Yale School of Art
1156 Chapel Street, POB 208339
New Haven, Connecticut, 06520-8339
(203) 432-2600


The development of video art, its progressive impact on other forms of contemporary art, and its ultimate evolution into “media” art. The trajectory begins at the moment portable cameras and recording decks were introduced to the consumer market in the late 1960s. With moving images and audio data, video’s capacity to be seen “live” as an event was actually being recorded and its sense of immediacy and relative accessibility made it attractive to artists more interested in concept and process than in object making and marketability. Video and media art have exerted a powerful influence on the practices of all artists since the sixties. In the nascent years of video art, the only format available was videotape, and television monitors were the only means of display. Subsequently, wall-filling (and room-filling) video projectors became affordable in the 1980s. The introduction of new formats of production created a generation of work with increasing possibilities for expression and experimentation. The broader availability of other new technologies such as computer graphics, computer animation, interactivity, robotics, biotechnologies, and the infinite possibilities of communication through the Internet, heralded the transformation of video art into media art. This course is an eyewitness account of these transformations to the present day. It links developments in video and media art to other contemporary expressions (music, performance, installation, and conceptual art), to changes in technology (from the Portapak to digital video), and to popular culture (music videos, YouTube, and podcasts). Barbara Condon

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