What Is the Relationship Between Video as an Art Form and Other Mediums or Genres (Photography, Drawing/Painting, Sculpture, Performance, Theater, Television, Film, Etc.)?
Video art, form of moving-image art that garnered many practitioners in the 1960s and ’70s with the widespread availability of inexpensive videotape recorders and the ease of its display through commercial television monitors. Video art became a major medium for artists who wished to exploit the near-universal presence of television in modern Western society. Their videotapes, often nonnarrative and of short duration, could be broadcast over public airways or played through videocassette recorders (VCRs).
Video became an excitingly immediate medium for artists after its introduction in the early 1960s. The expensive technology, which had been available prior only within the corporate broadcasting arena, experienced an advent when Sony first created an economical consumer piece of equipment that allowed everyday people access to vast new possibilities in documentation. Understandably, this produced huge interest for the more experimental artists of the time, especially those involved with concurrent movements in Conceptual art, Performance and experimental film. It provided a cheap way of recording and representation through a dynamic new avenue, shattering an art world where forms such as painting, photography, and sculpture had been the long-held norm. This expanded the potential of individual creative voice and challenged artists to stretch toward new plateaus in their careers. It has also birthed an unmistakable population of artists who may never have entered the fine art field if stifled by the constraints of utilizing traditional mediums. With warp speed over the last half century, video has become accessible by the populous, spawning a continual evolution of its use; we live in an age where even your everyday smartphone has the ability to create high caliber works of art through the use of an ever increasing assortment of applications. We now consider Video art to be a valid means of artistic creation with its own set of conventions and history. Taking a variety of forms - from gallery installations and sculptures that incorporate television sets, projectors, or computer peripherals to recordings of performance art to works created specifically to be encountered via distribution on tape, DVD or digital file - video is now considered in rank equal to other mediums.
Ultimately, providing us with the first comprehensive survey of international artists who incorporate science, biology, kinetics, telecommunications, the computer, and the physical sciences, the book also incorporates the relevant art theory and personal statements of the surveyed artists, hoping for a better understanding of the new artistic practice. Examining the artist’s role in society, the author of the book Stephen Wilson considers the idea that the creative figure must be an active partner in determining the direction of research and pushes for the final fusion of science and technology as a vital tool for the understanding of the world.