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.
The Adventures of a Nurse

Playing with cliched feminine personae, Eleanor Antin in The Adventures of a Nurse manipulates cut-out paper dolls to tell the story of innocent Nurse Eleanor who meets one gorgeous, intriguing, and available man after another. Nurse...

 

Affected and/or Effected

Affected and/or Effected begins with a close-up of a girl resting her head on her hand, reading. On the overlapping track a male voice states “affected,"—followed by a female voice that responds “and/or effected….”  This pattern of...

 

Altered to Suit

The whole story takes place in the mise-en-scene of the artist's studio. The delicate psychological allegory of "a day in the life of..." anchors the displacement of (filmic) reality and the alienation of the (player's) self. Devices such as...

 

The Amazing Bow Wow

The only Benglis video with a discernable plot, The Amazing Bow-Wow follows the adventures of a talking, hermaphroditic dog given to Rexina and Babu by a carnival barker. Rexina and Babu soon decide to make the dog a sideshow act hoping...

 

Keith Sonnier
1973 | 13:52
Keith Sonnier, Animation 1

With the Watergate hearings as a backdrop, quotes from various newspapers and magazines--including the story of Robert Smithson's death in a plane crash--build a picture of the confusing and tragic events of July 1973. Sonnier uses appropriated...

 

Keith Sonnier
1974 | 26:05
Animation 2

Concentrating on abstract shapes and color value, Animation 2 is a record of images manipulated through computer animation. By recording the data screens of the animators and the voices of the controllers, Sonnier discloses the process...

 

Linda Montano, Anorexia Nervosa

Through the testimonies of five women, this video lays out the complex problem of anorexia, detailing how the disease develops as a response to both personal and societal pressures. The common thread in these accounts is how the disease clusters...

 

Arbitrary Fragments

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...

 

One, Two, Three, Four

Starting with an activity as basic as four hands clapping, Landry composes an arresting visual documentation of the fundamentals of music through a play of visual and sonic rhythms. Landry considers these movements “imaginary hand exercises for...