Video Art

As the name clearly suggests, video art is a form of art that depends on moving-picture or video technology as an audio-visual medium. This art form emerged and gained traction when consumer video technologies, particularly videotape recorders, became advanced and readily available in the late 1960s. Visual artists started experimenting with video as a form of art almost immediately.

Video art may comprise the video, the final product, and perhaps the actual video-recording equipment as part of the artwork. In essence, video art can’t exist without the video element. Well-known video artists include Nam June Paik, Bill Viola, Diana Thater and Matthew Barney.

Bill Viola - The Crossing, 1996

Bill Viola’s The Crossing – Everything you need to know

Underlying Bill Viola’s work over the past few decades has been the use of advanced media technologies for purposes of explaining and highlighting spiritual phenomena. As a result of his immersive audio and video installments and environments, the artist manages to externalize the internal realm of the unconscious, supplying audiences with plenty of space for …

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Bruce Nauman - Clown Torture, 1987, four-channel video installation, two projections, four monitors, color, sound, approx. 60 minutes, Collection of the Art Institute of Chicago

What makes Bruce Nauman’s Clown torture so controversial?

As you look at Bruce Nauman’s Clown Torture, what you see is the wildness and relentlessness of his work. A deeper examination of this masterpiece also reveals the work of a person who wishes to explore a few issues that affect human life. Among these are boredom, confusion, and entrapment. On top of that, Nauman’s …

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Some of Vito Acconci’s most influential performances

Vito Acconci is one of the most influential American artists. He was a poet, an architect, and a pioneer of performance art. Acconci is commemorated in art history for his artworks, including the ones we are going to discuss in this article. His artwork involved crossing the boundaries, including the public-private, real-world, and art world, …

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Bill Viola’s The raft – An image of destruction & survival

What comes to mind at the mention of a raft? Naturally, many people would imagine a large water body. Using a raft to cross over water means desperation and determination to reach the other side. When Bill Viola incorporated this aspect of human struggle into his artwork, people were impressed by the story he was …

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Why did Kimsooja crisscross South Korea with her Bottari Truck?

Kimsooja is a celebrated interdisciplinary artist who uses various artistic disciplines and mediums to weave a tale regarding concepts such as migration and cultural issues. Her work has been praised as giving center stage to these issues, and one of these renowned pieces is the Cities on the Move – 2727 Kilometres Bottari Truck, the …

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Why did Francis Alÿs push a block of ice for 9 hours?

Francis Alÿs is known for using poetic and metaphorical techniques to highlight the political and social realities of his city. Often, the issues he addresses range from national border politics to globalism and areas of conflict in his community and the effects of modernism. As one of the most well-known conceptual artists from Mexico, his …

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Why did Nam June Paik create his TV garden?

No one would think televisions are artistic under normal circumstances. Handy, yes. Useful, quite so. Nam June Paik, however, managed to put television sets in circumstances where he reveals their artistry. The celebrated artist is regarded as the father of video art and has manipulated television sets, broadcasted live performances and video installations to depict …

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Marina Abramović & the arrow that could have easily taken her life

It is no secret that Marina Abramović is one of the best and most audacious performance artists of all time. She was celebrated for her ability to push boundaries when it came to performance art and indeed using her body as a portrayal of meaning, endurance, and the threat of physical harm. Therefore, she has …

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Nam June Paik’s legendary Electronic Superhighway

Electronic Superhighway is one of the most noted works of Korean Nam June Paik artist. It illustrates how he interpreted a diverse nation through media technology. The Electronic Superhighway is a large installation, constructed with 336 televisions, 50 VHS players, 3750 feet of cable, and 575 feet of multicolored neon tubing. Electronic Superhighway creates an …

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Zhang Huan in suit made from raw meat (video)

Zhang Huan is one of China’s best known conceptual and performance artists. In his sculptures and paintings, he references the history of his home country. As such, his pieces contain components of political, religious and intellectual messages and anonymous portrait and landscape scenes. Most of his works are deeply influenced by Chinese culture, while some …

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Banned: Sun Yuan & Peng Yu’s controversial dogs video

The video work titled Dogs That Cannot Touch Each Other has only recently been removed from Guggenheim Museum’s exhibition series known as Art and China after 1989: Theater of the World. The video series has been met with disapproval and disparagement not only by some art critics but animal lovers and welfare organizations as well. …

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Why did Danish artist group Superflex flood McDonald’s?

In this short film, a life-size replica of a McDonald’s burger bar gets flooded with water gradually. There are images of furniture being washed away in the water, food floating around the room, and electric appliances short circuit to a halt before space can no longer be seen below the water. While the production lacks …

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Francis Alÿs – Can faith move a whole mountain?

When Faith Moves Mountains or Cuando la fe mueve montañas was created by artist Francis Alÿs to explain the paradox of life; sometimes people make things that lead to nothing, while sometimes making nothing leads to remarkable things. In this piece, Alÿs managed to persuade 500 participants made up primarily of locals situated on Lima’s …

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