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Video art is a type of art which relies on moving pictures and is comprised of video and/or audio data. (It should not however be confused with television or experimental cinema). Video art came into existence during the 1960s and 1970s, is still widely practiced and has given rise to the widespread use of video installations.
- 1 Overview
- 2 History of video art
- 3 Prominent video artists
- 4 Video art today
- 5 Video art on the Internet
- 6 List of video art organizations
- 7 See also
- 8 References
- 9 External links
OverviewThis article does not citeany references or sources. (November 2007)
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Video art is named after the video tape, which was most commonly used in the form's early years, but before that artists had already been working on film, and with changes in technology Hard Disk, CD-ROM, DVD, and solid state are superseding the video tape as the carrier. Despite obvious parallels and relationships, video art is not film.
One of the key differences between video art and theatrical cinema is that video art does not necessarily rely on many of the conventions that define theatrical cinema. Video art may not employ the use of actors, may contain no dialogue, may have no discernible narrative or plot, or adhere to any of the other conventions that generally define motion pictures as entertainment. This distinction is important, because it delineates video art not only from cinema but also from the subcategories where those definitions may become muddy (as in the case of avant garde cinema or short films). Perhaps the simplest, most straightforward defining distinction in this respect would then be to say that (perhaps) cinema's ultimate goal is to entertain, whereas video art's intentions are more varied, be they to simply explore the boundaries of the medium itself (e.g., Peter Campus, Double Vision) or to rigorously attack the viewer's expectations of video as shaped by conventional cinema (e.g., Joan Jonas, Organic Honey's Vertical Roll).
History of video artThis section may require cleanupto meet Wikipedia's quality standards.
Please improve this articleif you can (May 2008).
Video art is often said to have begun when Nam June Paik used his new Sony Portapak to shoot footage of Pope Paul VI's procession through New York City in the autumn of 1965. That same day, across town in a Greenwich Village cafe, Paik played the tapes and video art was born. The french artist Fred Forest has also used a Sony Portapak since 1967. This fact is sometimes disputed, however, due to the fact that the first Sony Portapak, the Videorover did not become commercially available until 1967 (Fred Forest does not contradict this, saying it was provided to him by the manufacturers ) and that Andy Warhol is credited with showing underground video art mere weeks before Paik's papal procession screening. Fred Forest does however stipulate on his websIn 1959 Wolf Vostell incorporated a television set into one of his works, "Deutscher Ausblick" 1959, which is part of the collection of the Museum Berlinische Galerie possibly the first work of art with television. In 1963 Vostell exhibited his art environment "6 TV de-coll/age" at the Smolin Gallery in New York. This work is part of the Museo Reina Sofia collection in Madrid.
Prior to the introduction of the Sony Portapak, "moving image" technology was only available to the consumer (or the artist for that matter) by way of eight or sixteen millimeter film, but did not provide the instant playback that video tape technologies offered. Consequently, many artists found video more appealing than film, even more so when the greater accessibility was coupled with technologies which could edit or modify the video image.
The two examples mentioned above both made use of "low tech tricks" to produce seminal video art works. Peter Campus' Double Vision combined the video signals from two Sony Portapaks through an electronic mixer, resulting in a distorted and radically dissonant image. Jonas' Organic Honey's Vertical Roll involved recording previously recorded material as it was played back on a television — with the vertical hold setting intentionally in error.
The first multi-channel video art (using several monitors or screens) was Wipe Cycle by Ira Schneider and Frank Gillette. An installation of nine television screens, Wipe Cycle for the first time combined live images of gallery visitors, found footage from commercial television, and shots from pre-recorded tapes. The material was alternated from one monitor to the next in an elaborate choreography.
At the San Jose State TV studios in 1970, Willoughby Sharp began the “Videoviews” series of videotaped dialogues with artists. The “Videoviews” series consists of Sharps’ dialogues with Bruce Nauman (1970), Joseph Beuys (1972), Vito Acconci (1973), Chris Burden (1973), Lowell Darling (1974), and Dennis Oppenheim (1974). Also in 1970, Sharp curated “Body Works,” an exhibition of video works by Vito Acconci, Terry Fox, Richard Serra, Keith Sonnier, Dennis Oppenheim and William Wegman which was presented at Tom Marioni's Museum of Conceptual Art, San Francisco, California.
Prominent video artists
Many of the early prominent video artists were those involved with concurrent movements in conceptual art, performance, and experimental film. These include Americans Vito Acconci, John Baldessari, Peter Campus, Doris Totten Chase, Dan Graham, Joan Jonas, Bruce Nauman, Martha Rosler, William Wegman, and many others. There were also those such as Steina and Woody Vasulka who were interested in the formal qualities of video and employed video synthesizers to create abstract works.
