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Check out the Museum of the Moving Image’s exhibit on internet video — featuring Polygon!

The New Genres: Video in the Internet Age — ASMR, Unboxing, Let’s Play, and more

Peter Aaron/Esto for Museum of the Moving Image

The Museum of the Moving Image is a personal favorite for many at Polygon. The space in Queens, New York, is dedicated to the past, present, and future of film, television and digital media. MoMI has opened an exhibit on video genres in the time of YouTube — and when MoMI approached us about helping out with the exhibit, we were very happy to contribute.

The New Genres: Video in the Internet Age” runs April 27 through Sept. 2, and will focus on how modern platforms and technology have vastly changed not only how we watch, make, and share videos, but what kinds of videos those are. At a time when direct-to-camera vloggers are the new celebrities, and hundreds of thousands of people log on to watch someone play Fortnite, taking a moment to reflect on this cultural shift feels important.

As part of the exhibition, Polygon created a series of videos breaking down the biggest video topics, including ASMR, unboxing, explainers, Let’s Play, reaction videos and vlogging. You can see these videos throughout the exhibit, and in the main amphitheater.

You can watch our full ASMR episode below, but if you’re in New York, we’d love you to come see our weird and weirdly educational works on display at the museum.

(Try this with headphones!)

“The New Genres” is organized by MoMI curator of digital media Jason Eppink and associate curator Sarah Ullman. Here’s Eppink:

Internet video is a frontier of experimentation. The volume and impact of online video for creativity, education, identity-making, and social change cannot be overstated. These new genres, which have crystallized over the course of the last two decades, speak to the wide possibility of the niche audience, the internet’s capacity for rapid feedback, and humankind’s vast diversity of taste.

And from Ullman:

This exhibition offers a taxonomy of internet video names reflecting a proliferation of new genres. The New Genres explores the interaction between creators, video, and the audience; traces the evolution of nascent forms; and investigates what it means to tell stories in ways they have never been told before.

The exhibit is now open and will run through Sept. 2. In addition to our contributions, Real Life magazine co-produced an exhibition catalog that is available online. More details can be found at MoMI’s exhibition page.

  • What: “The New Genres: Video in the Internet Age
  • Where: The Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35th Ave., Astoria, NY 11106
  • When: April 27 - Sept. 2
  • But, like ... what times? MoMI is open Wednesday and Thursday from 10:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Friday from 10:30 a.m. - 8 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Anything else? A very special thank you to everyone who made this happen, including Jason Eppink, Sarah Ullman and Tomoko Kawamoto on the MoMI side, and from Polygon, Jenna Stoeber, Julia Alexander, Simone de Rochefort, Clayton Ashley and Tara Long.
‘The New Genres: Video in the Internet Age’ artwork Museum of the Moving Image

Update (Aug. 30): We’ve edited this article with new details as the end of the exhibit approaches. Labor Day weekend is your last chance to check out “The New Genres: Video in the Internet Age” at the Museum of the Moving Image — it will close on Sunday, Sept. 2.