From Television Signal to Magnetic Strip: An Archeology of Experimental Television and Video Knowledge

By Jeremy Neal Culler

This dissertation proposes a extra enough framework for considering via a number of
non-commensurable websites in which we discover no longer a unified phenomenon, “Video Art,”
but a suite of conceptualizations of video and digital media which are heterogeneous,
dispersed and institutionally variable. Taking as a version Michel Foucault’s concept of an
archaeology of data, i've got sought to research the stratified box of experimental
television and video alongside axes: alongside a diachronic axis, I hint debates in 5
institutional spaces––public broadcast tv, experimental tv centers,
galleries and museums, the printed checklist, and educational institutions––focusing on key
disputes or “flash points” that mark major shifts within the discourse on “video art;”
while around the synchronic axis, I search to map the discussions and theorizations of
experimental tv and video inside those institutional websites that represent the
differential box of discourse on digital, time-based media. via this suggests, I test
to exhibit that the ever increasing, institutionally dispersed box of digital media
practice can't be grasped within the phrases provided through the linear narratives that experience until eventually
now formed what has been categorized because the historical past of “Video Art.” I retain that the
“archaeology” of video perform I define is a prerequisite for any severe engagement
with a box of practices that variety from experimental performances utilizing stay
broadcast tv to works utilizing video and videotape. whereas an influential serious and
curatorial discourse has sought to subsume those varied practices less than a unmarried type
of “Video Art,” such homogenization elides the variety of institutional websites and the
incommensurable discursive frameworks that, in reality, have marked the advance of
experimental tv and video media. A extra enough point of view calls for
engagement with the differential, discursive box and a number of the sedimentary strata
across which a number of and irreducible conceptions of the video medium were

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Four Wyver admits that this bias is “a own prejudice,” since it basically issues videotapes created and exhibited within the usa. He notes “it additionally displays the better help which video has loved from funders and from museums there during the last 20 years. ” Ibid. , 116. five on the finish of his article Wyver writes “there are many major components in the background and present country of video that are beside the point to incorporate inside of a dialogue of video and tv, yet that are both, and maybe even extra, worthwhile of consciousness. ” He supplies the 2 following examples: singlechannel items and video installations. also, Wyver’s remark in his article that there are “many major parts in the historical past and present country of video that are irrelevant to incorporate inside of a dialogue of video and tv” is a perplexing, given that single-channel items and video installations are also a part of the background that he's surveying. Ibid. , 121. 6 Ibid. (My emphasis) 12 Since the booklet of Wyver’s article and its reflective postscript, many within the box have echoed Wyver’s demand a extra severe engagement with the heritage of video. 7 but, whereas we see at the present time that such calls have certainly born fruit, we nonetheless have to amend Wyver’s imaginative and prescient of what had to be performed, considering that even tried “engagements with the complete historical past of video” posit a unified item of research and fail to deal with the heterogeneous box of experimental performances utilizing tv and videotape cameras. we want, accordingly, from the outset, to invite at a extra basic point how can one competently tackle this box of research and the way can one achieve this with ancient specificity and conceptual readability? during this dissertation, i'm going to take a severe examine the literature addressing “Video paintings” for you to boost an technique that provides a substitute for linear historic narratives, which stay the point of interest for execs, artists, curators, and students who search to set up a continuing line of descent from the 1st experimental performances utilizing stay broadcast tv to more moderen paintings using videotape. eight for this reason, unlike current historic reports in this topic, i can't try and provide a survey of experimental tv, videotape know-how and what has been loosely classified as “Video Art,” conceived as a unmarried, homogeneous medium. 7 for instance see Martha Rosler’s “Video: laying off the Utopian Moment,” Block, no. eleven (1985/1986): 33. within the moment a part of her textual content, Rosler notes that there are inconsistencies within the ancient debts overlaying video’s previous. for example, a few examine the distorted “prepared television” units of the past due Fifties and early Sixties because the start line, whereas others desire the creation of light-weight, moveable videotape cameras, akin to the Sony Portapak, within the past due Sixties. according to those inconsistencies she writes, “the consensus seems that there's a historical past of video to be written—and quickly.

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