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TitleVideo Art: A Guided Tour
PublisherI. B. Tauris
CategoryArts - Film
Author
LanguageEnglish
File Size2.7 MB
Total Pages226
Table of Contents
                            EEn
Video Art, A Guided Tour
	Copyright Info
	TOC
		Illustrations
		Foreword
		Acknowledgements
		1 - Introduction - From the Margins to the Mainstream
		2 - The Modernist Inheritance - Tampering with the Technology, and Other Interferences
		3 - Disrupting the Content - Feminism
		4 - Masculinities - Class, Gay and Racial Equality
		5 - Language - Its Deconstruction and the UK Scene
		6 - Television Spoofs and Scratch - Parody and Other Forms of Sincere Flattery
		7 - Video Art on Television
		8 - Video Sculpture
		9 - The 1990s and the New Millennium
		Notes
		Bibliography
		Index and Videography
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 113

Artists like Marty St. James and Anne Wilson in the UK and the Americans
Tom Rubnitz and Ann Magnuson, created hymns to cultural consumption, to
the viewing process itself. St. James and Wilson delighted in producing pseudo-
American soaps, complete with stilettos and swimming pools. As we saw in
Chapter 3, Magnuson parodied the experience of the restless viewer, channel-
hopping through daytime TV in search of meaning. In Made for TV (1984),
Magnuson’s cast of media characters are interchangeable, from the heroine of
a film noir to the Playschool presenter – all performed by the artist herself. The
meaning of the work lies not so much in the overt content of the piece, but in
the image of Magnuson as viewer of her own goal-less meandering through
the numerous TV channels already available in the USA. She turns away from
life and embarks on a fruitless search for her own identity in the narcissistic
hall of mirrors that is television. Here she will find only stereotypes because
‘acceptable entertainment has to flatter and exploit the cultural and political
assumptions of the land of its origins.’7 By extension, it must promote the interests
of the oligarchy governing that land and not those of alienated individuals
represented by Magnuson. The fact that Magnuson only finds her own image in
various guises attests to the widespread view among artists that the media were
increasingly determining experience – I am what I watch. In the 1960s, the
cultural theorist Marshall McLuhan pointed to the social consequences of new
communication systems. He observed that the content of a television broadcast
was less important than the new viewing habits it engendered, ‘the change of
scale or pace or pattern that it introduces into human affairs’ – this was the real
‘message’ of any medium or technology.8 Television dictates behaviour.

If television entertainment contributes to maintaining our conformity to the
status quo and fixing our place in the matrix of power relations defining the
social order, the function of commercial television is to control our behaviour
as consumers. Back in 1973, the American artist Richard Serra made one of the
first direct critiques of TV in a declamatory video entitled Television Delivers
People. The tape consists of a series of captions in which the artist promulgates
the view that the primary role of television entertainment, of ‘soft propaganda’,
is to deliver viewers to the ‘corporate oligarchy’. A commercial transaction takes
place in which the viewer is sold to the advertiser by the networks. And, as
Serra observes, ‘the viewer pays for the privilege of having himself sold.’ Not
only is the viewer as consumer controlled by advertising, but, according to
Serra’s captions, television information is ‘the basis on WHICH YOU MAKE
JUDGEMENTS. By which you think.’ In Television Delivers People, Serra paints
a picture of the western world in which its peoples are at the mercy of the
NEW MEDIA STATE. Once again, we see politics dominated by multinational
corporations conspiring with the entertainment industry to exert unprecedented
social control for the benefit and profit of those in the driving seat.

Page 114

As we have seen, the overall narrative continuity of commercial television
is vulnerable to disruption – first by domestic events in the nation’s living
rooms, but more importantly by the advertisements themselves and those
transitional moments on television in which programme ‘links’ create a hiatus
before the next scheduled item enthrals us once again. In spite of the recent
adoption of busy graphics and surreal juxtapositions of images, advertising is
still heavily dependent on television realism and conventional narrative forms
to get its message across. The underlying discourse extolling the benefits of a
particular product must remain clear in order to control viewers’ buying habits
successfully. Like his counterparts in television advertising, the American
video artist William Wegman used realism and enactment to communicate his
message. In contrast to advertisers, who seek to communicate the desirability of
consumer goods, Wegman’s now classic Deodorant Commercial (1972) extracts
and amplifies the narrative caesurae of advertisement breaks. Wegman’s
ad begins with a familiar product theme, personal hygiene. The half-naked
artist, standing in profile, sprays his armpit with an aerosol deodorant. As the
scented mist builds up on his skin, he delivers a rambling monologue on the

15. William Wegman, (Selected Works – Reel 3) Deodorant Commercial (1972),
videotape. Courtesy of the artist and Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.

