Video History

1976
Peer Bode, 1-87

"Inspired by Ralph Hocking's fish biting video.  Eighty-seven stones thrown, volumes shifting of water sound, a real time performance event. Holding the camera and throwing 87 stones into the frame. 1/2" reel to reel Sony portapack." 

– Peer Bode

1976
Peer Bode, 100 Sec. Lumination

"My first digital recording and my first and only recording with Don McArthur's "Spatial and Intensity Digitizer". The digitizer was not working properly. I had no idea. The shift I saw was stunning. Digitalization of luminosity, strange notion, wonderful light and early digital embodiment. Image/signal in digitized state/space, noise field. I always thought of this to be 100 seconds of very beautiful digital light noise." 

– Peer Bode

1982
30-Second Spots

Joan Logue cuts down considerably Andy Warhol’s projection of fifteen minutes of fame, with this compilation of 30-Second Spots. Produced to be broadcast as individual, mini-documentaries on the artists and their work, Logue’s short interpretive video pieces feature a prime-time selection of over twenty New York performance artists, composers, dancers and writers, including Mayanne Amacher, Robhert Ashley, David Behrman, John Cage, Lucina Childs, Douglas Ewart, Simone Forti, Jon Gibson, Philip Glass, Spalding Gray, Joan Jonas, Bill T.

1972
360º

The frame is filled with two concentric magnifying lenses, one larger than the other. Behind them is a mirror. The mirror turns and reflects the landscape around it. Distortions of the moving images appear in the lenses while the space behind remains stationary. A voiceover reports what is being seen in each of the layers of space. There are at least three simultaneous soundtracks. One scene is a country house and garden, another is a city apartment.

1976
The Adventures of a Nurse

Playing with cliched feminine personae, Eleanor Antin in The Adventures of a Nurse manipulates cut-out paper dolls to tell the story of innocent Nurse Eleanor who meets one gorgeous, intriguing, and available man after another. Nurse Eleanor is the fantasy creation of Antin, who is costumed as a nurse. Staged on a bedspread and acted by a cast of one, The Adventures of a Nurse moves through successive layers of irony to unravel a childlike, self-enclosed fantasy of a young woman’s life.

1974
Affected and/or Effected

Affected and/or Effected begins with a close-up of a girl resting her head on her hand, reading. On the overlapping track a male voice states “affected,"—followed by a female voice that responds “and/or effected….”  This pattern of dividing words in half and presenting them in alternating male and female voices continues throughout the video. While what is seen is separated from what is heard, the boundaries between the audio and video portions of the piece are complicated by other sounds. The statement of intent is spoken: "An artist may construct an art.

1979
AlienNATION

“Mining an ironic vein by turning technology against itself, AlienNATION undercuts the sociological ramifications of modern living. It is an astounding compendium of sci-fi images, textbook diagrams, special effects, and studio props, which together build multiple readings of the alien, the mysterious, and the obscure in American culture.

1980
The Amarillo News Tapes

"This video reflects my interest in examining cultural institutions. In The Amarillo News Tapes, we were interested in observing and dissecting what makes news in a small, Midwestern television market. The video shows the three of us in our respective roles as anchor, weatherman, and sportscaster, interacting with the real Pro News Team on the set.

1976
The Amazing Bow Wow

The only Benglis video with a discernable plot, The Amazing Bow-Wow follows the adventures of a talking, hermaphroditic dog given to Rexina and Babu by a carnival barker. Rexina and Babu soon decide to make the dog a sideshow act hoping to earn their fortune. Babu eventually becomes jealous of Rexina's devotion to the dog and one night attempts to castrate it, accidentally cutting off its tongue. The dog's head becomes hideous and skeletal, ruining its sideshow career and the profits.

1985
Peer Bode, Animal Migrations (and why they don't get lost)

"This is the first of a set of pieces that involve combining a series of electronic video process recordings, musics, texts and appropriated materials. These multiple elements, simple and tricky grammars, trigger expanding electronic narratives. The trajectories and drags of multiple narratives color the electronics and visa a versa.

1973
Keith Sonnier, Animation 1

With the Watergate hearings as a backdrop, quotes from various newspapers and magazines--including the story of Robert Smithson's death in a plane crash--build a picture of the confusing and tragic events of July 1973. Sonnier uses appropriated footage and reproduced newspaper clippings to create a richly layered video that attempts to sort out the truth from the available information. Sonnier's instructions to the computer operator reference the making of the video, and thereby create a self-conscious, limiting frame.

1974
Animation 2

Concentrating on abstract shapes and color value, Animation 2 is a record of images manipulated through computer animation. By recording the data screens of the animators and the voices of the controllers, Sonnier discloses the process of making the video.

“This tape is about media, and it seems totally unedited, because we hear him talking over the intercom with the engineer… The engineer interjects, ‘Do you want to save any of this stuff?’ Yes, indeed; Sonnier saves and shows it all, the whole process.”

1978
Arbitrary Fragments

Using highly-manipulated and over-processed images, Latham investigates the process of video as inherently fragmented. Weaving together various people’s impressions of the artist and her work, the work demonstrates important parallels between video, storytelling, and the formation of identity—all processes of active fabrication that blend “lies” and truth in the construction of a certain reality, history, or past. Labeling an image of herself talking as “her most recent explanation,” Latham addresses “the construction of her video personality” as an identity outside of herself.

1974
Art Herstory

“In her brilliant video Art Herstory, [Freed] has restaged art history, putting herself in the model’s role in numerous paintings.... Time dissolves under her humorous assault—one moment in the painting, then out of the canvas and into that period, then back in the studio."

—Jonathan Price, “Video Art: a Medium Discovering Itself,” Art News 76 (January 1977) 

An excerpt of this title (14:49) is also included on Surveying the First Decade: Volume 1.

1980
Artifacts

An important record of Woody’s process of experimentation and play: a collection of images initiated by basic algorithmical procedures to verify the functional operation of a newly-created tool—the “Digital Image Articulator”—designed and constructed by Woody and Jeffrey Schier. Saying at the beginning of the tape, “The images come to me as they come to you, in a spirit of experimentation.” Vasulka presents a series of manipulations in which the image shifts and moves, dissolving through two- into three-dimensionality.