Video History

1973
Videofreex, Video Games

This two-disc title contains the following video documentation:

1978
Video Locomotion (man performing forward hand leap)

"Homage to Eadweard Muybridge. A historical Muybridge photo grid is put into an electronic video signal space. Working with collected postcards, in this case, the durational photo series by the 19th century photographer Eadweard Muybridge, this video re-enacts the proto-cinema moment using two varyingly synchronized b+w video cameras and a video keyer. The movement effect is created by detuning the horizontal and vertical video sychronization of one of the video cameras. One of the video camera’s image remains still while the other drifts horizontally and vertically at varying speeds.

1969
Violin Tuned D.E.A.D.

Nauman stands with his back to the camera, repeatetedly drawing the bow across the strings of a violin tuned D, E, A, D. Perhaps more than any other exercise, this tape demonstrates the sense of anticipation built up in the viewer, as we wait for Nauman to walk, to turn around, to play music ... to do something. This title was in the original Castelli-Sonnabend video art collection.

1968
Wall/Floor Positions

Making himself into a “minimalist” prop sculpture in the manner of Richard Serra, Nauman moves through various poses in realtion to the floor and wall. While other sculptors were using wood planks, pieces of lead, or sheets of steel, Nauman uses his body to explore the space of the room, turning it into a sort of yardstick to investigate and measure the dimensions of the space. This title was in the original Castelli-Sonnabend video art collection.

1980
Wanda Wega Waters

A rural sunset at the edge of the water in Wanda Wega Waters. The natural rhythmic movement of the water’s surface becomes a highly colored abstraction in motion, a meditation on the intersection of nature and technology.

1972
Water Glasses

An experiment in "video cubism." Two rows of three cylindrical water glasses are lined up to fit the frame of the monitor. The glasses disappear, then reappear; the action of placing them on the table is never seen. The glasses are filled with water with the image parallel to the picture plane; then again, with two cameras—one above and one straight on. Water Glasses investigates the psychology of perception—especially in relation to female identity—the video image, and the role of spectator.

1971
Waterways: 4 Saliva Studies

Acconci explodes the notion of an artist’s creation, his creative act being the build-up and discharge of saliva, an activity more properly belonging to the realm of necessary and autonomic bodily functions than art. Positioning himself as a hyper self-conscious artistic subject, Acconci fuses the terrains of body art and process art, formulating the body as process, and art as a natural function of the body.

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

1973
The Way We Do Art Now and Other Sacred Tales

“A spoof on current art attitudes [that] stretches the definition of what can be considered art. Because the late 1960s and early 1970s were periods of innovation, using the human body as art, making process equivalent to product... [etc.], Baldessari questions that very sense of originality and exploration by taking it to its (rather mundane) limits. By taping a stick at one end, then picking it up at the other, he is both questioning and spoofing what constitutes art.” —Marcia Tucker, “John Baldessari: Pursuing the Unpredictable,” John Baldessari (New York: New Museum, 1981)

1970

This early Videofreex production exemplifies the type of imaginative approach that the collective adopted when exploring the medium of video, and how, in many ways, this balance of play and experimentation defined and unified the group's work from the very start.

1975
Bob Snyder, Winter Notebook

This tape exemplifies Snyder’s early experiments with the image processor. Articulated patterns of alternating wavelength and amplitude of both sound and light are arranged to produce abstract compositions. Voltages processed by an Emu sound synthesizer are systematized through characteristic interval structures that affect the image processor’s functions.

This title is only available on Bob Snyder: Sound and Video 1975-1990.

1969

In Woodstock Festival 1969: First Aid, the Videofreex interview visitors and volunteers in and around the first aid tent about the level of health and hygiene at Woodstock. Topics range from the use of chlorine in the drinking water to protect against dysentery to the poisonous acid potentially circulating throughout the crowd. The Videofreex also interview a man with a pet lamb who discusses the relationship between vegetarianism and revolution.

1972
Xylophone

Presenting a series of flashcards to the camera, Baldessari continues his exploration of visual semantics, defining the intersection of language and image. In this instance, each flashcard bears a picture that represents a letter of the alphabet. Like Teaching a Plant the Alphabet, a secondary theme of Xylophone is a critique of learning as memorization, with the length of the tape producing—not surprisingly—an effect of boredom rather than insight.

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