Page 225

Nash, Mark, 175
Nate, G-Street Live (1992, Larry

King), 183
Nation’s Finest, The (1990, Keith

Piper), 60
Nauman, Bruce, 11, 30, 87
Neshat, Shirin, 176–7
News, The (1980, Ian Breakwell),

97–8
New York Conversations (1990,

Vivienne Dick), 130
Nochlin, Linda, 70
Normopaths (1995, Jane and

Louise Wilson), 166
Nunavut (Our Land) (1994–1995,

Zacharias Kunuk), 178–9

O
O’Doherty, Brian, 161
O’Pray, Mike, 163
Obsessive Becoming (1995, Dan

Reeves), 88, 125
Ono, Yoko, 14
Oursler, Tony, 142, 148, 151, 156
Orlan, 180–1
Out of Blue (2002, Zarina, Bhimji),

177–8
Over Our Dead Bodies (1991, Stuart

Marshall), 66

P
Palestine, Charlemagne, 129
Paik, Nam June, 4–5, 15, 21, 25–7,

33, 35–6, 107, 119, 142,
143–4, 146

Pane, Gina, 180
Parker, Jayne, 50–1, 52, 55
Parker, Rozsika, 48, 72
Parmar, Pratibha, 43, 59
Parsberg, Cecilia, 166
Partridge, Stephen, 28, 134, 147
Passion Ration (1984, Zoe

Redman), 130
Pedagogue (1988, Stuart Marshall,

with Neil Bartlett), 62
Peeping Tom (2000, Mark Lewis),

169–70
Perée, Rob, 138
Perfect Lives (Private Parts) (1983–

1984, Robert Ashley), 126
performance art, 6,8; at the

extremes, 179–81;
Viennese Aktionists, 180

Perpetual Motion (1994, Chris
Meigh-Andrews), 184

Peters, Leslie, 183

Phelan, Peggy, 48, 49, 52, 53,
64, 162

Pictorial Heroes, 74
Pieces I Never Did (1979, David

Critchley), 84
Piper, Keith, 59–60
Pirrie Adams, Kathleen, 160
Plunderphonics, 183
Point of Light (1963, Nam June

Paik), 26
Pollock, Griselda, 48, 52, 72, 174
Portrait of Shobana Jeyasingh

(1991, Marty St. James and
Anne Wilson), 145

Positiv (1997, Mike Hoolboom), 66
Potter, Sally, 39
Prometheus. Greek Piece no.3

(1975, Jochen Gerz), 27
Proposition is a Picture, A (1992,

Steve Hawley), 84
Pryings (1971, Vito Acconci), 74
pseudo-soaps, 187–8
Pursuit, Fear, Catastrophe: Ruskin,

B.C. (1993, Stan Douglas),
183

R
Raban, William, 79
Redman, Zoe, 130, 135
Reeves, Dan, 16, 19, 38, 88, 125, 128
Reflecting Pool, The (1980, Bill

Viola), 126
relational art, 191, 192
Remembrance of Things Fast (1996,

John Maybury), 185
Richardson, Tasman, 183–4
Ridley, Anna, 136
Rist, Pipilotti, 164–5
Robert Marshall (1991, Stuart

Marshall), 66
Robertshaw, Simon, 74
Rolfe, Nigel, 180
Room Film (1973, Peter Gidal), 79
Rosenbach, Ulrike, 10
Rosler, Martha, 42, 50, 142, 189
Ross, David, 39, 41
Roth, Dieter, 149
Rottner, Nadia, 179
Rush, Michael, 172
Rushton, Chris, 118
Ryan, Tom, 69
Rybczynski, Zbigniew, 134, 137,

158

S
Said, Edward, 175

Samadian, Seifollah, 177
Sandborn and Fitzgerald, 91, 112;

and Perillo, 126
Sari Red (1988, Pratibha Parmar),

43, 59
Savage, Peter, 110
Scarlet-Davis, John, 113
Schneemann, Carolee, 48, 181
Schneider, Ira, 15
Schum, Gerry, 119
Searching for my Mother’s Number

(2002, Sanja Iveković),
173–4

Season Outside, A (1997–2002,
Amar Kanwar), 174

Segalove, Ilene, 105
Self-Burial (1969, Keith Arnatt),

119
Semiotics of the Kitchen (1975,

Martha Rosler), 42,142
Sentimental Journey (1995,

Michael Curran), 166
Serra, Richard, 2, 99
Sherman, Cindy, 163
Sherman, Tom, 104, 126, 129, 154,

175, 190, 193
Siegel, Eric, 33
Sick as a Dog (1989, Ian Bourn),

104–5
Siden, Ann-Sofi, 155, 173
Sierra, Santiago, 162
Situation Envisaged: The Rite II, The

(1989, David Hall), 146
Sky TV (1966, Yoko Ono), 14
Slowly Turning Narrative (1992,

Bill Viola), 154
Smith, Stephanie, 166
Smith and Stewart, 145–6, 185–6
Smothering Dreams (1981, Dan

Reeves), 38
Snow, George, 125
Snow, Michael, 10, 28, 78–9
Sombra y Sombra (1988, Dan

Reeves), 128
Sontag, Susan, 162
Sony Portapak, 3, 4, 19
Sony Series 5 edit suite, 90, 118
Sorin, Pierrick, 191
Spender, Dale, 77
Sluts and Goddesses (1994, Annie

