Critical Writing Index

From Gadget Video to Agit Video: Some Notes on Four Recent Video Works

by Benjamin H.D. Buchloh

Art Journal, Fall 1985, v. 45, no. 3, pp. 217-227

Benjamin Buchloh outlines recent developments in video art practices in the mid-1980's. Looking at specific work by artists Dan Graham, Dara Birnbaum, Jenny Holzer, and Martha Rosler, the author delineates the relation between these artists' work and the perceived promise of video technology as a democratizing medium which could reach broader, as well as more specific audiences. As artists who worked exclusively in new media began to emerge, the art world struggled to adapt, particularly museums, galleries, and the network of collectors. Meanwhile the potential for crossover into mass culture became available through public television broadcasters. Issues of audience address and audience specificity are explored in relation to each artists' work, as well as how each work engages differently with the dominant discourses of film, television and popular culture.

ITEM 1985.093 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Television Delivers PeopleRichard Serra

Project for a Local Cable TVDan Graham

Local Television News Program Analysis for Public Access Cable TelevisionDan Graham and Dara Birnbaum

Rock My ReligionDan Graham

Technology/Transformation: Wonder WomanDara Birnbaum

The Damnation of Faust: EvocationDara Birnbaum

Sign on a TruckJenny Holzer

A Simple Case for TortureMartha Rosler