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.
Vito Acconci
1974 | 21:56
Turn On

Acconci again confronts both the viewer’s and his own expectations of his performance, saying, "I've waited for the perfect time, for the perfect piece, I'm tired of waiting... but no, you want me to have something ready for you, something...


TV In and TV Out

In Sonnier’s video tape TV In and TV Out, two images are superimposed, one shot off network television and the other shot from a studio performance situation involving some of the materials and visual qualities of his sculptures. This...


TVTV Goes to the Super Bowl

Bill Murray and Christopher Guest lead a behind-the-scenes tour of the 1976 showdown between the Dallas Cowboys and the Pittsburgh Steelers. This irreverent view of football and America's number one sports event examines the "Woodstock of...


1976 | 59:27
TVTV Looks at the Academy Awards

Mixing documentary reality with clever comic invention, TVTV decked itself out in tuxedos and ankle-length gowns to cover Hollywood's annual celebration. Following several nominees on the day of the event, TVTV takes the viewer behind the scenes...


Hermine Freed
1972 | 06:24
Two Faces

In her oft-cited essay “Video: The Aesthetics of Narcissism,” Rosalind Krauss says, “self-encapsulation — taking the body or psyche as its own surround — is everywhere to be found in the corpus of video art” (October 1, Spring 1976)....


Vito Acconci
1971 | 28:35
Two Track

Acconci sits with a man and a woman before a microphone. The man and the woman read from two different texts (novels by Mickey Spillane and Raymond Chandler), and Acconci repeats everything the man says. From time to time, an off-screen voice...


Nancy Holt
1974 | 09:20

Holt's terrain is her Aunt Ethel's home in New Bedford, Massachusetts, presented in still images and excerpts from letters to the artist from her aunt. Holt pays particular attention to her aunt's poignant story of aging, altering the images by "...


Vito Acconci
1972 | 37:20

In this now infamous tape, exemplary of his early transgressive performance style, Acconci sits and relates a masturbatory fantasy about a girl rubbing his legs under the table. Carrying on a rambling dialogue that shifts back and forth between...


Upsidedown and Backwards

“[This tape] gives a clear picture of the consistency of Jonas’s concerns. The performance was based upon the merging of two fairy tales — The Frog Prince told backward and The Boy Who Went Out To Learn Fear told forward....