I explore media in transition. My research encompasses film, video, print, digital arts, and the web. I'm interested in what artists and writers are doing and in what critics and scholars are saying.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Video Art Revisited

The Los Angeles Times reported today that the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles has acquired the Long Beach Museum of Art’s renowned video art collection, which is currently unavailable for public viewing and in need of preservation. The Getty will transfer the 3,000-plus tapes to a digital format and give copies to LBMA. This is good news for anyone interested in the history of video art in its own right or as background for the study of new media. As a former video archivist at LBMA, I appreciate the scope of the collection and am pleased the work will soon reach new audiences. (See also Getty press release.)

REWIND: Artists’ Video in the 70’s and 80’s addresses similar concerns, although focused on the UK. This project “will provide a research resource that addresses the gap in historical knowledge of the evolution of electronic media arts in the UK, by investigating specifically the first two decades of artists’ works in video. There is a danger that many of these works may disappear because of their ephemeral nature and poor technical condition. The project will conserve and preserve them, and enable further scholarly activity.” The first in a series of evening salons was held in November. Panelists considered “The Impact of British Art Schools on Early British Video Art.”

Several cultural institutions in the U.S. have designed Web sites that document archival projects related to the history of video art. Examples include Electronic Arts Intermix, A Kinetic History: The EAI Archives Online; the Daniel Langlois Foundation, Radical Software; and the Experimental Television Center, Video History Project. The Video Data Bank site is also a valuable resource.

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