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Sounding the Gallery, Video and the Rise of Art-Music by Holly Rogers | | Booktopia
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Description Sounding the Gallery explores the first decade of creative video work, focusing on the ways in which video technology was used to dissolve the boundaries between art and music. Becoming commercially available in the mid s, video quickly became integral to the intense experimentalism of New York City's music and art scenes. The medium was able to record image and sound at the same time, which allowed composers to visualize their music and artists to sound their images in a quick and easy manner.
But video not only provided artists and composers with the opportunity to produce unprecedented forms of audiovisuality; it also allowed them to create interactive spaces that questioned conventional habits of music and art consumption. Early video's audiovisual synergy could be projected, manipulated and processed live. Please enter recipient e-mail address es.
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Write a review Rate this item: 1 2 3 4 5. Preview this item Preview this item. The medium was able to record image and sound at the same time, which allowed composers to visualize their music and artists to sound their images. But as well as creating unprecedented forms of audiovisuality, video work also produced interactive spaces that questioned conventional habits of music and art consumption. This book explores the first decade of creative video work, focusing on the ways in which video technology was used to dissolve the boundaries between art and music [Publisher description].
Read more Show all links. Allow this favorite library to be seen by others Keep this favorite library private. Find a copy in the library Finding libraries that hold this item Sounding the gallery. Sounding the Gallery argues that early video art is an audiovisual genre. Previous audio-visual practices, such as lantern shows, music theatre, opera, synaesthetic experimentation, early direct film, and so on, were intermedial primarily at the level of reception.
The electro- magnetic basis of early video technology, on the other hand, gave rise to sound and image that shared a linked material channel. This channel enabled audio and visual elements to be recorded and transmitted simultaneously, allowing a level of synergy rarely before possible. Such synergy was particularly alluring to those interested in the ways in which art and music could fragment and recombine to produce new intermedial spaces.
With the new medium, artists were able to include sound in their work in order to push the boundaries of current creative concerns. But video also presented composers with the opportunity to visualise their music. In fact, many of the ear- liest video artists began their careers as musicians: Nam June Paik was an experi- mental composer, Steina Vasulka, a classical violinist, Robert Cahen trained in electro-acoustic composition, and Tony Conrad was a member of the Theatre of Eternal Music. These influential musicians ensured that early video developed into a highly musical genre.
The musicality of video was not simply due to the specificities of its hardware, however. The improvisatory, interactive, and often performative result gradually coalesced into a genre that not only expanded the boundaries of visual art and its exhibition, but also those of music composition and performance. Using the early technology, artists and composers could invite visitors into the heart of their work, allowing them to dictate the structure, audio-visuality, and trajectory of the video environment.
With this in mind, it becomes clear that to locate the rise of video within the visual arts is extremely reductive: at a material level, the technology was able simultaneously to digest and project music and image; when received, this interactive duality produced an intermedial performance space that drew together music, sculpture, architecture, drama, and film. By challenging the configuration of art and music venues and expanding the possibilities for audience engagement, early video performance, alive with interdisciplinary potential, vibrated in the space between artists, composers, performers, and visitors.
But this was a false assump- tion. Examination of creative practice during the twentieth century reveals that many composers were experimenting with spatialising their sounds, while the inclusion of time into the static arts was becoming a prevalent form of experimen- tation. The technology was new, in other words; but the creative uses to which it was put, were not.
Video, then, produced a unique moment in audio-visual history: able to create both image and sound concurrently, the new technology instigated the birth of the artist-composer and process-driven, inter- active intermediality. The beginning of the twenty-first century is the perfect time to attempt a his- torical recontextualisation of video art-music.
Whereas paint has been used cre- atively for thousands of years, the rise and fall of video as an artistic material took place within only forty.
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The format, with its easily operable, inexpensive, reusable design, did not become available until the mids and thus is approaching its first half-century. Only eight years later, DVDs were the preferred technology for weekly film rentals in America and today video is as obsolete as audiotape, with new films no longer released on the format and replacement cassettes for camcorders and home recording units increasingly hard to come by.
It is clear to see that the development of artistic material has attained an unprecedented velocity, in which formats are developed and discarded in the blink of a historical eye. In terms of its technical rise and fall, then, analogue video can be considered a closed genre.
As the digital age marks the demise of its usage, we are faced with an epoch that is almost already complete, a phenomenon rarely encountered before in the visual and sonic arts. In one sense, however, this closure is a false one. Artist-composers, such as Bill Viola, may have swapped their material preference from magnetic to digi- tal formats, but the fundamental aesthetic aspects of video have been retained.
While it is true, then, that analogue video technology is now redundant in terms of recording and playback, the implications of audiovisual fusion that it enabled are still thriving. Although occupying a comparatively tiny segment of visual and music his- tories, the various forms of video work have had a significant impact on the arts.
Guggenheim Foundation, frequently awards first place to moving-image art- ists. Photo by John Lloyd Davies. It is clear to see that video work, routinely collected by major art galleries and frequently included in music performance, now forms a popular and well-respected genre: it is difficult to imagine anything different. But such recognition was not always forthcoming and critical and institutional acceptance was hard-won. While it is important to note that many artists and composers working with video were actively opposed to institutionalisation and that, in some sense, the achievement of video in reaching into the heart of art and music establishments signals the loss of its early radical attitude, there are nevertheless a number of important issues that arise from the early combination of music and image.