Early Video Art is a collection of titles that are central to an understanding of the historical development of video art. This collection includes, but is not limited to, many titles from the original Castelli-Sonnabend collection, the first and most prominent collection of video art assembled in the United States. All of the work in this collection was produced between 1968 and 1980. These works represent important examples of the first experiments in video art, and include conceptual and feminist performances recorded on video, experiments with the video signal, and "guerilla" documentaries representing a counter-cultural view of the historical events of the 1960s and 70s. Many of these tapes represent a desire for a radically redefined television experience that is centered on the innovative, the personal, the political and the non-commercial.
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Vasulkas Inc

Summer Salt

1982 | 00:18:40

This tape is part of a larger work entitled Southwestern Landscapes, a series exploring the landscape surrounding the Vasulkas’ New Mexico home, manipulating space and time through…

Nancy Holt

Revolve

1977 | 01:16:52

“Nancy Holt’s Revolve, a videotape where the artist, off-camera, interviews her friend Dennis Wheeler who is dying of leukemia, uses his illness and mental reflection as a metaphysical…

In this rare and humorous record of the art dialogue of the late 1960s, Holt and "guest" Robert Smithson assume opposing artistic viewpoints: the uptight, intellectual New Yorker versus the laid-…

Lawrence Weiner

Broken Off

1970 | 00:00:55

In this video the artist states that a public work demonstrates what qualifies as art within his conception.

“[This tape] gives a clear picture of the consistency of Jonas’s concerns.

Jonas intercuts scenes of the Nova Scotia countryside with images of a studio set-up reminiscent of a di Chirico painting.

Joan Jonas

Disturbances

1974 | 00:15:00

Jonas uses reflections on a lake as a mirror to displace reality, creating a disruption and the illusion of presence.

Joan Jonas

Vertical Roll

1972 | 00:19:37

In this well-known early tape, Jonas manipulates the grammar of the camera to create the sense of a grossly disturbed physical space.

“In Left Side Right Side, Jonas explores the ambiguities caused by her attempt to identify correctly the spatial orientation of images simultaneously played back by a monitor and…

Shigeko Kubota

My Father

1975 | 00:15:34

In this classic personal elegy, Kubota mourns her father's death and recounts the last days of his life.

A classic feminist video, Learn Where the Meat Comes From depicts how “gourmet carnivore tastes take on a cannibalistic edge.

Richard Landry

Divided Alto

1974 | 00:13:59

Utilizing a four-way split screen, Divided Alto documents Landry’s improvised flute performance—focusing on the harmonics of the instrument as he plays double and triple chords.