Surveying the First Decade: Video Art and Alternative Media in the U.S. 1968-1980: Attention! Production! Audience! Performing Video in its First Decade, 1968-1980

Author : Chris Hill

This essay examines the sociopolitical context in which video art emerged in the late 1960s.  Hill addresses the media theory of Marshall McLuhan and Herbert Marcuse’s concepts of personal agency and community in order to outline the political climate in which video art developed.  Given this growing convergence of calls for democratic change and the increasing awareness of the role technology would play in that democracy, Hill considers how the video medium was taken up as a tool for experiments in radical activism by early video collectives, and how these collectives participated in the realization and articulation of alternative communities.