert you. It can also make you cry, say goodbye and tell a lie and hurt you.

Ponder this as you view the art of Youtube.

Why bother w/ YouTube? (1)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | more than 3 years ago | (#32579376)

I doubt the artists were under contract with Google. Let them have their day without it being coopted by Google marketing.

Platform matters? (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 3 years ago | (#32579726)

Film and videos have been considered a form of high art for a long time. What difference does it make if it's presented via theaters of YouTube?

Anything completely digital... (1)

eepok (545733) | more than 3 years ago | (#32579890)

I have a hard time accepting the "digital arts" as "high art". Art in itself is the use of human abilities to describe human experience (perceived or imagined). Once you accept enough computer capability into the practice, you blur, or even jump over, the line separating computer and human design. Digital video and computer animation skip right over that line as far as I am concerned. The computers involved do such a massive majority of the work that all the human as to do is *design*. While those designs may be art, the final product is the result of technology and an artistic mind... but just not art itself.

Re:Anything completely digital... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32583832)

I have a hard time accepting"paintings" as "high art". Art in itself is the use of human abilities to describe human experience (perceived or imagined). Once you accept enough paintbrushes into the practice, you blur, or even jump over, the line separating tool and human design. Paint and canvas skip right over that line as far as I am concerned. The paintbrushes involved do such a massive majority of the work that all the human as to do is *design*. While those designs may be art, the final product is the result of technology and an artistic mind... but just not art itself.

fuck modern art (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32580128)

Fuck modern art and all the bullshit hipsters that go along with it. Have fun with your shitty tattoos in 15 years when no one cares about your shitty, uninsightful youtube rant. /hate

The right place for it (1)

DaedylusSL (1145293) | more than 3 years ago | (#32581762)

Maybe the Guggenheim has changed in the last 15 years, but the last time I was there nearly every piece of "art" that I saw was some pointless sculpture. For example, one sculpture was just barbed wire wrapped around a tree trunk. This is art? I only remember one piece that I liked in the entire museum (a painting of a lobster and a cat done by Picasso, I think). This is the perfect place to show off awful, pointless videos. They'll fit right in.

Needs More ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32615432)

Needs more transitional camera shakes... or star wipes... yeah, more star wipes.

An artist must be of their time. (1)

RabbitWho (1805112) | more than 3 years ago | (#32701194)

Kandinsky said that. If he was alive today he'd be a vlogger / blogger, and would have a DeviantArt account I have no doubt.
The fine art world is bunk, they've been exploring the same things since the abstract expressionists came out, there hasn't been a movement since postmodernism.
The new media are here.
Galleries no longer decide what is seen, they're merely a showcase now. Having your video played in the Guggenheim is inferior in every way to posting it on Youtube, and they know that... and they're terrified. All they have is a few ounces of prestige with those who are always slow to catch on.
Seeing something in real life will always be a different experience, that's their only advantage. But from now on people won't see things for the first time in books and galleries controlled by the privileged few. From now on we have choice and art and expression is truly free.

Do you know how video art worked up until the internet? There was no money in it. Galleries were slow to show it because it was difficult to sell, and if you bought it you had distribution rights to it and the artist wasn't allowed to sell it as a DVD or give it to another gallery etc because for one thing that would "devalue" it and for another they didn't have the right.
You'd walk in.. oh god it's so ridiculous I can't believe it seemed normal to me.. You'd walk into a dark secluded and usually makeshift room (the noises from it having disturbed you while looking at the pictures in the outer room) you'd walk in and it would be so dark you'd step on people. You'd sit down on the floor if there were no seats left or in an office chair directly behind another person with a large head. You'd come in the middle of the video.
Now artists can reach an unlimited audience without the help or the approval of the galleries, and we can watch them from start to finish in the comfort of our own homes.
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