During the late 60’s and early 70’s Sony began selling a portable video camera that could be carried and operated by a single person. This new technology offered novel opportunities for ordinary people to record and distribute their own videos. Video camera proponents saw them as a revolutionary tool that could and should be used for the betterment of humankind. This dramatic vision formed on top of the countercultural revolution occurring at the time that saw itself as working to raise human consciousness by fighting against long-held cultural norms of behavior and advocating for the civil rights and antiwar movements. Although the drive to explore video camera technology was to a large extent fueled by the broader countercultural movement, the use and exploration of video cameras also contributed back to the counterculture by being a real tool for change. In time portable video cameras did in fact have a profound influence on the evolution of our culture and that influence only grew as the technology become more ubiquitous and the infrastructure to support its distribution developed into what we know today as the Internet. To a large extent the vision of the early video camera advocates has been realized today but not all of the technology’s effects on our society have been positive. Therefore, there is more work to be done if video recording by ordinary people is to continue to be a positive contribution to the further development of our culture.
For our Redefinition of Art class our main project is a research paper on a subject that we are to also present to the class. For my topic I studied Video Art from the 70's to understand the history of the movement and vision of the medium's proponents. There was a lot for me to learn here and I am glad I picked this topic. I learned a lot about our cultural history and the art world while linking everything together to provide a deeper understanding of both.
My presentation The History and Vision of the 70’s Video Art Movement is available online.
Redefinition of Art, taught by Andrew Weiner.
Class blog posts:
- Sunday, December 9, 2018 10:25 AM Video Art Presentation
- Monday, December 17, 2018 9:30 AM The History and Vision of the 70's Video Art Movement