Recently on Inside/Out, we heard from Assistant Media Conservator Peter Oleksik about MoMA’s efforts to preserve and digitize its collection of analog video art, amassed over the course of four decades. The heroic undertaking of digitizing over 4,000 videotapes was absolutely critical for preservation and access purposes. However, when we digitize analog videotape, we have just begun a new chapter in the artwork’s life
Posts tagged ‘video art’
In honor of Mike Kelley’s exceptional career and legacy, Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction #1 (A Domestic Scene), a seminal work in his complex videography, is on view both at MoMA PS1—as part of the artist’s posthumous retrospective—and in MoMA’s second-floor Projects Gallery.
Commissioned by MoMA in conjunction with the 9 Screens exhibition series, Frolic and Detour takes its title from a legal term referring to “employee conduct that is outside the scope of employment and is undertaken purely for the employee’s own benefit.” The video employs both documentary and hallucinatory observations to describe one man’s daily routines and departures as punctuated by a kaleidoscopic mixture of painting, sculpture, cinema, and architecture. Shifting atmospheres ranging from offices, bedrooms, tennis courts, psychiatrist couches, forests, nightclubs, and hospitals provide the backdrops for days in the life of its “lion-in-winter” protagonist, native New Yorker and Attorney-at-Law Arnold Mandell.
The other day I caught up with Joan Jonas at her studio, around the corner from where she first performed Mirage—Anthology Film Archives’ former Soho location. Forty years ago Soho was inhospitable, even dangerous, with zero amenities. Surrounded by what were then inexpensive, down-and-dirty lofts, Anthology film and video screenings were integral to neighborhood artists’ daily lives. Jonas performed for several nights over a number of weeks in 1976. Her audience included many locals—artist, musician, and dancer friends. They all dined at Food, Gordon Matta-Clark’s wholesome restaurant. Nearby, Richard Foreman presented his Ontologic Hysteric Theater, Jack Smith carried out his midnight events, and Alanna Heiss hosted other happenings on Bleecker Street and at the Clocktower.
Leo Castelli and Ileana Sonnabend had recently launched their Soho galleries at 420 West Broadway, and Jonas later performed at each. Joyce Nereaux directed Castelli-Sonnabend Tapes and Films, and distributed Jonas’s and other visual artists’ media works to museums and art schools. These works leaned towards narrativity. Two blocks away a different media faction congregated at The Kitchen, the alternative space founded by Woody and Steina Vasulka. Artists there knew how to put technical things together.
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