31 August 2005

Boo Hooray - Video Art

Boo-hooray theory: In Language Truth, and Logic, philosopher A. J. Ayer asserted that all moral or other evaluations state nothing of objective value and are simply expressions of belief, emotion, feeling, and the like

Boo Hooray is a selection of video art from artists from or residing in Australia. This work was created independently by the artists and was selected by the ABC via curation, rather than commission.

When Sony invented the portapak video recorder in the 1960s video art was born. Compared to film, video was cheap and accessible. Video was immediate – fresh and very modern.

Ironically the medium came into being because now world-renowned US artists such as Bill Viola, Nam June Paid, Bruce Nauman and Vita Aconci wanted to make work that couldn't be collected. In an interview with the New York Times (26 June 2005), Bill Viola said: “The dream we had was that art couldn't be sold, but broadcast on television".

As the technology has changed, so has the use of the medium. The recent shift from analogue to digital has meant that video art has taken another leap - into the world of computers and dvd’s. Now artists can easily edit their images on a home computer. And since the 1980s, artists and dealers have turned the medium into a commodity. Top artists in the USA, such as Bill Viola and Matthew Barney - command six figure sums for their work.

Video art is primarily available on DVD and screened in a number of ways – either by projection on walls, or using a computer or television screen. All you need is a DVD player.

Following in the footsteps of their European and USA colleagues, Australian artists have been working with video art since the late 1960s. The Art Gallery of NSW and National Gallery of Victoria, for example, have been exhibiting Australian and international video work since the early 70s. But in the last decade video art has become the medium of choice for many younger Australian and international artists.

In addressing the ephemeral natures of video art, Bill Viola says - confrontingly - that video art may actually last longer than marble sculptures. “The work of art is the information" Viola says, "that is what you own". The medium is essentially disposable.

“The technology reproduces itself the way people do – by passing along information from generation to generation rather than by preserving a single object. That is part and parcel of why I work in this medium."

While many highly acclaimed Australian artists - Susan Norrie, Tracey Moffatt, Lyndal Jones, Mike Parr, Stelarc and Philip Brophy - have been working with video art for many years, video art now hosts a 'new' generation of visual artists. The most prominent of these include Sydney artists Shaun Gladwell and TV Moore and Melbourne-based David Rosetzky. Blurring the generation boundary is multi-media artist Patricia Piccinini, Australia's representative at 2003 Venice Biennale.

It's now considered a serious art form for collectors - although still a small base of buyers - and curators worldwide, featuring in nearly every major international art show and major public museum.

- Janne Ryan 2005

to see the videos click here link

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