Kinetic Imaging Blog

Hello! I’m using this blog for my Kinetic Imaging class.  Here is a blog on our first reading assignment!

1. What makes the medium of video special or unique as an artform?

Video art began when video technology became directly available to the consumer.  Since it was not the first time a moving picture was created, video art is very linked to film and the industry of Hollywood.  In many senses, it began as a reaction to film, instead of narrative qualities it could be abstract or counter-intuitive.  The technology of video, however, enables the artist to create a truly expansive personal experience.  The viewer can be lead through a journey using the video, which allows them to believe they are there, but doesn’t give them full control of the situation.

2. Video’s unique qualities give way to certain themes that are central to the medium. They include:

Video is always linked to technology.  Many changes in video form are due to the increase or decrease in technology.  It’s young age also gives it a notably short existence and history from which to work allowing for more original ideas and concepts to be shown still today.  Video is not still image, hence taking on a sense of style all its own.  The images are moving, therefore take on the qualities of time, story, motion.  There is usually, although not always, a start and a end to the story and all viewers progress along the same path.

3. Why was video art and politics so closely connected at its inception in the 1960s?

Video art and politics were so linked in the beginning because many video artists used their credentials as videographers to get behind the scenes of many political arenas.  Frank Gilette used his ability to work a camera as a way to ‘enter the communications process’ and “cease being a passive recipient of commercialized media.”  There was also just a wealth of material to be had in politics during the 1960s.  The riots and anti-war movement allowed for a very distinct theme to emerge in art of the time period.

4.  What positive and negative implications does the accessibility of video yield?

Video can be viewed negatively because it is so accessible that people think it requires no skill.  This is a common theme with the post-modern art era, which focuses less on finished works and more on the emotional process of the art or how the viewer see it.  A positive to video is the ability to capture processes over time and relay them as accurately (or inaccurately) as possible.  It creates another dimension that comes closer to replicating and responding to life.  Accessibility is also an advantage of video art.  It gives those who cannot be filmmakers, or do not have the resources or desire to become such, the opportunity to work with moving image.

The following questions from the reading have to do with context (might take some extra google searching):

5.  In contemporary art, what does the ‘post-medium condition’ signify?

Post medium literally means ‘after the medium.’ This is to say that the medium has transcended itself and become something beyond, or after what was originally intended for.  Some artists use a combination of material to create a piece that defies the original intention, such as using appropriated advertising to mock at pop culture.  It can also mean using known objects in unconventional ways to illustrate a greater point.

6.  Describe formalism or formalist art.

Formalism or formalist art is a process of looking at art that takes it at face value.  It neglects to consider the notions behind the work, the ideas or history of the artist or the intention of the work.  It instead deals only with the distinct physical form: the line, color, shape, movement of the piece.

7.  Describe conceptualism or conceptual art.

Conceptualism or conceptual art is a way of thinking or works of art that draw questions about the art itself.  Conceptual art should not just exist, but exist to make a statement about itself or society.  This art can not be taken for merely aesthetic face value, but rather must be taken for the message which is attempts to achieve.  While conceptual art is typically uses a less ‘traditional’ skill set, it is foolish to think that it is merely a craft or production of someone without purpose or artistic ability.

8. What is Fluxus?

Is the term used to describe artists who combined themes and materials into one work.  Also described as mixed or inter media, these pieces worked to transcend merely one type of reaction, emotional process or medium.  Fluxus pieces are simple, many times in critique of modern art theory, and humorous in nature.

9.  What is intermedia?

Describes the work made by the fluxus in the 1960s.  The works were not nearly sculpture, yet not anything else either. It involves the use of many mediums to create a stronger visual picture or reaction.  Artists may use text, sound, images, appropriation or found objects to create their work.