Television and video recording technology used in works of art.

The 1960's marked the infancy of video art, not just for hobby documentarians, but also for artists choosing the video or film medium to explore sensory perception and experience. Video art really took off when portable video equipment first became available.

Nam June Paik created a signature aesthetic. In his first solo exhibition of 1963, Paik scattered televisions around a gallery, on their sides and upside down, displaying distorted images of electronic waves. He addressed the power and manipulation of video in his sculptures comprised mainly of TV sets. One such piece, Electronic Superhighway, was composed of 313 TVs and roughly arranged in the shape of the United States; it projected a variety of images, from the flag, landscapes, politics to electronic disturbances.

At first, numerous artists used video to record performances. Another group, inspired by the sheer inventiveness of Nam June Paik's 60's installations, focused on the aesthetics of video display as much as content. Often, they used televisions, video monitors, and creative projection surfaces in innovative juxtapositions. Perhaps no other art form, not even cinema, has been so consistently in transition.

In the early 70's, Vito Acconci, Keith Sonnier, Nancy Holt, Bruce Nauman, Shugeko Kubota, Chris Burden, and Les Levine, and others, began to investigate the role of artist as art creator and interpreter through video by allowing their bodies, movements, actions and words to comment on the art making process. Their work was grounded in conceptual art, photography and performance art. Artists' collaborations with engineers and fostered the development of new video technologies, such as the first video synthesizer created by Nam June Paik and Shuya Abe. The availability of simple, inexpensive video cameras in the late 1970s and early 1980s produced a period of exponential growth in the field.

These artists did video art:

Related nodes:

Source: Lippard, Lucy, "Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966-1972", Praeger, NY 1973 (Video Data Bank) Last Updated 05.28.03

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