Video art

Video art is an art form that uses the projection as a medium of artistic expression. Video art emerged in the early 1960s in Germany and America.


The term refers to the fact that the artists working with video technology, thus presenting videos as part of a video installation or in the form of a video sculpture. Either the technology itself and discussed the possibilities of the medium is explored, or the screen is viewed as a new screen that opens up new possibilities and forms a painting with moving images. But there are also affinities to experimental film. Video art can take the form of a space-based video installation, the video can be part of a room installation, or non-space bound, to entertainment devices such as other consumable media.

1963 changed the Korean artist Nam June Paik in the Galerie Parnass in Wuppertal real television pictures using strong magnets so much that the television pictures to non-objective forms mutated. In the same year the Smolin Gallery " 6 TV Dé-coll/agen ", which today is part of the art collection of the Museo Reina Sofía in Madrid, and more TV-Dé-coll/agen of Vostell shows in New York Vostell environment in which the were disturbed reception, the equipment destroyed or wrapped with barbed wire and buried.

The actual video art began somewhat later, after it was portable video equipment. In 1969 in New York's Howard Wise Gallery, the first comprehensive exhibition under the title " TV as a Creative Medium" instead. In the early phase of video art usually an image shot with the video camera to the audience was presented directly to an attached monitor. Later, the artist made ​​a longer video productions on an artistic aspect to show them off in the form of installations, where the moving pictures were shown on a variety of monitors. 1977 about excelled Nam June Paik with his video installation at documenta 6, as well as Wolf Vostell; German video artist are about Marcel Odenbach, Mike Steiner, Klaus vom Bruch, Ulrike Rosenbach, or Julian Rosenfeldt. Other important video artists are the American Bill Viola, Gary Hill and the Dutch Nan Hoover.

Topics and references


Performance and land art artists use often the medium of video to document their ( actual ) work. These are not strictly for video art; However, the developments in the various directions have greatly influenced each other. Gerry Schum developed from 1968 different formats, the films of artists gathered under the name TV gallery or video gallery and should present them outside the traditional exhibition situations that appeared to be insufficient for the new art movements. Schum was especially artists of land art such as Robert Smithson and Richard Long, but also Joseph Beuys and first films of Gilbert and George.

While artists such as Vito Acconci, Chris Burden and Joan Jonas video for the time being used for documentation, were themes and techniques of performance art - as the accentuation of individual courses of action or of the human body itself - by Bruce Nauman, Gary Hill or Nan Hoover explicitly the basis of video works.


The transitions between video art and experimental or traditional film are fluid. Many video artists deal with the medium and its structures themselves; the narrative possibilities or conventions of cinema are doing to the actual topic. One example of this are works by Douglas Gordon - like 24 Hour Psycho (1993 ), is slowed in Alfred Hitchcock's classic film Psycho to a running time of 24 hours - or by artists such as Rodney Graham and Isaac Julien, the typical narratives and myths of Hollywood cinema analyze and sometimes satirize.

In France the 60s created Jean -Christophe Averty addition to numerous music videos (including for Gilbert Becaud, Serge Gainsbourg and France Gall ) and television films, as the experiments stir ensure ( among other things in 1969 Midsummer Night's Dream ). For his video art pioneer receives video Averty 1965 Emmy Award.

The documentary possibilities of film to be pursued in video art, for example by Steve McQueen, Tacita Dean Zarina Bhimji or. Unlike the traditional documentary aesthetic effect is often highlighted and reinforced by repetition or other manipulations of the material in video art.

Between video art and music video it can also be an overlap; Some artists such as Pipilotti Rist stage video work on songs, or refer as Candice Breitz on the images and role models known from music videos. The director Chris Cunningham, however, who had originally produced videos for artists such as Aphex Twin or Squarepusher, presents his work as Flex ( 2000) now from the art context.

Often the run or even the aspect ratio in video art to be changed so much that the work of art being brought to the vicinity of the panel painting. Bill Viola arranged, for example, his projections Nantes Triptych (1992) and The City of Man (1997) as a triptych and puts them into the context and content of religious image. In The Greeting (1995 ) he is after a painting by the Florentine painter Jacopo Pontormo as slowed in slow motion movie scene. The Belgian artist David Claerbout used similar means to transfer the photographic image to the moving image.

Technology and digital media

In contemporary art, which in video art has its roots but correctly associate of computer art is created, conceptual works, as well as work with references to pop culture ( music video, feature film), video performances and experiments with visual perception. Few cultural channel ARTE like 3Sat or send occasional video art nights, otherwise finds this art form - although ideal for the medium of television - still more in the White Cube instead.

Furthermore, there are since 2001 the first video art TV channel, "Souvenirs from earth " (SFE ) Founded by the French TV journalist Laurent Krivine and video artist Marcus Kreiss.

In 2004 took place the first time by Willi Bucher and Ralf Kopp of the glass block entry into the video art ( beboxx ). The combination of glass brick and modern image projection technique here will generate a completely new visual perception of the content displayed.