Early Video Art

Early Video Art is a collection of over 200 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.
Bouncing in the Corner, No. 2
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Repeating the same activity as featured in Bouncing in the Corner, No. 1—leaning back and bouncing forward from the corner—this time the camera is positioned just above Nauman’s head. This gives his body the sense of constantly rising...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: body, performance, video history

Broken Off
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In this video the artist states that a public work demonstrates what qualifies as art within his conception. Like Beached, it was also shot in a marshy area near the sea and in sequences separated by dissolves. One sees five different...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: conceptual art, landscape, performance, video history

Building Dome in Riverbi Earth People's Park
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A great example of early 1970s counter-cultural activity and the influence of Buckminster Fuller. The video, shot in Woodstock, NY in November 1971, includes footage of a communal meal being eaten in the woods, and of children playing in the mud...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: architecture, culture jamming, documentation, history

Cadillac Ranch/Media Burn
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"We buried ten Cadillacs in a row alongside Interstate 40 (the old Route 66), just west of Amarillo, Texas; each car represented a model change in the evolution of the tail fin. This was clearly a sculptural act, but with a minimal amount of...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, media analysis, video history, visual art

1980 | 24:00
Cantaloup
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Following the Vasulkas’ effort to build their own computer imager, Steina explains how the video processor works, digitizing the image, inserting color, reassigning value, density, and texture to specific areas of the video image. The constant...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: image processing, video history

CBS--Lily and Cleaver Tapes
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The Videofreex had several experiences with the Black Panther Party, including interviewing Illinois Chapter Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton and New Haven Minister of Information Cappy Pinderhughes. In this tape, recorded on March 5th 1971, the...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, african-american, documentation, film or videomaking, history, politics, television

1971 | 22:43
Centers
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"Pointing at my own image on the video monitor: my attempt is to keep my finger constantly in the center of the screen — I keep narrowing my focus into my finger. The result [the TV image] turns the activity around: a pointing away from myself,...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: performance, video history

Barbara Aronofsky Latham, Chained Reactions
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Unhinging the narrative conventions and stereotypical elements of the whodunit occult thriller, Chained Reactions is an update of film noir style. Calling on the cliches of gothic romance novels and television soap operas, Chained...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: feminism, video history

Chicago Travelogue: Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and the Yippies
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Shot in October 1969, this tape gives an inside view of the workings of late-sixties radical groups and the debates going on within their ranks. At a meeting of Yippies, there is a discussion about the nuts and bolts of fundraising through...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, documentation, history, politics