VIDEO ART

Dates: 1960-Present

Origin: International

Key Artists: Bill Viola

A form of art which emerged in the 1960s, and which was based around the manipulation of videotaped images and their projection or replay on television screens. Although contemporary with early experiments in computer art, and despite superficial formal similarities, the earliest manifestations of Video art were not characterized by a specific interest in technological exploration, but were informed rather by an intention to subvert the conventional uses of television and film as communicative media. The most famous examples of such art are the films of Andy Warhol, such as Sleep (1963) and Empire (1966), both of which last for more than six hours, are silent, and show only one static image.

The origins of Video art are generally attributed to the work of Nam June Paik (1932– ), a member of the Fluxus group. His early works were installations, characterized by their use of rows of television sets which transmitted similar but slightly differentiated images, such as TV Clock (1963; New York, Whitney Mus.), and Moon is the Oldest TV (1965; Whitney Mus.). Other leading exponents of such art in the 1970s included Bill Viola (1951– ), whose installations manipulate natural time sequences, and Gary Hill (1951– ), whose work concentrates on the relationship between speech and image.

Parfitt, Oliver. “Video art.” The Oxford Companion to Western Art. Ed. Hugh Brigstocke. Oxford Art Online. 12 Mar. 2010 <www.oxfordartonline.com/subscriber/article/opr/t118/e2700>

Nantes Triptych, 1992

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