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.
Remy/Grand Central Trains and Boats and Planes

In a piece commissioned by Remy Martin, Birnbaum adopts the language of commercial advertising, using the body, gestures, and glances of a heavily made-up woman to create a scene of glamour and romance—while slipping in a disparaging narrative...

 

Nancy Holt
1977 | 1:16:52
Revolve

“Nancy Holt’s Revolve, a videotape where the artist, off-camera, interviews her friend Dennis Wheeler who is dying of leukemia, uses his illness and mental reflection as a metaphysical site. Her interview is recorded from the perspective...

 

Revolving Upside Down

The inverted camera catches Nauman standing at the end of the room, slowly spinning around on one foot, first head down in one direction, then head up in the other direction. The tape seems to be as much a trial of Nauman’s endurance as an...

 

Riley, Roily, River

The seemingly groundless debate as to whether a river is "riley" or "roily" can be interpreted as an example of language's descriptive failure. A shouting match over how to describe the river has no effect; the face of nature continues unchanged...

 

Paul Kos
1973 | 06:00
Search Olga Gold

Originally part of a larger sculptural installation using prospector's tools, this tape reenacts the search for "Olga," a miner's wife who disappeared on her honeymoon in 1936. As Paul and Marlene Kos call out, "Olga... Olga...", the camera scans...

 

Selected Tree Cuts

Building a shimmering effect through a rhythmic collage, images of trees are spun, frozen, colorized and digitized by means of an imaging computer. The soundtrack shifts back and forth between mechanical and natural sounds as the jumping shifts...

 

Selected Works: Reel 1

In Reel 1, newly re-mastered in 2005, a series of vignettes and jokes to camera take place, some starring Wegman’s droll and obliging canine partner Man Ray. Both the human body and props are employed to amusing effect: lamps talk, a microphone...

 

Selected Works: Reel 2

Re-mastered in 2005, Reel 2 features a series of demonstrations and durational tests: how to protect oneself from germs; how to turn a roll call into a role play; and an excruciating exercise in desire, as Man Ray attempts to get his...

 

Selected Works: Reel 3

The works on Reel 3 were produced during 1972-73, and re-mastered in 2005 when several newly available titles were added. The focus here is on social relationships and attaining the perfect life, be it through making the right decision,...