Notable pioneering video artists also emerged more or less simultaneously in Europe and elsewhere with work by Pascal Auger (France), Domingo Sarrey (Spain), Wolf Vostell (Germany), Dieter Froese (Germany), Wojciech Bruszewski (Poland), Wolf Kahlen (Germany), Peter Weibel (Austria), David Hall (UK), Lisa Steele (Canada), Miroslaw Rogala (Poland), Rodney Werden (Canada), Colin Campbell (Canada) and others.
Video art today
Although it continues to be produced, it is represented by two varieties: single-channel and installation. Single-channel works are much closer to the conventional idea of television: a video is screened, projected or shown as a single image, Installation works involve either an environment, several distinct pieces of video presented separately, or any combination of video with traditional media such as sculpture. Installation video is the most common form of video art today. Sometimes it is combined with other media and is often subsumed by the greater whole of an installation or performance. Contemporary contributions are being produced at the crossroads of other disciplines such as installation, architecture, design, sculpture, electronic art, VJ (video performance artist) and digital art or other documentative aspects of artistic practice.
The digital video "revolution" of the 1990s has given wide access to sophisticated editing and control technology, allowing many artists to work with video and to create interactive installations based on video. Some examples of recent trends in video art include entirely digitally rendered environments created with no camera and video that responds to the movements of the viewer or other elements of the environment. The internet has also been used to allow control of video in installations from the world wide web or from remote locations.
Emerging in the 1970s, Bill Viola (USA) continues as one of the world's most celebrated video artists. Matthew Barney, the creator of the Cremaster Cycle, is another well-known American video artist. Other contemporary video artists of note include Americans Gary Hill, Tony Oursler, Mary Lucier, Paul Pfeiffer, Sadie Benning, Paul Chan, Eve Sussman and Miranda July; Pipilotti Rist (Switzerland); Shaun Wilson (Australia); Stan Douglas (Canada); Douglas Gordon (Scotland); Martin Arnold (Austria); Matthias Müller (Germany), Gillian Wearing (UK); Stefano Cagol (Italy); Helene Black (Cyprus); Shirin Neshat(Iran/USA)and Walid Raad (Lebanon/USA).
There is also a movement against the medium in that artists are working with traditional painting techniques or sculpture to express things about television. Artist Trigo Piula created a work in 1988 "Ta Tele", oil on canvas that illustrated televisions control and influence. Mike Retter made a series of paintings about television between 2005 and 2008. This included Videodrome hands and The Audience which were exhibited in a television station in Adelaide, Australia.
Video art on the Internet
Video sharing on the internet has completely transformed the way we view video art. The foundation of Youtube.com has revolutionized the concept of displaying self expression, art and entertainment. In the age of Web 2.0, The creation of online video art galleries and archives such as Videoart.net have made videoart more accessible than ever before, creating greater opportunities for emerging video artists. VideoArtWorld.tv tries to compile the entire history of Video Art and give access to pieces present in the international art market scene.
It may still be too soon to know what long-term effects the web will have on video art, nevertheless this important step in the evolution of video art may just be the life-support that this incredible art form needs.
List of video art organizations
- ArtRod - Creators of the Tollbooth Gallery, world's smallest gallery dedicated to wheat-paste and video fine arts and the Critical Line exhibition space
- The Experimental Television Center, New York
- LA Freewaves is an experimental media art festival with video art, shorts and animation; exhibitions are in Los Angeles and online.
- Lumen Eclipse - Harvard Square, MA
- LUX, London, England
- Videoart.net, New York
- Perpetual art machine, New York
- Raindance Foundation, New York
- REWIND, Dundee, Scotland
- Netherlands Media Art Institute, Montevideo, Amsterdam, Netherlands
- List of video artists
- Video synthesizer
- Experimental film
- New media art
- Interactive film
- Optical feedback
- Video jockey
- VJ (video performance artist)
- Live media
- Music visualization
- Scratch Video
- Visual Music
- Real-time computer graphics
- Video poetry
- Videography: Video Media as Art and Culture by Sean Cubitt (MacMillan, 1993).
- A History of Experimental Film and Video by AL Rees (British Film Institute, 1999).
- New Media in Late 20th-Century Art by Michael Rush (Thames & Hudson, 1999).
- Mirror Machine: Video and Identity, edited by Janine Marchessault (Toronto: YYZ Books, 1995).
- Video Culture: A Critical Investigation, edited by John G. Hanhardt (Visual Studies Workshop Press, 1986).
- Video Art: A Guided Tour by Catherine Elwes (I.B. Tauris, 2004).
- A History of Video Art by Chris Meigh-Andrews (Berg, 2006)
- Diverse Practices: A Critical Reader on British Video Art edited by Julia Knight (University of Luton/Arts Council England, 1996)
- ARTFORUM FEB 1993 "Travels In The New Flesh" by Howard Hampton (Printed by ARTFORUM INTERNATIONAL 1993)
- Expanded Cinema by Gene Youngblood (New York: E.P. Dutton & Company, 1970).
- Paintings About Television by Mike Retter (Tripod Online).
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