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.

Vito Acconci

Theme Song

1973 | 00:33:17

In a vile and ingenious way, Acconci pleads with the camera/spectator to join with him, to come to him, promising to be honest and begging, "I need it, you need it, c'mon...

Vito Acconci


1972 | 00:37:20

In this now infamous tape, exemplary of his early transgressive performance style, Acconci sits and relates a masturbatory fantasy about a girl rubbing his legs under the table.

Acconci explodes the notion of an artist’s creation, his creative act being the build-up and discharge of saliva, an activity more properly belonging to the realm of necessary and autonomic bodily…

Vito Acconci

Remote Control

1971 | 01:02:15

Two performers, Acconci and a young woman, occupy two wooden boxes in separate rooms, connected via monitor, camera, and microphone.

"One of Baldessari’s most ambitious and risky efforts.

“A good example of Baldessari’s deadpan irreverence is the 1971 black-and-white video entitled I Am Making Art, in which he moves different parts of his body slightly while saying, after…

“A spoof on current art attitudes [that] stretches the definition of what can be considered art.

John Baldessari


1972 | 00:25:15

Presenting a series of flashcards to the camera, Baldessari continues his exploration of visual semantics, defining the intersection of language and image.

John Baldessari


1972 | 00:24:14

“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…

“[A] rather perverse exercise in futility,” this tape documents Baldessari’s response to Joseph Beuys’s influential performance, How to Explain Pictures to a Dead Hare. Baldessari’s…

Addressing the imbalance of information flow between the wealthy and the destitute nations of the world, Towards A New World Information Order suggests means by which this imbalance might…

A primer in satellite system operation, Send/Receive extends the critique of media as commodity by asking questions concerning the people's right to access satellites.