[-empyre-] Video Behind: On the history

John Conomos john.conomos at sydney.edu.au
Fri Sep 11 15:02:45 AEST 2015

Dear Comrades,

This is my first -empyrean post so please excuse my Luddite clumsiness. Yes Tim precisely : for me video art conceptually and biographically opened up new horizons of critical thought dealing with the limits of representation, memory, space, erasure/cultural amnesia , old/ new media, time, canonicity, media archeology . I myself was very influenced by the French New Wave, "literary" video, Fluxus, etc. This also meant , of course, camera -stylo / "in-between" aesthetics, etc.  John Baldessari's prediction that one day video will be common as the pencil is now old news, but what lamentably remains for me, is how video art is still "new " news for the majority of our contemporaries.  

Sent from my iPhone

> On 11 Sep 2015, at 2:10 pm, Timothy Conway Murray <tcm1 at cornell.edu> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> The screening list of the Hunter Show should be publicized within a week
> or so, Maureen.  We're still working out some kinks with some of the
> pieces and don't want to promise anything that the archived artworks won't
> permit us to deliver.  But remarkably so much of this material is in
> tremendously good shape.  I was thinking today about how relieved we were
> with the arrival of digital platforms, thinking naively that they would
> save us from ephemerality of videotape.   As I was reordering my
> collection of interactive CD-Roms tonight, which I accrued while curating
> that medium in the 90s, I couldn't help but be struck that the ETC tapes,
> so much older and supposedly more fragile, all still run on standard tape
> players.  The same cannot be said, helas, for interactive CD-Roms.
> Tim
> Timothy Murray
> Professor of Comparative Literature and English
> Taylor Family Director, Society for the Humanities
> http://www.arts.cornell.edu/sochum/
> Curator, Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art
> http://goldsen.library.cornell.edu
> A D White House
> Cornell University,
> Ithaca, New York 14853
>> On 9/10/15 12:39 PM, "Turim,Maureen Cheryn" <mturim at ufl.edu> wrote:
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Is the list available, Tim?
>> ________________________________________
>> From: empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> <empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au> on behalf of Timothy Conway
>> Murray <tcm1 at cornell.edu>
>> Sent: Thursday, September 10, 2015 12:13 PM
>> To: soft_skinned_space
>> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] Video Behind:  On the history
>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>> Hi, Sherry,
>> Sarah Watson and I have just completed preparing the videos for exhibition
>> in the ETC show that will open on September 24 at Hunter College.  As I
>> was reviewing the screening list, I remembered my early days of viewing
>> experimental tapes during screenings at ETC.  What was particularly
>> compelling to me as a young theorist was the conceptual verve of even the
>> most formal experiments with the video tools that were developed in the
>> ETC lab by Nam June Paik, Shuya Abe, David Jones, and others.  The
>> flexible analogue tools available to artists at ETC catalyzed the
>> theorization of video as an art form, as well as contributed to
>> philosophies of time, movement, light, and the electronic extensions of
>> montage/collage.
>> As we move through the month discussing video art writ-large, I hope we
>> can celebrate the cerebral demands on the artists who suspended their
>> artistic conventions in order to give themselves over to the emergent
>> concepts of time and space happening via their building and interaction
>> with this emergent gear.
>> Welcome to the month of Video, behind and beyond!
>> Tim
>> 9/10/15 10:15 AM, "Renate Terese Ferro" <rferro at cornell.edu> wrote:
>>> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
>>> Dear Sherry,
>>> Many thanks for making this initial post about ETC.  For our
>>> international
>>> subscribers who have never made the trek to Upstate New York I thought it
>>> might be a good idea to talk about where the Experimental Television
>>> Center was located and how it all began in 1972.  I was very lucky to
>>> have
>>> a residency at the center in 2006. The aura of years past and especially
>>> from the international artists who where there before me seemed to be
>>> seeped in the archive of equipment as I worked.  To have your insightful
>>> perspective Sherry and our other guests on that early history I think
>>> might fascinate our subscribers.
>>> Also subscribers for those of you who have a history in video both analog
>>> and digital we hope you will join our conversation.
>>> Really looking forward to the month.
>>> Renate Ferro
>>> Visiting Associate Professor of Art
>>> Cornell University
>>> Department of Art
>>> Tjaden Hall, Office 306
>>> Ithaca, NY  14853
>>> Email: rferro at cornell.edu
>>> URL:  http://www.renateferro.net
>>>         http://www.privatesecretspubliclies.net
>>> Lab:   http://www.tinkerfactory.net
>>> Managing Moderator of -empyre- soft skinned space
