Alantutorial is a creative project by artist Alan Resnick. It consists primarily of a series of videos in which Resnick plays a fictionalized version of himself, who is depicted as a reclusive young man obsessed with giving tutorials. As the videos progress, strange things begin happening and Alan's already-tenuous grip on reality begins slowly slipping.
The term "alantutorial" is alternately used to refer to the YouTube channel, the associated Twitter account, the individual videos, the body of work as a whole, and the fictional Alan himself.
In the first few videos of the canon, Alan teaches the viewer how to accomplish various bizarre, often mundane tasks such as filling a small box with dirt and crushing soda cans with wooden planks. In one instance, Alan's instructions are interrupted by a loud knocking at the door, and in the next video, Alan appears to have been locked in a closet.
Soon Alan seems to run out of ideas for new tutorials. To make matters worse, something scary finds its way into his room and gives him spooks, and immediately afterwards his beloved blue chair is knocked over. This tragic turn of events deeply upsets Alan, but he soon finds his motivation again and continues making tutorials.
Things soon go awry again as Alan begins inexplicably destroying his room and then "locks himself out" of it. Now stranded in the wilderness, Alan's sanity starts to slip even further. Undeterred, he continues to make tutorials despite his predicament but is eventually captured by an unknown party and locked in a cell where he briefly gives up on tutorials and turns his attention to reporting on news stories. This phase passes quickly, and Alan resumes making tutorials in exchange for monetary compensation from his unseen captors.
During Alan's captivity, he is living in a very unhealthy state. His chance of escaping is starting to seem hopeless. The room is covered in waste and trash and Alan himself is filthy. His videos barely have context anymore other than him talking to himself but in some, you can see an unknown, mangled object spinning in the room during parts of the video.
A ray of hope suddenly appears in Alan's newest video. He seems to have found some motivation inside himself and in a heroic attempt at freedom, he breaks through the wall of his cell. He is last seen crawling out through the small hole.
On the surface level, alantutorial functions as a parody of ineptly-crafted how-to videos by the likes of Expert Village. Alan's constant solicitation for likes, favorites, and subscribers despite his clear lack of expertise expands the satire to social media in general: it becomes a criticism of internet users' constant desire for viral status and their simultaneous unwillingness to put any serious effort into this pursuit. It also applies to the trend of internet phenomena that become wildly popular regardless of how much or how little talent or effort went into their creation.
Much of the background of Alan's character is a total mystery. Some of the more surreal elements of alantutorial, such as the blue chair and Alan's recent imprisonment, hint at a possible metaphorical significance to Alan's exploits.
alantutorial is an example of metafiction, as the story is meant to take place in reality and the medium by which the story is told is integrated into the story itself.