Chapter 4 Response

What domains is video art now extending into?

Video art is extending beyond just documentations or capture and into the realm of animation, virtual reality, installation, and film elements.

Animation and virtual reality allow the artist to create worlds that don’t exist. This heightens the visual experience for the viewer because it is something that they can’t see elsewhere; it requires more of their thoughts to process it.

Installation allows the artist to connect with the viewer and give them a unique but regulated experience.  It takes the dimensions of the piece one step deeper and draws in the viewer, rather than allowing them to walk through uneffected.

Film is making a bigger splash in video art these days, many artists are no longer looking to solely recreate and document the world, but rather looking to enhance the visuals and make it look more like big budget production.  This is reflected in both the recording mechanisms used and the way they are edited and displayed.

• What kinds of issues are artists exploring in this “ extended video art medium”?

Virtual Separation: Artists have explored visual relationships between people through the use of video.  Manglano-Ovalle explored the separation between two people in very close vicinity to one another.  It defines class distinction and how attention plays a role in the separation between these two.

Using multiple screens also allows for representing different parts of a whole, such as in Aitken’s electric earth.  This piece explores life lived in the shadows through close up shots displayed on multiple screens. It gives the viewer a 360 like approach to someone’s life full of different things they might not ever see or think about.

• State some differences between video art at its inception in the 1960s and video art today.

Video art is becoming more cinematic and with that brings a disregard fort he unique characteristics of video.  In the 60s and 70s video art was used to capture immediacy in a relatively cheap way as opposed to film, which was expensive and didn’t capture the same essence of life that video did.  Now that this phase is passing and film like qualities are becoming more easily accessible for artists, the way that we think of ‘video art’ is looking a lot more like cinema.

• Why are some video artists motivated to work with appropriated films?  Or what issues does appropriated film enable artists to explore?

Some video artists are working with appropriated footage to create their art.  This gives a different dimension because the artist is challenged to take something that the viewer knows and recognizes and either make some critique of it, or make it looks like nothing like the original.

• What is Installation Art?

Installation Art is where artists use many methods to create an environment for the viewer to enter into in a literal sense.  It creates physical participation on the part of the viewer, rather than the passive response that is sometimes required by other works.  Installations can be multiple rooms or require the participants to do some sort of action, but either way it forces them to connect with the piece.  This is effective because it keeps people from merely walking by and glancing at the painting and walking on, it takes them in and makes them think about it, or at least participate.

• What is the meaning of Marshall McLuhan’s famous phrase “ The medium is the message?”

The medium is the message deals with the way that something is displayed gives it more or less meaning.  This relates to video art because it can take on different effects or draw the viewer in more based on what steps are taken in creating the video.  Film feels different to the viewer than video does; it is more pulled together and gives a cinematic feel whereas video feels more documentative in nature.  This changes how the viewer perceives the piece, something that is film may come off as fiction, whereas a video might come off as real life due to its documentative qualities.  Installation also has a big effect on the medium as the message.  If there are additional factors used to draw in the reader they will perceive the message differently.  Viewing a video is one thing, but if things are flying at you or crawling on you during an exhibit your perception and take away from that will be very different even if the video hasn’t changed.


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