Rehistoricizing Video Art : Focused on Exhibitions and Discourses
This paper proposes a few conceptual frameworks for the process of rehistoricizing video art, which identify video as an art form that differs from experimental television. A critical examination about how video art emerged over time warrants further consideration regarding the movements and various positions towards arts practice and policy. Therefore, this paper adds to the calling for rehistoricizing video art as an art genre.
Some may argue that there have been inconsistent narratives about the history of video art. Equally convincing, however, is the authentic history of art movements that unfolds stories about different forms of art. A linear approach to examine the history simply interferes with the ‘inconsistent’ process of creativity and limits the opportunity for growth. That said, I intend to reorganize the history of video art with experiment television and video technology as primary elements ―this process will shape the multilayered world of video art― and to substantiate an argument that such efforts can help ensure that rehistoricizing, often decentralized and diverse, is good for creativity.
This paper presents three key chapters. In chapter 2, two special events commonly mentioned in the history as for the beginning of video art are examined with regard to the context and their historical implications. Chapter 3 will discuss the ways about how the concept of video art came to birth and became operational: video art became a major player in curatorial practice and established a valuable footing in exhibitions of galleries and museums. In addition, the chapter examines the case of public broadcasting programming, which invited video technology for public discourse on aesthetics. This engaged video technology with the alternative and experimental television movement and helped to illustrate how art movements reflect socio-economic trends. Chapter 4 takes a look at a few art theories and their contributions to the academic efforts in order to understand electronic art forms with the use of television and video technology. In doing so, the theories are compared and further analyzed with a focus on the ways they informed and influenced each other whilst comprising an interconnected body of literature.
After all, this paper presents a view that video art has a room for a different approach ―as opposed to the traditional approach― towards the historical examination of societal policy and practice that contributed to expanding the aesthetic boundaries of television and video. An examination of supporting funds for television broadcasting studios, publishing venues for video art, and other apparatus of video art, such as galleries/museums and the organizations of alternative cultural movements, can inform not only the development of video art but also the historicizing of video art itself.
Today’s mass media and new digital art forms are changing the ways we study video art. It was the 1980s that historical narratives about video art just emerged. Now, the field is better informed about how to examine diverse art movements with more appropriate concepts and theories than the past. This is not meant to suggest that the history of video art be normalized, or that its complexity be glossed over. In light of experimental television, video technology, and today’s media art, rather, this paper intends to support the decentralized diversity in our artistic thinking and behaviour.