The use of video in contemporary art

Why has video become the most preeminent medium of contemporary art?

What is a video installation?

Video installation and art falls under the category of contemporary art. Installations are mediums of expressions that are digitally motivated. The use of video art allows for an artist to edit a particular form of technology such as film into the right cut. This genre thus gives artists the provision to form their own video inspired art piece. This gives rise to an immense amount of ideas that make video editing the preferred choice in present-day (Phillips, p. 265).

For art to qualify as video art, it needs to have some particular qualities. Video art is divided into two types namely installation and single channel. Single channel art involves the display of a series of illustrations. These illustrations are in the form of images that cannot be shown consistently hence the name single channel. Installations on the other hand, entail the showcasing of a number of videos that are not limited to one. This type of screenings is simultaneous in nature making it have several advantages over the former. Due to it’s the convenience it brings to the table, video is combined with other forms of multimedia so as to fully take advantage of its qualities (Elwes and Shirin, p. 234).

The focus of this paper is to provide an analysis of the use of video as contemporary art. The paper provides a definition of installation against single channel video art. The paper then looks into the history of video art and the key players that made its use pivotal to the industry. The paper finally analyses the reasons for the success of the art and its increased impact on the art and architecture industry (Phillips, p. 250).

Origins of video as a contemporary art

The first place for video art to take effect is traced back to Germany in the early 1930s. This application is credited to Wolf Volsten who chose to incorporate video art into his television programs. This, however, did not make much of an impact until the Koreans incorporated the art into their music screening at the time. Names such as Nam Jun Paik and Andy Warhol are as a result recognized due to their contribution in this field. Warhol is known for his creation of pop art in the early 1920s (Ursula, p. 314). The movement is defined by the introduction of videos that can be transported to different places. The use of pop art encourages the screening of music and film in different areas of the world thus increasing the rate of globalization. This, in turn, creates awareness that is essential for the invention and innovation of the use of video as a form of art. The spread of video art is received positively in different parts of the world making artists in modern society take recognition of this new phenomenon (Elwes and Shirin, p. 230).

Video art changes the dynamics of art as a whole. Its reception into the modern world is defined by the increase of different genres of film making it a force to be recognized. Introducing video art into the world has its advantages and disadvantages making it a great determinant in shaping the world of art. One of the disadvantages saw the loss of the traditional forms of art. Traditional art is no stranger to transformation due to the change in society and modern art. The artwork is therefore, exposed to a number of phases which are inspired by different periods in the society. The change in cultural aspects brings forth the demand for more advanced methods of art that defy the odds. These new forms of art are inspired by the traditional art which range from the time of romanticism to modern art. Despite traditional art being responsible for the creation of modern art, artist seeks to move away from these roots giving the traditional art less relevance. The move from ancient types of inspiration to more modern types leads to the phasing out of the old art forms. This has created a vacuum in terms of natural art that the society initially embraced (Rush, p. 251).

It is difficult to believe that video art did not make a swift entrance into the art world. Most artists are skeptical due to the high regard that the society had for earlier forms of art. The penetrating of contemporary art into the modern world took longer than presumed. Over the years, the art form has changed the dynamics of the way art and architecture is perceived. This is credited to the factors that make video art successful (Leighton, p. 246).

Why has video become the most preeminent form of contemporary art?

The effectiveness of video art is not new in the world of contemporary art. Its use, however, got complete recognition in the late 1960s. Video art derives its name from the use of videotapes in the recording of motion pictures. One of the factors that have ensured the growth of the use of video over other art forms is its effective transition over the years. Increased globalization is an essential part of development of the western world. One of the factors that are responsible for this fast transition is the availability of video technology.  As stated earlier, video art involves the use of videotapes. The innovation of videotapes to CD- ROMs, DVDs, mp3s and hard disks changes the dynamics of the art industry as a whole. Apart from beings an art form, video art has some major advantages (Elwes and Shirin, p. 220).

The use of new storage facilities improves the storage capacity of different audio and video pictures. This is essential in that it allows for an artist to keep a record of their past work. This, in turn, is effective due to the ability to use the recording for future reference. This is a significant factor when compared to the traditional forms of art that could only be viewed using one perspective as opposed to multiple (Kotz, p. 251).

Video art allows for artists to project their art forms so as to attract a variety of viewers across the globe. This involves screening of different pictures simultaneously. This is one of the advantages of video installments in that it allows for the airing of more than one piece of work. This changes the way artist hold their exhibitions in present day. In the past, artist only had the option of hanging their art pieces in different parts of the showroom. This limits the artist in terms of capacity making them select particular pieces for viewing at the time. The use of video installations is thus ideal in that its ability to allow for the subsequent display of different work types increases the rate of display and number of audience (Palmer, p. 125).