Sprinkle), 181–2
Spero, Lawrence, 15
Sprinkle, Annie, 181–2
Stallabrass, Julian, 158, 175, 189
Stamping the Studio (1968, Bruce

Nauman), 30

Page 226

Stansfield, Elsa, 57, 149
Starr, Georgina, 188
State of Division (1979, Mick

Hartney), 69–70, 144–5
Steele, Lisa, 43
Stewart, Nick, 181–2
St. James, Marty, 16, 99, 145
Stoneman, Rod, 79, 110, 121, 131,

136, 138
Stones, Andrew, 74
Stubbs, Mike, 18, 73, 74, 118
SUB/EXTROS and HALF/LIVES

(2001, Tom Sherman), 190
Sufferance, The (1993, Lei Cox), 88
Sweatlodge (1991, Mike Stubbs,

with Man Act), 73

T
Table Ruin (2002, Dieter Roth), 147
Tall Ships (1992, Gary Hill), 152–3
Tango (1983, Zbigniew

Rybczynski), 134, 137
Tatti, Ben, 28
Taylor-Wood, Sam, 11, 20, 153, 163
Technology/Transformation:

Wonder Woman (1978–
1979, Dara Birnbaum), 108

television: and artists’ video,
119–40; commercials,
100–1; consumerism,
99; conventions, 91, 98;
deconstruction, 93–116;
documentary, 103–4; and
domesticity, 122–3; outside
broadcast, 105–7; reality,
98, 188–9

Television Delivers People (1973,
Richard Serra), 99

Théberge, Pierre, 28
There is a Myth (1984, Catherine

Elwes), 46–7, 49
This is a Television Receiver

(1971–1976, David Hall),
31–2, 98, 121

This sentence isn’t working (1990,
Steven Partridge), 134

Thriller (1979, Laura Mulvey), 113
Tickner, Lisa, 52
Time Zone (1980, Ira Schneider),

15
Tooba (2002, Shirin Neshat), 176
Touchscreen (1987, Claus Blume),

124

Trade Winds (1992, Keith Piper), 59
Transit Bar (1994, Vera Frenkel),

149
Tricolour Video (1982, Nam June

Paik), 146
Trout Descending a Staircase (1987,

Steve Hawley), 83
TV as a Fireplace (1969, Jan

Dibbets), 142
TV Bra for Living Sculpture (1969,

Nam June Paik and
Charlotte Morman), 144

TV Buddha (1974, Nam June
Paik), 142

TV Decollages, (1960s, Wolf
Vostell), 25

U
Unassembled Information (1977,

Tamara Krikorian), 57
unified subject, 76–7

V
Vasulka, Woody and Steina, 14,

34–5, 150, 184
Vertical Roll (1972, Joan Jonas), 30
video: and the art market, 116;

castrating the gaze, 92–3;
distribution, 117–18; as a
document of performance
9–12; feedback, 16–17,
28; and the Internet,
189–91; live relay, 14; new
narrative, 81–95; ‘New
Wave’, 108; portraiture,
163–4; recombinant, 172,
183–4; scratch, 73, 107–15;
sculpture, 124, 142–57;
and society 3–5; specificity
of the medium, 23–36; on
television, 117–40; time
frame, 14–16; voice-over,
54–7

video performance, 150
Video Ping Pong (1974, Ernst

Caramelle), 148
videowall, 147–8
Viola, Bill, 11, 20, 71–2, 126–8,

130, 143, 154, 157, 188
Violin Power: The Performance

(1992 to present, Steina
Vasulka), 34

Vostell, Wolf, 24, 107

Vital Statistics of the Average
Citizen Simply Obtained
(1977, Martha Rosler), 50

W
Wades, The, 191
Wall-Floor Positions (1968, Bruce

Nauman), 11
Wallinger, Mark, 156–7
war, 37–9
Warte Mal! (2002, Ann-Sofi Siden),

155–6, 173
Warwick, Maggie, 82
Wearing, Gillian, 87, 164, 185, 188
Wegman, William, 100–1
We have fun Drawing Conclusions

(1981, Steve Hawley), 70–1
Welsby, Chris, 79, 171
Welsh, Jeremy, 72–3, 91, 103, 106,

111, 112–13, 116, 160
Western Deep (2002, Steve

McQueen), 177
What Do You Think Happened to

Liz? (1980, Alex Meigh),
142

White Out (2002, Jeremy Welsh), 103
White Station, The (1999, Seifollah,

Samadian), 177
Why do things get in a muddle?

(1984, Gary Hill), 30, 134
Wilcox, Mark, 93–4, 97
Williams, Raymond, 106
Wilson, Anne, 99, 145
Wilson, Jane and Louise, 166
With Child (1983, Catherine

Elwes), 93
de Witt, Helen, 126
Woman from Malibu (1976, Colin

Campbell), 64–5
World Peace Thru Free Trade (1989,

John Butler), 102
Wounds and Other Absent Objects

(1996, Anish Kapoor), 124
Wyn Evans, Cerith, 62–3
Wyver, John, 121, 138, 139

Y
yBas, 159–61
Young, Graham, 132–3

Z
Zen for TV (1963, Nam June

Paik), 25

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