Lynn Hershman Leeson, Logic Paralyzes The Heart, video 2023 trt 13 min, collection Thoma Foundation
Concluding our Thursday series, Professors Shannon Jackson and Greg Niemeyer review the key themes of the semester, our lecture series, and the wide-ranging effort to place video art in context. Join us to recall key artists and recurring themes, as well as to anticipate possible futures as artists and global citizens mobilize the power of the screen.
For over thirty years, Rudolf Frieling has been a curator, critic, advocate, and aggregator of new (and sometimes old) experiments in video and media art. Here he discusses projects such as ZKM’s Media Art Net, his recent Media Art 21 (coedited with Zhang Ga and Shannon Jackson), and other initiatives committed to preservation, documentation, and access in this ever-evolving field.
In Danielle Dean’s subversive work, video art expands into media art as video figures as a medium, interface, and subject. Discussing her panoramas and immersive installations, which tackle the impacts of extractive capitalism on land and people, Dean illuminates her strategic use of watercolor, landscape, interior, and video.
For over fifty years, Bay Area–based feminist artist Lynn Hershman Leeson has repurposed a range of media—from comic books to photographs to film, from Second Life to artificial intelligence to virtual reality—exploring the dynamics of self-making and self-surveillance. Here she shares some of her most recent work on the politics of algorithmic life, including her recent award-winning installation at the 2022 Venice Biennale.
How does the moving image change when relocated from the cinematheque to the gallery of the museum? Does this changed spatial experience create a different aesthetic experience? A different political experience? Reflecting on their work as curators of the films of two artists who move amongst these spaces, BAMPFA’s own Susan Oxtoby and Kate MacKay discuss the screen-based work of William Kentridge and Apichatpong Weesrasethakul.
A meeting of two incredible minds, one an internationally renowned cross-media artist and the other an internationally renowned cross-disciplinary philosopher. William Kentridge and Judith Butler are known throughout the world for revising and propelling their respective areas of inquiry. Meeting at Berkeley for a free-ranging conversation, these two leading lights consider the relationship between art and politics, the paradoxes of identity, the ethics of activism, the power of “the less good idea,” and much more.
How have video artists addressed issues of race and colonialism, including artists historically privileged by these relations of power? Coinciding with the opening of her provocative exhibition, Out of Africa, Julie Rodrigues Widholm discusses her curatorial principles, the contemporary context for this grouping of works, and the specific photographs and videos on view by William Kentridge, Richard Mosse, Doug Aitken, Steve McQueen and Carrie Mae Weems.
How do Native and queer epistemologies inspire cross-media practice? Using his ten-screen video installation, This Burning World, as point of departure, Jeffrey Gibson considers how his artistic practice has moved across painting, sculpture, textiles, installation, performance, and video to address issues such as climate change, the fluidity of identity, and the erasure of Indigenous art traditions.
Ken Ueno’s somatic films (and secret meridians—a Uenoian term for temporally specific video captures) extend his practice as a musician and performer, a practice that resists the neoliberal surveillance mode that datafies our bodies. Datafication flattens ontologies, whereas Ueno champions the unique experience of each individual life as sacred.
Where is the stage, and who is watching? NIC Kay re-creates video editing effects like glitches, rewinding, freeze frame, and overlay choreographically across various mediums. These undisciplined performances are inspired by the playfulness and immediacy of sharing video content online. NIC uses these works to explore the troubled relationships between the Black performer, the camera/video, and the audience/viewers.
What does a contemporary form such as video art have to say to the classic forms of seventeenth-century Dutch painting? Bart Rutten asked such questions and more in his recent exhibition Double Act by pairing Dutch masters with selected works of video art. Here he discusses his curatorial principles and how he found formal, political, and thematic correspondences amongst artists separated by three centuries.
When does video become art? Looking at examples of the long, and perhaps parallel, histories of cinema and video art, Greg Niemeyer discusses how we can distinguish these two art forms, why it matters, and how video art is different from the reels, clips, and snippets of social media.
What is video art’s place in art history? And which art history? Launching our Thursday series, Shannon Jackson considers video art’s connections to a range of art forms. Introducing artists such as Marina Abramovic, William Kentridge, Bruce Nauman, Bill Viola, and many more, she considers how video art’s conceptual, durational, and screen-based processes recall and revise a variety of artistic movements.