Early Video Art

Early Video Art is a collection of titles that are central to an understanding of the historical development of video art. This collection includes, but is not limited to, many titles from the original Castelli-Sonnabend collection, the first and most prominent collection of video art assembled in the United States. All of the work in this collection was produced between 1968 and 1980. These works represent important examples of the first experiments in video art, and include conceptual and feminist performances recorded on video, experiments with the video signal, and "guerilla" documentaries representing a counter-cultural view of the historical events of the 1960s and 70s. Many of these tapes represent a desire for a radically redefined television experience that is centered on the innovative, the personal, the political and the non-commercial.
Affected and/or Effected
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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...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: conceptual art, gender, video history

Altered to Suit
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The whole story takes place in the mise-en-scene of the artist's studio. The delicate psychological allegory of "a day in the life of..." anchors the displacement of (filmic) reality and the alienation of the (player's) self. Devices such as...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: film theory

The Amazing Bow Wow
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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...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: performance, video history

Keith Sonnier
1973 | 13:52
Keith Sonnier, Animation 1
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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...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: animation, image processing, video history

Keith Sonnier
1974 | 26:05
Animation 2
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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...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: animation, film or videomaking, image processing, video history

Linda Montano, Anorexia Nervosa
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Through the testimonies of five women, this video lays out the complex problem of anorexia, detailing how the disease develops as a response to both personal and societal pressures. The common thread in these accounts is how the disease clusters...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: body, health, performance

Arbitrary Fragments
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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...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: feminism, image processing, performance, video history

One, Two, Three, Four
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Starting with an activity as basic as four hands clapping, Landry composes an arresting visual documentation of the fundamentals of music through a play of visual and sonic rhythms. Landry considers these movements “imaginary hand exercises for...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: music, performance, video history

Barbara Aronofsky Latham, Barbara Latham Videoworks: Volume 1
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The five videos featured here investigate video as a tool for storytelling and the construction of alternate identities. Ultimately Latham concludes that video is an unsatisfactory and cumbersome tool useful only for the creation of dislocated...

 

Collection: Single Artist Compilations, Early Video Art

Tags: body, feminism, video history, videoworks