- Ian Grant, 2017
Fields of Concentration
- Course: Video Installation
- Course: A Theoretical Study of Cinematography
- Course: Survey of Art History from 1800 to Present
- Tutorial: Experimental Photography
This Plan is a personal exploration of aesthetics and political content through photography, video art, and installation with art historical references to British video art in the ’70s and ’80s. The written portion is a paper discussing my art process, reasons for my attraction to British video art, and how my work relates to the work of David Hall. The paper also summarizes the beginnings of British video art, and analyzes the historically important work by David Hall called TV Interruptions (1971) and its influence on the British video art scene.
The moving image had already been monopolized by cinema and television, so it was up to these early video artists to turn the technology into a means of artistic expression as opposed to the preset notion that televisual image is a mindless consumer loop creating a collective culture, that stares at the same images, goes to the same stores, watches the same news, and reads the same billboards. In David Antin’s famous essay ‘Video: The Distinctive Features of the Medium’ he argues that television creates an assertion that it represents a healthy reality, although everyone’s experience denies this. Television portrays a specific experience that does not correlate with all classes and cultures’ experience, which is problematic for creating a space that represents the majority of people. This depiction of reality rendered on television could also affect the way people learn about the world if it’s feeding people lies about experience. Also, he explained that television has the fault of not having the ability to be a two-way conversation, whereas video art is meant to engage the audience. He was arguing that the video art is interactive, therefore is meant to give the audience a voice.
Hall creates video and television art because they are the new dominant form of visual media much like painting and drawing used to be until the industrial revolution. He sees television as an influential mediator between the viewer and present day culture that formulates a conventional visual construct. People are influenced by television’s tendency to promote a culture of consumption as social fulfillment. Hall argues that this conventional visual construct is problematic because it prevents society from progressing. Therefore, Hall’s television interruption pieces aim to create an alternative form of mediation that critiques the mainstream use of visual media, while closely paying attention to the implications of television as a mainstream media platform.