Beryl Korot. Text and Commentary. 1976-77

Beryl Korot Text and Commentary 1976-77

  • Not on view

Text and Commentary established a dialogue between traditional weaving techniques and the nas­cent medium of video, both of which are rooted in the encoding and transmission of infor­mation. In the installation, five videos depicting the artist working at a loom appear directly across from the resulting tapestries, which are suspended from the ceiling. Nearby are Korot’s drawings—detailed schematic diagrams for the weavings—along with a pictographic score that illustrates how each video was edited. In Korot’s words, the elements comprising the installation “provide varying perspectives on virtually the same information.” The sounds of Korot working at the loom are audible throughout, linking the weavings to the imagery that maps out and documents their production.

Invented in 1804, the automated Jacquard loom—which operated using punch cards, stream­lining the production of intricately patterned fabrics—has been recognized as an important precursor to computing and communications technology. At various times in history, both weaving and computing have been considered “women’s work.” With this installation, Korot examines these forms of labor from a feminist viewpoint.

Korot was a member of the Raindance Corporation collective (active in New York from 1969 to the mid-1970s) and a founding editor of its influential journal, Radical Software, which explored relationships between video art and media ecology (the effects on human environments of media, technology, and communication), becoming a shared reference point for those using video tech­nology worldwide.

Publication excerpt from From MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York (New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2019).
Medium
Five-channel video (black and white, sound; 30 min.), weavings, drawings, and pictographic video notations
Dimensions
Sheet (6 Pictograms, each): 22 × 16" (55.9 × 40.6 cm) Sheet (5 Drawings, each): 19 1/2 × 23" (49.5 × 58.4 cm) Overall installation: dimensions variable
Credit
Committee on Media and Performance Art Funds
Object number
265.2015
Copyright
© 2019 Beryl Korot
Department
Media and Performance

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