Conceptual Art

2012

Primate Cinema: Apes as Family is a drama made expressly for chimpanzees – and the chimps' reaction to its screening at the Edinburgh Zoo. Chimpanzees watch television as a form of enrichment in captivity. But no filmmaker had made a film for a specifically ape audience.

1971
Pryings

This extraordinary performance carries a wealth of associative meanings in the sexual dynamics of privacy and power -- man and woman pitted against each other in a struggle for mental and physical control.

 "In Pryings, one of his earliest and least verbal tapes, the artist is seen trying to force open and gain entry into any and all of the orifices of a woman's face. His persistence outlasts the running time of the tape, as does the persistence of the woman under attack, who manages to persevere in her attempt to guard her metaphysical privacy."

1980
Ramp

On a gradually inclined plane, attempts are made to scale the rise, and rubber shoe marks leave evidence of the point where all of humanity fails.

This title is also available on Sympathetic Vibrations: The Videoworks of Paul Kos.

2003
Sterling Ruby: Interventionist Works 2001-2002

Four videos from artist Sterling Ruby that deal with quiet moments, capturing an atmospheric intimacy, both voyeuristic and perverse.

1973
Selected Works: Reel 3

The works on Reel 3 were produced during 1972-73, and re-mastered in 2005 when several newly available titles were added. The focus here is on social relationships and attaining the perfect life, be it through making the right decision, getting something for nothing, or just having it all. Many of the comic skits parody television ads and infomercials, and Man Ray has to make some consumer choices.

2006
Shuddhabrata Sengupta: An Interview

In this interview, Indian artist Shuddhabrata Sengupta (b. 1968) discusses his role in the initiation of the Raqs Media Collective, a Delhi-based artist collective, active since the 1990s. At the time of this interview, Raqs had been creating documentaries, art installations, and educational programs for eighteen years. Sengupta likens the driving force of Raqs to that of a game of catch, a process generated by a back-and-forth dialogue mobilized through writing and in-person meetings. As children of the late sixties, Sengupta explains how and why the members of Raqs, (himself, Jeebesh Bagchi and Monica Narula) share an interest in investigating mass communication, technologies of visibility, and the significance of memory and travel. It is also for this reason, Sengjupta explains, that the Collective’s work is committed to fostering rigorous research in addition to art-making endeavors.

1974
Show and Tell

"There are three scenes in this work, all reflecting a changing sense of time. Each has a voiceover soundtrack with a similar structure, but with different information. Some of the comments presume that the viewer is privy to information which is never given..."

2000
Some Things History Don't Support

A structure of Lawrence Weiner.

Photography: Moved Pictures; Computer Graphics: K. Hassett; “A New Pair of Shoes”, “Ships at Sea”, “Sailors and Shoes” Music: Ned Sublette, ASCAP; Lyrics: Lawrence Weiner, BMI

This title is also available on Lawrence Weiner: There are Things that Move Outside of Motion.

1990
Sphinxes Without Secrets

Sphinxes Without Secrets is an energetic and transgressive acount of outstanding female performance artists, and an invaluable document of feminist avant-garde work of the 70s and 80s. No Mona Lisa smiles here, as performance artists spill their guts about what outrages and delights them. Performers, curators, and critics unravel the mysteries of a new art form and ponder the world women confront today. Since its inception, performance art has provided a forum for artists who create work that challenges the dominant aesthetic and cultural status quo.

1968
Stamping in the Studio

From an inverted position, high above the floor, the camera records Nauman’s trek back and forth and across the studio; his stamping creates a generative rhythm reminiscent of native drum beats or primitive dance rituals. However, Nauman is not participating in a social rite or communal ritual—he is completely individualized. Isolated in his studio, his actions have no apparent reason or cause beyond his aesthetic practice.

This title was in the original Castelli-Sonnabend video art collection.

2007
Suspension

Letting go of realist constraints, and going back to the mirror-images of some of Provost’s famous previous works, we are diving into a cosmic ocean of ever metamorphosing baroque circumvolutions in which our minds try to capture reassuring forms before letting the ghostly demons blur our vision.

1986
Sympathetic Vibrations

Twelve church bells are rung daily for 30 days in a sculptural setting at the Capp Street Project in San Francisco. Ringers progress from practice sessions on beer bottles to a full-scale ring.

This piece was shot using a combination of 3/4" U-matic video plus Hi8 video.

This title is also available on Sympathetic Vibrations: The Videoworks of Paul Kos.

2012
Tehching Hsieh: An Interview

At the age of twenty-four, Taiwanese artist Tehching Hsieh (b.1950), moved to New York, where he has created and documented time-specific, conceptual art performances since the 1970s. In this interview, Hsieh discusses his formative years and philosophical moorings. This dialogue includes description of the artist’s early period of painting, his military service in Taiwan, and the cultural atmosphere of a country then undergoing massive political change. Much of the discussion focuses specifically on Hsieh’s understanding of the relationship of art and life, his investment in “free thinking,” and the politics of documentation. For Hsieh, the ability to think freely is art’s bottom line—he believes the essence of his work lies in human communication. To this end, Hsieh insists that his work, though incredibly personal, is not autobiographical, but philosophical.

1988
Thank You You're So Beautiful

This tape is a media arts collaboration between Joe Leonardi, Cathleen Kane, and radio artist Joe Frank. It is a synthesis of three “dark humored” radio pieces adapted for video.

1973
Theme Song

In a vile and ingenious way, Acconci pleads with the camera/spectator to join with him, to come to him, promising to be honest and begging, "I need it, you need it, c'mon... look how easy it is." Acconci addresses the viewer as a sexual partner, acting as if no distance existed between them. The monitor becomes an agent of intimate address, presenting a disingenuous intimacy that is one-sided and pure fantasy, much like the popular love songs in the background with which Acconci croons, "I'll be your baby, I'll be your baby tonight, yeah, yeah."