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.

Possibly In Michigan is an operatic fairytale about cannibalism in Middle America. A masked man stalks a woman through a shopping mall and follows her home. In the end, their roles are…

Zachte Berm (from Weiner’s film Plowman’s Lunch) sits with her back to the camera in front of a large mirror—her face, covered with shaving cream, is seen in its reflection.

Janice Tanaka

Beaver Valley

1980 | 00:06:50

In this angry answer to the expectations advertising culture places on women and their bodies, Tanaka deftly edits commercial images and sound-bite slogans to underscore the message such images…

Simone Forti

Solo No. 1

1974 | 00:18:40

Adopting the movements of various animals, Forti begins the performance by walking hypnotically in circles.

Vito Acconci

The Red Tapes

1976 | 02:20:00

The Red Tapes is a three-part epic that features the diary musings of a committed outsider: revolutionary, prisoner, artist.

Frank Gillette


1974 | 00:34:38

Characteristic of much of Gillette's work—which treats video as a field of light, movement and reflection—Muse extends beyond optical sensation to engage the viewer in metaphysical…

Frank Gillette


1972 | 00:23:00

Taking its title from the four consonants of the ancient Hebrew name for God, Tetragramaton contemplates the relationship between man, technology, and ecological systems.

Footage from a performance produced at Forum en Scene in Middleburg, Holland of the players continually enacting the same tasks. Nothing To Lose opens with a young, androgynous sailor…

Hermine Freed

Show and Tell

1974 | 00:08:27

"There are three scenes in this work, all reflecting a changing sense of time. Each has a voiceover soundtrack with a similar structure, but with different information.

Hermine Freed

Art Herstory

1974 | 00:22:00

“In her brilliant video Art Herstory, [Freed] has restaged art history, putting herself in the model’s role in numerous paintings....

A Second Quarter is decidedly European; the “place” (Berlin) is the catalyst for the “action” (the work).

Ant Farm

The Eternal Frame

1976 | 00:24:16

Irreverent yet poignant, The Eternal Frame is a re-enactment of the assassination of John F. Kennedy as seen in the famous Zapruder film.