Video is everywhere today—on our phones and screens, defining new spaces and experiences, spreading memes, lies, fervor, and power. Shared, sent, and networked, it shapes public opinion and creates new publics. In other words, video has transformed the world. Bringing together a diverse range of work from the past six decades, Signals reveals the ways in which artists have posed video as an agent of global change—from televised revolution to electronic democracy.
The exhibition highlights over 70 media works, drawn primarily from MoMA’s collection, with many never before seen at the Museum. Featured artists include John Akomfrah, Gretchen Bender, Dara Birnbaum, Tony Cokes, Amar Kanwar, New Red Order, Nam June Paik, Sondra Perry, Martine Syms, Stan VanDerBeek, and Ming Wong. Signals enables audiences to experience video art’s wildly varied formats, settings, and global reach, from closed-circuit surveillance to viral video, from large-scale installation to social networks.
With this broad range of forms and media, artists have championed and questioned the promise of video. Some have hoped to create entirely new networks of communication, democratic engagement, and public participation. Others have protested the rise of commercial and state control over information, vision, and truth itself. Signals focuses on the ways in which artists have used video to ask urgent questions about society and propose new models of public life.
This exhibition contains works with graphic content. Visitor discretion is advised, particularly for those accompanied by children. Please be advised that this exhibition contains flashing lights and strobing which may not be suitable for all visitors.
Organized by Stuart Comer, The Lonti Ebers Chief Curator of Media and Performance, and Michelle Kuo, The Marlene Hess Curator of Painting and Sculpture, with Erica Papernik-Shimizu, Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance, and Lina Kavaliunas, Curatorial Assistant, Piper Marshall, Exhibition Coordinator, Eana Kim, Marica and Jan Vilcek Fellow, and Rattanamol Singh Johal, Mellon-Marron Museum Research Consortium Fellow, Department of Painting and Sculpture.
Thanks to Athena Holbrook, Dana Liljegren, Binghao Wong, and Simon Wu.