Describe (in some detail) the domains that video art is now extending into?
Artists are now combining different techniques and technologies to create their work. Some use digital video and put it on a DVD in order to project it in a studio, others are using digital video that has the look of 35 millimeter film or just editing the footage digitally for convenience.
Lately, more artists are combining several different techniques when creating a video; such as graphics, digital video, film, and “computer art.” For example, one artist mentioned in the chapter (Video Art by Michael Rush- chapter 4) is Pierre Huyghe.
His work consisted of pieces of popular films that are then recreated by a team of actors and Huyghe. These pieces are usually critiques of the movie industry, showing the unknown or unedited versions of these popular films. The actors will be shown forgetting their lines or acting differently than the characters did in the original movies. One of his videos, Remake, is a critique on the movie Rear Window and completely “de-emphasizes” the mystery of the film. He also uses installations as a way to present his art, which is similar to the way the original films are presented-in theaters.
What kinds of issues are artists exploring in this “extended video art medium”?
As I mentioned before, some artists (like Pierre Huyghe) explore the ideas of exposing the reality in movie making. The actors are very real and unedited which changes the whole feel and view on the popular movies that he remakes. In other pieces, such as The Third Memory (based on the film Dog Day Afternoon), he focuses on the ideas of memory and identity. This video in particular shows different shots from the original film, his remake of the film, his shots of the crew and cameras and combines all of them in the same installation interacting with one another.
Douglas Gordon explored identity and perception with Hollywood films, mainly because of the relationship he had with these films. His piece, 24 Hour Psycho, slowed down the footage from the original film which ended up creating something that took away the original tension from the film and added tension in a new way. The chapter talked about how the end result “played with viewers’ expectations as well as their memories and fears.
The issues that are also explored by these artists may be unintentional, such as commercialism and perfection. The reason that films are edited is to take away the imperfections and to have a polished product. People generally aren’t as attracted to reality as they are to perfection.
State some differences between video art at its inception in the 1960s and video art today. How is digital media altering or evolving video art?
Many artists use installations as part of their work, and the way the installations are used have changed a lot over the years. The bulky projectors have changed as technology has, developing much smaller DVD projectors. This has helped to create a greater freedom for the artist in the installation.
These installations have included everything from projections to the use of multiple television screens. However, installations aren’t the only thing that has changed since the 1960’s – the videos that are created have also changed. As I have talked about earlier, different techniques (combining animation and digital video, etc.) have been created and combined based on the preferences and abilities of the artist. The new and developing technologies have also helped to change video art.
There has also been a transition from film to digital video, because of the greater convenience. Editing digital video is much easer than having a film-editing machine. The biggest change is the amount of interactivity that viewers have with the art. It is no longer about just seeing the art, but becoming a participant.
As for the actual videos, they now include virtual reality and web art to be an “extension” of video art. Video is no longer restricted to digital video or traditional film, but it’s about the combination of many different techniques.
Why are some video artists motivated to work with appropriated films? And/or what issues does appropriated film enable artists to explore?
Going back to the first few questions, artists see appropriated footage as something to critique. They are able to take something that the general public is familiar with and change it to portray the feelings and thoughts that the artist is feeling/thinking. It’s about changing the preconceived notions that the viewers have towards the films and getting them to expand their knowledge.
By using the appropriated footage, artists are able to explore their feelings, the feelings of their audience, and the social norms under which the film was originally presented. They can also look critically at how the films are made and what goes on behind the scenes.
How does the author characterize video art’s relationship to cinema, to photography, to painting?
Video art is a cheaper, more accessible version of traditional cinema. The topics of many of the videos that the artists in the chapter focused on were using popular films as a critique of humanity and our experiences. Video art has been able to show us what the films neglect to. These videos tend to venture outside of camera’s view to show alternative situations and conditions.
In terms of photographs, they can be combined with videos to make a new type of combination art. In some ways, people view video and photographs as very constructed and unreal, and use the two forms of image to create something completely different. Both photographs and videos can be edited in the same way, by using programs to alter, distort, and combine images and videos to create something new.
Video art is like a painting, because the result and the process are completely controlled by the artist. However, like a painting, the artist’s “hand” in the art is absent. Both types of art are able to combine the real and the unreal in the same space and are able to seamlessly (if that’s the intention) integrate them into the work.
Why might the author be suggesting this decade as the last one for video art?
Video art has changed and developed so much, because the means in which it was shot has. Videos used to be shot on film, but then it switched over to digital because it was cheaper, easier, and more convenient. Now, artists are combining more than one medium (film, animation, digital video, etc.) and that is taking this type of art to a completely different place.
How are artists engaging the issue of surveillance?
Many artists create some kind of interactive installation where the viewers are a part of the art. In some cases, cameras follow their movements throughout the gallery and project them or combine them with the images of others. Some project the video on the walls, others have used multiple television screens around the space. By filming the viewers, it gives them the feeling that “Big Brother” is watching, and gets them to think critically about how many times they are caught on film daily. There have been some pieces that put cameras much closer to the participants; such as in Kiki Seror’s video ModusOperandi . In the video, she put small cameras on the ends of mascara and eye shadow brushes. This gives you a more intimate take on surveillance. Also, it is interesting that people monitor their favorite celebrities or athletes all the time and don’t view it as an invasion of privacy.