Video art

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Video art is a type of art which relies on moving pictures and comprises video and/or audio data. (It should not however be confused with television or experimental cinema). Video art came into existence during the 1960s and 1970s, is still widely practiced and has given rise to the widespread use of video installations.



Video art is named after the video tape, which was most commonly used in the form's early years, but before that artists had already been working on film, and with changes in technology Hard Disk, CD-ROM, DVD, and solid state are superseding the video tape as the carrier. Despite obvious parallels and relationships, video art is not experimental film.

One of the key differences between video art and theatrical cinema is that video art does not necessarily rely on many of the conventions that define theatrical cinema. Video art may not employ the use of actors, may contain no dialogue, may have no discernible narrative or plot, or adhere to any of the other conventions that generally define motion pictures as entertainment. This distinction is important, because it delineates video art not only from cinema but also from the subcategories where those definitions may become muddy (as in the case of avant garde cinema or short films). Video art's intentions are varied, from exploring the boundaries of the medium itself (e.g., Peter Campus, Double Vision) to rigorously attacking the viewer's expectations of video as shaped by conventional cinema (e.g., Joan Jonas, Organic Honey's Vertical Roll).

History of video art

Video art is often said to have begun when Nam June Paik used his new Sony Portapak to shoot footage of Pope Paul VI's procession through New York City in the autumn of 1965. That same day, across town in a Greenwich Village cafe, Paik played the tapes and video art was born. The French artist Fred Forest has also used a Sony Portapak since 1967. This fact is sometimes disputed, however, because the first Sony Portapak, the Videorover did not become commercially available until 1967 (Fred Forest does not contradict this, saying it was provided to him by the manufacturers [1]) and that Andy Warhol is credited with showing underground video art mere weeks before Paik's papal procession screening. Fred Forest does however stipulate on his website that in 1959 Wolf Vostell incorporated a television set into one of his works, "Deutscher Ausblick" 1959, which is part of the collection of the Berlinische Galerie possibly the first work of art with television. In 1963 Vostell exhibited his art environment "6 TV de-coll/age" at the Smolin Gallery in New York. This work is part of the Museo Reina Sofia collection in Madrid.

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