The use of video art places emphasis on the focus of three dimensional designs. The art has similar characteristics to the ones of film. This however, does not make it part of the film and movie industry. The art takes advantage of its use of space which can be used in various aspects of art. One of the factors that make video art unique is its quality of darkness and electrical energy to project the concept of the artist. The use of sound, sculptures and paintings to enhance a performance makes this type of art the preferred choice. Video art is now incorporated in the world of the internet. This increases the accessibility to this contemporary art as opposed to alternative types of art. Introducing video art to the internet gives artists a chance to diversify their work. Artists opt for this method so as they can attract different types of the audience who have different preferences in regard to taste and likes. Unlike other forms of the art, video art is able to adapt to new inventions and innovations. This is evident in the use of video art in the social networks. Social networking is the latest fad in the modern world that continues to take the world by storm. Artist can create awareness of their genre of work through the use of social networks such as twitter, facebook, MySpace and Skype. This is one of the factors that qualify for the art to be categorized as contemporary art. This is essential because teenagers are able to enjoy different types of art without much effort. Art is always associated with a particular type of class. This alienates a part of the community from venturing into the world of art. The use of video bridges this gap in regard to age, social status and creed (Ursula, p. 311).

Art presented in the ancient times such as romanticism and religious periods are known for their rich aspects. This type of art continues to lose its place in the world of art. Video is one of the art forms responsible for the shift from traditional art to contemporary art. This traditional art is, in turn, receiving less attention compared to the ancient days when it was embraced the most. The key players in the art world are beginning to recognize the issue and its implication on several artists. Contemporary artists are changing this situation by incorporating the traditional form of art into modern. Video plays a significant role in this area due to its capability of using both audio and video to showcase traditional art (Hanhardt, p. 234).

Video in education

Video art is now a major part of the educational curriculum. This allows for different art students to take on video art as a career as opposed to a pastime. This is a step forward for the art industry due to the marketability of contemporary art. Students in both high school and college are thus embracing subjects such as art and architecture with ease. The continued exposure to this medium of art enables the society to keep up with various works of art (Manasseh, p. 172).

As stated earlier, video art is flexible in that it has the ability to keep up with the latest inventions and innovations. This is an essential characteristic in that it is able to withstand all the changes in the modern world. Contemporary art is a form of art that derives its inspiration from modern ideologies, environments and culture. The world continues to change due to the change in culture amongst different communities. In order for an artist to remain in the business, they need to equip themselves with factors that stand out. Video art is not only classified under the contemporary form of art. This type of art manages to get extra recognition due to the qualities that it entails. The shift from traditional art to contemporary art is a result of several factors. This is an indication that the world is yet to experience some new methods of art in the future (Danto, P. 165).

In conclusion, art is a way of life that is inspired by the cultures and traditions in the surrounding environment. Over the years, art continues to get it’s influenced due to the change in the social norms and culture in the society. This is brought about by the increased globalization that aids interaction amongst communities. One of the results of social change is the introduction of contemporary art. Contemporary art is divided into several categories making it one of the preferred choices in the world of modern art. Video art is one of the classifications of contemporary art. It consists of the use of audio visual installments when showcasing art. This form of art has several advantages making it different from other contemporary arts. These advantages are significant in that they are widely responsible for making video art the preeminent medium of contemporary art

Works cited

Elwes, Catherine. Video Art: A Guided Tour (London: I.B. Tauris, 2005).

Danto, Arthur C. After the End of Art: Contemporary Art and the Pale of History. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2000. Print.

Hanhardt, John G. (ed.), Video Culture: A Critical Investigation (Layton, Utah: Peregrine Smith Books in Association with Visual Studies Workshop Press, 1986).

Liz Kotz, Ê»Video Projection: The Space Between Screensʼ, in Zoya Kocur, Simon Leung, (eds), Theory in contemporary art since 1985, Malden, Mass: Blackwell Publishing, 2005.(pp.101â115).

Leighton, Tanya (ed.), Art and the Moving Image: A Critical Reader (London: Tate/Afterall, 2008).

Manasseh, Cyrus. The Problematic of Video Art in the Museum, 1968-1990. Amherst, N.Y: Cambria Press, 2009. Print.

Phillips, Glenn. California Video: Artists and Histories. Los Angeles, Calif: Getty research Institute [etc., 2008. Print.

Palmer, Daniel, Ê»Medium Without a Memory: Australian Video Art’, Broadsheet 33.3 (September-November 2004), pp. 20â21.

Rush, Michael, New Media in Late 20th-Century Art (London: Thames & Hudson, 1999), pp. 78â167.

 

Ursula, Frohne, ʻThatʼs the only now I get: Immersion and Participation in Video-Installations by Dan Graham, Steve McQueen, Douglas Gordon, Doug Aitken, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, SamTaylor-Woodʼ, Media Art Net (2004).

 


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