>>> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu/
>>> On 9/8/15, 8:48 PM, "ETC" <etc at experimentaltvcenter.org> wrote:
>>> First, thanks to empyre ­ and especially to Tim and Renate ­ for the
>>> invitation to participate this month. I have been a long time, mostly
>>> silent observer, and have learned so much over the years from all of you.
>>> I have spent over 40 years working with the ETC, a (very) small ­ and
>>> intentionally so ­ media arts ³organization² in Upstate New York. When we
>>> decided to end the Residency, Research, Grants and Sponsorship programs
>>> at
>>> ETC in 2011, I was often asked, ³So, are you closing? Will you retire?²
>>> I was unprepared for the query and had no answers. I didn¹t feel retired.
>>> I
>>> looked at the 1Ž2² open reel videotapes which still fill our beer cooler
>>> qua
>>> climate-controlled storage facility, and wondered about our respective
>>> fates.
>>> At the time we closed many of the ETC programs, I was very involved with
>>> Kathy High and Mona Jimenez, along with many brilliant scholars and
>>> artists, on completing the two volume book ³The Emergence of Video
>>> Processing Tools: Television Becoming Unglued². Once the book was finally
>>> published in 2014, I took a step back and reconsidered some of the topics
>>> we had tried to address: from ideas as general as how do art, science and
>>> technology intersect, and are the collaborations that evolve specific to
>>> cultural and social environments; to topics as specific as those
>>> involving
>>> talk of codecs, wrappers and containers.
>>> We became involved in the topics of media history and preservation in the
>>> 1990s.
>>>  -  were among the founding organizations of the groups that became
>>> Media
>>> Alliance and Independent Media Arts Preservation
>>>  -  organized the conference Video History: Making Connections
>>> (Syracuse,
>>> 1998)
>>>  -  participated in the National Moving Image Database (NAMID) project
>>> of
>>> the American Film Institute as they created a template for cataloging
>>> moving image media works, that addressed specific properties of
>>> electronic
>>> media as opposed to film
>>>  -  organized several symposia on preservation at Buffalo State College
>>> and in NYC in 2002
>>>  -  began (1996) and continue the History website.
>>> Some of you were also at some of those meetings, I'm sure.
>>> One result of the book was a mass of research materials, historical
>>> texts,
>>> artists¹ statements, technical descriptions which have not been put on
>>> the
>>> History site and even more questions:
>>>  -  how do we preserve instruments; what about functionality
>>>  -  where will the ephemera live: how do we preserve cultural context
>>>  -  can you preserve the ethos, the spirit, the hungers of a particular
>>> time
>>>  -  what is lost if ephemera is disassociated from instrument
>>>  -  how does history matter; looking back and looking forward with
>>> contemporary makers
>>>  -  how can we create environments that nurture collaborations of art,
>>> technology and science; can we devise models for the sustenance of these
>>> collaborations.
>>>  -  what are reasonable criteria for determining which works are
>>> preserved; by whom and how are these determined
>>> ET is very grateful that the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art at
>>> Cornell has accepted the ETC¹s collection of ephemera, to accompany our
>>> videotape collection; it is a very compatible home for us. Over the
>>> summer
>>> I had the privilege of working with two creative and intelligent Cornel
>>> grad stuents, Alana Staiti and Lauren van Haaften-Schick, on constructing
>>> an inventory for these materials. It proved to be an overwhelming,
>>> exciting, hilarious, tedious, exhilarating and at time cringe-worthy
>>> experience. It can be difficult to understand the history of something
>>> you
>>> have been so much involved with.
>>> The ephemera will form one of the major sections for the upcoming
>>> exhibition organized by Hunter College Art Galleries and the Rose Goldsen
>>> Archive of New Media Art at Cornell, "The Experimental Television Center:
>>> A
>>> History, Etc . . . " opening at the Galleries on September 24th, and
>>> running through November 21st. The exibition was organized by Tim Murray
>>> of
>>> Cornell and Sarah Watson, Curator at Hunter. Also on view are videotapes
>>> by
>>> over 40 artists, hand-crafted now obsolete analog processing equipment,
>>> performances by contemporary artists working with custom-designed
>>> instruments, and tools built by artist/technologists for day¹s
>>> practitioners.
>>> We are always looking for conversations about video and its histories,
>>> and
>>> I¹m sure I¹ve come to the right place.
>>> Sherry
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> empyre forum
>>> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>>> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
>> _______________________________________________
>> empyre forum
>> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
>> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
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