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.
I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art

“‘I will not make any more boring art,’ John Baldessari wrote over and over again in a work done in 1971. The impulse for the piece, he says, came from dissatisfaction with the ‘fallout of minimalism,’ but its implications are far greater. It is...

 

Bob Snyder
1978 | 11:00
Icron

Using the image processor as it was intended as a performance instrument, Icron exploits the processor’s real-time capabilities: the image and soundtrack were generated through simultaneous improvisation, although the color was added...

 

In Search of the Castle

In Search of the Castle is an optical journey that combines Steina’s abstraction of real images and Woody’s digital effects. Taped from a car passing through the flat landscape of New Mexico, computer effects create an interesting play...

 

John Baldessari
1972 | 24:14
Inventory

“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 —...

 

It Starts at Home

Tapping into cable because of his lousy reception, Mike gets more than he bargained for as he unwittingly becomes trapped in the medium—the “star” of his own cable TV show. Due to an incomprehensible mishap, Mike’s rewired TV now transmits his...

 

Kiss the Girls: Make Them Cry

Using selected details of TV’s Hollywood Squares, Birnbaum constructs an analysis of the coded gestures and “looks” of the actors, including Eileen Brennen and Melissa Gilbert. Birnbaum exposes television as an agent of cultural mimicry...

 

Learn Where the Meat Comes From

A classic feminist video, Learn Where the Meat Comes From depicts how “gourmet carnivore tastes take on a cannibalistic edge. This parody of a Julia Child cooking lesson collapses the roles of consumer and consumed: Lacy instructs us in...

 

“In Left Side Right Side, Jonas explores the ambiguities caused by her attempt to identify correctly the spatial orientation of images simultaneously played back by a monitor and reflected in a mirror. This is confusing because, contrary...

 

Steina Vasulka
1972 | 04:00
Let It Be

“The 1972 Women’s Video Festival [at the Kitchen] opened with an award-winning short by Steina Vasulka. Featuring close-ups of her mouth twitching and grimacing in accompaniment to the Beatles’s ‘Let It Be.’ Somewhere behind its humor and satire...