The Electric Mirror: Reflecting on Video Art in the 1970s

01:41:56

Collection: Curated Compilations, New Releases

Tags: Art History, Blu-ray, Body, Conceptual Art, Feminism, Mental Landscape, Performance, Technology, Television

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The Electric Mirror: Reflecting on Video Art in the 1970s

VDB TV: Decades, The 1970s

An original program for VDB TV: Decades curated by Robyn Farrell. Taking inspiration from Hershman Leeson’s essay Reflections on the Electric Mirror, this program concentrates on work from the first decade of American video art and focuses on artists that were influenced by and who pushed against the televisual impulse. The works in this program — by Lynda Benglis, Keith Sonnier, Susan Mogul, William Wegman, Nancy Holt, John Baldessari, Simone Forti, Paul and Marlene Kos, and Barbara Aronofsky Latham — derive from television both technologically and culturally, and serve as a catalogue of early experimentation with and in the closed circuit system.

This program is also avaliable on VDB TV: Decades, a unique five-disc compilation that casts a distinctive eye over the development of video as an art form from the early 1970s to the present. This five-disc compilation was released during 2017 in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Video Data Bank. Each program was curated by an inspiring artist, scholar or media arts specialist who has focused on a specific decade, diving into the archive of the VDB to create personal, distinctive, and relevant programs, accompanied by original essays and texts. VDB TV: Decades is the perfect accompaniment to VDB’s iconic anthology Surveying the First Decade: Video Art and Alternative Media in the U.S. 1968-80, providing another essential tool for understanding the development of video and media art over the past five decades.

Included Titles

1972 | 07:45
On Screen
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"Benglis manipulates generations of video footage to confound our sense of time; she implies an infinite regression of time and space — Benglis making faces in front of a monitor of her making faces in front of a monitor of her... ad infinitum. The...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: conceptual art, performance, video history

TV In and TV Out
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In Sonnier’s video tape TV In and TV Out, two images are superimposed, one shot off network television and the other shot from a studio performance situation involving some of the materials and visual qualities of his sculptures. This live image is...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: image processing, television, video history

1973 | 07:06
Dressing Up
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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

Massage Chair
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“I thought perhaps you’d like to see a demonstration of the new massage chair that we just got in. It — the reason for its — it looks revolutionary, it doesn’t look really like a typical massage chair, and that’s because I think Mies van der Rohe...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: conceptual art, humor, performance

Going Around in Circles
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Going Around In Circles continues Holt's interest in perception and point of view. A board with five circular holes is placed in front of the camera. The holes are covered and uncovered to reveal five people enacting a set of activities that...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: body, environment, landscape, performance

1972 | 24:14
Inventory
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“In Baldessari’s wonderful Inventory, the artist presents to the camera for thirty minutes an accumulation of indiscriminate and not easily legible objects arranged in order of increasing size and accompanied by a deadpan description — only to have...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: performance, video history

Three Grizzlies
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Forti uses the camera as a research tool to record the movements of three grizzly bears pacing anxiously behind the bars of their cage in the Brooklyn Zoo. The collected visual information becomes part of the basis for Forti's movements in Solo No....

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: dance, music, performance, video history

Paul Kos + 1 other
1976 | 01:23
Paul Kos & Marlene Kos, Lightning
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When I look for the lightning, it never strikes. When I look away, it does. Filmed inside a car, this tape focuses on observation of natural phenomena, presenting the obverse of the, "If a tree falls in the woods..." conundrum. Does observation...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: environment, video history

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 video...

 

Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: feminism, image processing, performance, video history