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Additional resources for Abstract Video: The Moving Image in Contemporary Art
This work offers an interesting contrast to Brakhage’s Anticipation of the Night and its probing and jabbing abstraction; the flow of video and the editing of film form two very different abstract image compositions. Robbins, Vasulka, Viola, and Paik sought to discover in the abstract image the expressive, constantly present, but impermanent possibilities of video as an artist’s medium. Looking back over the past thirty years of avant-garde film and video art production, it is clear that the artists I have discussed sought to transform their media through chance occurrences and the transaction between their eyes and the world around them.
7 Although Vostell’s notebooks, dated by the artist to 1958 and 1959, contain sketches for unrealized projects addressing TV more directly, his first public manifestation of these interests was shortly after Paik’s Wuppertal exhibition, in May 1963 in New York. During the 1960s and 1970s, Vostell and Paik subjected television sets, as well as their programs and signals, to a wide variety of appropriations and modifications. Beginning with the presentation of televisions atop filing cabinets in 6 TV-Dé-collage (1963; fig.
Maria Lind, Documents of Contemporary Art (London: Whitechapel and Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2013), 222. Text from Ecstatic Resistance, typographic poster work (2009) reprinted in Microhistorias y macromundos, vol. 3, Abstract Possible, ed. pdf. 5. Maria Lind, “Introduction,” in Abstraction, 10. Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964), 7. Riffing off McLuhan’s famous statement, in 1969, WGBH television invited six artists to work with television technicians for the creation of “The Medium is the Medium,” one of the earliest examples of collaboration between public television and the emerging field of video art in the United States.