Early Video Art

Early Video Art is a collection of titles that are central to an understanding of the historical development of video art. This collection includes, but is not limited to, many titles from the original Castelli-Sonnabend collection, the first and most prominent collection of video art assembled in the United States. All of the work in this collection was produced between 1968 and 1980. These works represent important examples of the first experiments in video art, and include conceptual and feminist performances recorded on video, experiments with the video signal, and "guerilla" documentaries representing a counter-cultural view of the historical events of the 1960s and 70s. Many of these tapes represent a desire for a radically redefined television experience that is centered on the innovative, the personal, the political and the non-commercial.
Paul Kos + 1 other
1976 | 01:23
Paul Kos & Marlene Kos, Lightning

When I look for the lightning, it never strikes. When I look away, it does. Filmed inside a car, this tape focuses on observation of natural phenomena, presenting the obverse of the, "If a tree falls in the woods..." conundrum. Does observation...

 

Bob Snyder
1979 | 10:00
Lines of Force

Lines of Force opens with footage of a dramatic explosion. For most of the piece, the screen is divided, into a triptych at first, and slowly into horizontal and vertical bars. Electronically manipulated footage shows a man walking, a...

 

Bruce Nauman
1969 | 1:00:32
Lip Sync

An upside-down close-up of the artist’s mouth, Nauman repeats the words “lip sync” as the audio track shifts in and out of sync with the video. The disjunction between what is seen and heard keeps the viewer on edge, struggling to attach the...

 

The Lord of the Universe

Sixteen-year-old guru Marahaj Ji attempts to levitate the Houston Astrodome in this 1973 DuPont award winning documentary. Follow the guru from his New York mansion to limousines in Houston and listen to his followers—celebrities and non-...

 

Losing: A Conversation with the Parents

Treating the problem of anorexia nervosa from the parents' perspective, Rosler presents a mother and father speaking about the tragedy of their daughter's death as a result of dieting. The conversation turns toward the irony of self-starvation in...

 

David Cort + 1 other
1971 | 59:45
Mayday Realtime

Shot over one day, this program records the events and protests in Washington DC on May Day, 1971. This was the day when one of the most disruptive actions of the Vietnam War era occurred in Washington, DC, when thousands of anti-war activists...

 

The Meaning of Various Newsphotos to Ed Henderson - 2

Baldessari asks Ed Henderson to discuss the meaning of selected news photos. Henderson invents the conditions of the where, when, and why each was taken—and decides whether the photo was altered in any way. This exercise complicates the reception...

 

The Meaning of Various Photographs to Ed Henderson - 1

Baldessari presents photographs to his friend Ed Henderson and asks him to reconstruct the meaning of the image. In each case, Baldessari's strategy is to appropriate an existing image and remove it from its context in order to deconstruct the...

 

Mitchell's Death

Using performance as a means of personal transformation and catharsis, Mitchell’s Death mourns the death of Montano’s ex-husband. Every detail of her story, from the telephone call announcing the tragedy, to visiting the body, is chanted by...