The Electric Mirror: Reflecting on Video Art in the 1970s

Lynda Benglis, Keith Sonnier, Susan Mogul, William Wegman, Nancy Holt, John Baldessari, Simone Forti, Marlene Kos, Paul Kos, Barbara Aronofsky Latham

Collection: Compilations, Curated Compilations

Tags: Art History, Blu-ray, Body, Conceptual Art, Feminism, Mental Landscape, Performance, Technology, Television

The Electric Mirror: Reflecting on Video Art in the 1970s

VDB TV: Decades
1970s: The Electric Mirror

An original program for VDB TV: Decades curated by Robyn Farrell. Taking inspiration from Lynn Hershman Leeson’s essay Reflections on the Electric Mirror, this program concentrates on work from the first decade of American video art and focuses on artists, who were influenced by and who pushed against the televisual impulse. The works in this program — by Lynda Benglis, Keith Sonnier, Susan Mogul, William Wegman, Nancy Holt, John Baldessari, Simone Forti, Paul and Marlene Kos, and Barbara Aronofsky Latham — derive from television both technologically and culturally, and serve as a catalogue of early experimentation with and in the closed circuit system.

This program is also avaliable on VDB TV: Decades, a unique five-disc compilation that casts a distinctive eye over the development of video as an art form from the early 1970s to the present. This five-disc compilation was released during 2017 in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Video Data Bank. Each program was curated by an inspiring artist, scholar or media arts specialist who has focused on a specific decade, diving into the archive of the VDB to create personal, distinctive, and relevant programs, accompanied by original essays and texts. VDB TV: Decades is the perfect accompaniment to VDB’s iconic anthology Surveying the First Decade: Video Art and Alternative Media in the U.S. 1968-80, providing another essential tool for understanding the development of video and media art over the past five decades.

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Included Titles
LISTING STYLE:

Lynda Benglis

On Screen

1972| 00:07:45

"Benglis manipulates generations of video footage to confound our sense of time; she implies an infinite regression of time and space — Benglis making faces in front of a monitor of her making faces…

Collections: Early Video Art, Single Titles
Tags: Performance, Video History, Conceptual Art

In Sonnier’s video tape TV In and TV Out, two images are superimposed, one shot off network television and the other shot from a studio performance situation involving some of the materials and…

Collections: Early Video Art, Single Titles
Tags: Image Processing, Video History, Television

Susan Mogul

Dressing Up

1973| 00:07:06

A reverse striptease, non-stop comedic monologue about shopping for clothes, while eating corn nuts. Dressing Up was inspired by the artist’s mother’s penchant for bargain hunting. Mogul produced…

Collections: Early Video Art, Single Titles
Tags: Body, Consumer culture, Performance, Video History

William Wegman

Massage Chair

1973| 00:01:35

“I thought perhaps you’d like to see a demonstration of the new massage chair that we just got in. It — the reason for its — it looks revolutionary, it doesn’t look really like a typical massage…

Collections: Early Video Art, Single Titles
Tags: Conceptual Art, Humor, Performance

Going Around In Circles continues Holt's interest in perception and point of view. A board with five circular holes is placed in front of the camera. The holes are covered and uncovered to reveal…

Collections: Early Video Art, Single Titles
Tags: Body, Environment, Landscape, Performance

John Baldessari

Inventory

1972| 00:24:14

“In Baldessari’s wonderful Inventory, the artist presents to the camera for thirty minutes an accumulation of indiscriminate and not easily legible objects arranged in order of increasing size and…

Collections: Early Video Art, Single Titles
Tags: Performance, Video History

Simone Forti

Three Grizzlies

1974| 00:17:00

Forti uses the camera as a research tool to record the movements of three grizzly bears pacing anxiously behind the bars of their cage in the Brooklyn Zoo. The collected visual information becomes…

Collections: Early Video Art, Single Titles
Tags: Dance, Music, Performance, Video History

Paul Kos + 1 other

Lightning

1976| 00:01:23

When I look for the lightning, it never strikes. When I look away, it does. Filmed inside a car, this tape focuses on observation of natural phenomena, presenting the obverse of the, "If a tree falls…

Collections: Early Video Art, Single Titles
Tags: Environment, Video History

Arbitrary Fragments

The Electric Mirror: Reflecting on Video Art in the 1970s

1978 | 00:12:44

Using highly-manipulated and over-processed images, Latham investigates the process of video as inherently fragmented. Weaving together various people’s impressions of the artist and her work, the…

Using highly-manipulated and over-processed images, Latham investigates the process of video as inherently fragmented. Weaving together various people’s impressions of the artist and her work, the…

Collections: Early Video Art, Single Titles
Tags: Feminism, Image Processing, Performance, Video History

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