A cadre of young University of Toronto-trained artists, the collective 640 480 has established itself in the past six years with bold and witty attempts to treat video materially, to transform this ephemeral, time-based medium into more concrete forms and spar with the thorny economics attending its commodification. Its greatest coup came in 2004 with True Love Will Find You in the End, in which the frames of a one-minute video of member Gareth Long (the other constituents are Jeremy Bailey, Patrick Borjal, Shanan Kurtz, Phil Jonlin Lee and Jillian Locke) being devoured by predatory animals was fed through a clattering embroidery machine to fashion 1800 one-of-a-kind textile video stills. 640 480’s latest project was both its most ambitious and perhaps its most subdued, melodramatic ideas executed bone-dry. Grand Gestures was a three-venue triptych that not only sublimated videotape into unexpected embodiments but mourned its glory days as well. The first part of the exhibition at Trinity Square Video featured a wall of ribbons akin to those for AIDS or breast cancer made from videotape and arranged in the shape of the word FOREVER, which viewers were invited to take and pin to their lapels. Meanwhile along Queen St. West between Spadina and Ossington Aves. hung a series of austere bronze plaques in the style of those mounted to commemorate noteworthy events. However, 640 480 memorialize found YouTube videos shot in those locations instead, which are referenced with their date of posting, running times, tag words and a prosaic synopsis of what unfolded there. Naturally, the incidents are incredibly mundane and usually fuelled by drink, but there is something perversely poignant about transforming the creation of a YouTube video – that most degraded but widely seen form of video art – into an event worthy of commemoration. These videos themselves memorialized throwaway moments, and the plaques extend their online lives by giving them a physical presence out in the world (where they will stay up indefinitely). This public intervention sets the mind reeling: imagine if every square inch of the planet that appears on YouTube - or, worse yet, on a surveillance camera - were to be similarly marked: an endless accumulation of plaques honouring our each and every move. The final component at Gallery TPW was a small diamond ensconced in a glass case and mounted on a plinth. The diamond was accompanied by a wall text proposing that as videotapes inevitably disintegrate, one could instead alchemically transform these vessels of memory into a diamond through the use of extreme heat and pressure (it is essentially an advertisement for an imaginary service). At once overdetermined and cool, 640 480’s three gestures freeze the fluidity of video into something dead to be vivisected, arresting the medium’s seemingly endless transformations over its short history to better appraise its value - economic and affective. Finally what is being mourned is video’s potency in an age of its diffuse omnipresence.