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.
1974 | 15:00
Disturbances
add to cart
add to wish list
Jonas uses reflections on a lake as a mirror to displace reality, creating a disruption and the illusion of presence. “Disturbances begins with a Symbolist-like image of two women, dressed in white, seen only as reflections in water.… Throughout the...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: feminism, performance, video history

Divided Alto
add to cart
add to wish list
Utilizing a four-way split screen, Divided Alto documents Landry’s improvised flute performance—focusing on the harmonics of the instrument as he plays double and triple chords. The camera centers on the elements that make the music—the mouth and...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: music, video history

Do You Believe in Water?
add to cart
add to wish list
The performers are seated around a pink octagonal table on pink, violet, and silver cinder blocks. One performer (Robert Stearns) stands up, recites the credits for the piece, and then says, “Do you believe in water? Robert Stearns.” He claps and...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: performance, video history

1972 | 06:08
Document
add to cart
add to wish list
With Benglis standing in front of a photograph of herself, which is then affixed to a monitor bearing her image, the notion of "original" is complicated—making the viewer acutely aware of the layers of self-images and layers of "self" that are...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: performance, video history

Domination and the Everyday
add to cart
add to wish list
Rosler calls Domination and the Everyday, with its fragmented sounds, images, and crawling text, an artist-mother's This Is Your Life. Throughout this work, we hear—but do not see—a mother and small child at dinner and bedtime while a radio airs an...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: media analysis, performance, politics, video history

1974 | 23:00
Done To
add to cart
add to wish list
Done To (alternately titled It Is, Done To) consists of simple still-frames accompanied by a complex, incongrous soundtrack, or silence. There are instances where image and sound coalesce; however, the majority of the images are overwhelmed by the...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: experimental film, video history

Down in the Rec Room
add to cart
add to wish list
Like all of Smith’s videotapes, Down in the Rec Room is based on a performance that finds Mike once again all dressed up with nowhere to go. Smith mimes along with a children’s “let’s play make believe” record, and then repeats the action—this time...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: humor, media analysis, performance

1973 | 07:06
Dressing Up
add to cart
add to wish list
A reverse striptease, non-stop comedic monologue about shopping for clothes, while eating corn nuts. Dressing Up was inspired by the artist’s mother’s penchant for bargain hunting. Mogul produced Dressing Up as a student in the feminist art program...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: body, consumer culture, performance, video history

East Coast, West Coast
add to cart
add to wish list
In this rare and humorous record of the art dialogue of the late 1960s, Holt and "guest" Robert Smithson assume opposing artistic viewpoints: the uptight, intellectual New Yorker versus the laid-back Californian. Their play-acting lays bare the...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: art criticism, art history, humor, video history