While transferring my personal collection of artists' videos to DVD, I've been watching a retrospective that dates back to the late 1960s when independent video emerged as the next creative frontier. Boxes of exhibition catalogues, articles, books, and other documents related to the evolution of this movement fill my living room, reminding me of fragmented histories that are fading from public memory as "new media" infiltrate our lives and video adapts to the twenty-first century. From a creative standpoint, I'm fascinated by ways that artists, writers, film- and videomakers, and hybrid producers of all kinds are experimenting with digital technologies and the Web, yet, surrounded by the video archive my home has become, I feel inclined to make connections and establish links not only among the latest innovations but also between those media and selected strands of independent video from earlier eras. My explorations of new media are thus colored by selective engagements with video art from the 1960s to the early 1990s, a background that may be apparent in future posts to this blog. Now, as then, I focus on novel approaches to self-representation, autobiography, and personal narratives.
Two recent newspaper articles offer contemporary slants on related issues:
"Art That Has to Sleep in the Garage
," by Edward Lewine (published June 26, 2005, nytimes.com), addresses the current state of video art. Lewine informs readers that now "video art is widely bought and exhibited by collectors and museums alike, and there are those who say flat screens may soon be as common on household walls as picture frames." Contrary to its emergence as an art form that couldn't be collected, as Lewine points out,
video by key artists has been turned into commodities with prices as high as six figures.
"The DVD: Democratizing Video Distribution
," by Elaine Dutka (published June 21, 2005, latimes.com), highlights directions that independent media makers on low budgets are exploring today. The article begins, "With a digital camera and a home computer, any aspiring filmmaker can produce a disc that may even wind up being seen by the public."Technorati tags: video_art, archives, independent_media