Disappearing Video

dennis b video work
[above image: Denis Beaubois “In the event of Amnesia the city will recall…” (still, detail) (Sydney) 1996-97 digital video, sound 9:12 minutes]

It’s rare enough to see a serious exhibition of video art in an Aussie art museum. But accompanying the MCA’s Video Logic show, there is a super rare screening of historical Australian video works. I’ve cut and pasted the screening program below (it’s also available here as a printable pdf).

Also if you scroll down further, I’ve pasted details about the DISAPPEARING VIDEO CONFERENCE, at which the TLC’s Louise Curham will be speaking about preservation and conservation strategies for this most unstable of media.

Louise recently contributed a chapter on audio-visual preservation to the 3rd edition of Keeping Archives.

See you at these events! -Lucas
— — —

Thursday 23 Octotober, 6.30 – 8.00pm, Circular Quay Terrace, level 6

David Perry Mad mesh 1968, 4 min
Peter Kennedy Idea Demonstrations # 4 1971, 2 min
Peter Kennedy Idea Demonstrations # 7 1971, 2 min
David Perry Interior with Views 1976, 5 min
Stephen Jones (music by Warren Burt and performance by Eva Karczag) Eva 1978, 3 min excerpt
Warren Burt Nocturnal B 1978, 3 min excerpt
Tsk tsk tsk (Philip Brophy, Maria Kozic, et al) Asphixiation 1979, 4 min
Stephen Jones SPK 1979, 4 min
Eva Schramm & Gary Willis Strategies for Goodbye 1982, 3 min excerpt
Built in Ghosts Inside Television 1983, 5 min
Peter Callas Night’s High Noon: An Anti-Terrain 1988, 8 min
Jill Scott Continental Drift 1993, 12 min
John Gillies & The Sydney Front Techno/Dumb/Show 1991, 5 min excerpt
Severed Heads Big Car Retread 1991, 7 min
Elena Popa Robot Cycle 1992, 3 min
Ross Harley & Maria Fernanda Cardoso Cardoso Flea Circus 1995, 8 min
Linda Wallace Love Hotel 2000, 7 min
Michael Glasheen Teleological Telecast from Spaceship Earth: On Board with Buckminster Fuller 1970, 28 min excerpt

Presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art in association with the College of Fine Arts and d/Lux/Media/Arts, with assistance from the Australian Research Council
Circular Quay West
Sydney Australia
02 9245 2400

– – –

Friday 24 Octotober, 10.00am – 5.00pm
, Circular Quay Terrace, level 6
10.00 – 10.30am Registration in Circular Quay Foyer on level 1
Morning tea refreshments in Circular Quay Terrace on level 6

10.30 – 10.45am Welcome and introduction by facilitators John Gillies and Ross Harley

10.45 – 11.15am Stephen Jones The Disassembly of Video Art
The methods and intentions of video art in its early period have largely been subsumed by
the narrative. This talk seeks to remind us of the broader intentions.

11.15 – 11.45am Danni Zuvela Forgetting and Remembering: Australian Experimental Video
Related to the physical loss of works whose material existence is bound to inherently unstable media formats—and equally concerning—is the disappearance from public memory of Australian work from ‘the foreign country of the past’. With discussion of ‘forgetting’ or the evaporation of the immaterial, Zuvela will canvass strategies to inoculate against such disappearances, and suggest ways to bring about a more active remembering of Australia’s rich creative history.

11.45am – 12.15pm John Conomos Between Celluloid, Plasma and Neon
As an artist, theorist and critic, Conomos engages with the ongoing intertextual adventure of seeking new horizons of image, sound, performance and text. From this perspective he shall discuss the historical context of Australian cinema, video and media art.

12.15 – 12.30pm Questions from audience

12.30 – 2.00pm Lunch break (not provided)

2.00 – 2.15pm Introduction to afternoon topics by facilitators John Gillies and Ross Harley

2.15 – 2.45pm Lousie Curham Media Art Archaeology: Making Good Archives and the Problems of

In a discussion about how we make good archives for video art, Curham proposes an emphasis on context. Thinking through the role of the material form of the work, there is discussion about which properties of the original matter. What and where is the video artwork and what is the role of the original maker? How will we meaningfully pass these artworks on to future generations? How faithful do these need to be? These considerations will touch on practices in existing time based art archives and will think about what Australian archives of media art might look like.

2.45 – 3.15pm Lyndal Jones Propositions for an Uncertain future
Thoughts on technology / video / art / sustainable practice, the ephemeral object and the art system.

3.15 – 3.45pm Exhibition viewing of Video Logic, level 4 galleries

3.45 – 4.15pm Andrew Frost Now to the Future
Video art has achieved an unprecedented level of visibility over the past 5 years with new opportunities for artists and the public to engage with what was once a marginal practice in contemporary art. But what does the future hold for video art? Has the outsider finally joined the mainstream? Or will the recalcitrant medium cling to outmoded methods of production and distribution in an effort to maintain critical purity? And what of the evil art market, the web and iTunes?

4.15 – 5.00pm Panel discussion and questions from audience

5.00pm Close
Presented by the Museum of Contemporary Art in association with the College of Fine Arts and d/Lux/Media/Arts, with assistance from the Australian Research Council
Circular Quay West
Sydney Australia
02 9245 2400

Speaker Biographies:

John Conomos is a media artist, critic, and theorist who extensively exhibits locally and internationally. His art practice traverses a variety of art forms and deals with autobiography, identity, memory, post-colonialism, and the “in-between” links between cinema, literature, and the visual arts. Conomos is a prolific contributor to art, film and media journals and forums. In 2000 he was awarded a New Media Fellowship from the Australia Council for the Arts. His essays on cinema, video art and new media were recently published as Mutant Media (2008), and with Brad Buckley he co-edited the anthology Republics of Ideas (2001) and the forthcoming Rethinking the Contemporary Art School, to be published September 2009. Conomos is an exhibiting artist in the MCA exhibition Video Logic, 2008.

Louise Curham is at the forefront of Australian moving image art. Well known for curating innovative expanded cinema events in non-traditional exhibition spaces, Curham is highly regarded in the experimental film world for her work using “obsolete media”. She is involved with Teaching and Learning Cinema, a filmmakers and film lovers group with a focus on re-presenting moving image works from previous generations in events that encourage discussion and break down the passivity of looking at images. Alongside Curham’s practice is her work as an audiovisual archivist, a field in which she has worked since 2002.

Andrew Frost is a writer, art critic and journalist. He is the co-founder and editor of The Art Life and writes and presents television programs on contemporary art for ABC1. He is the author of the forthcoming Burn to Disc: Contemporary Australian Video Art, to be published in 2009.

John Gillies is an artist working with film, sound, installation and video, and often in collaboration with performers from a variety of disciplines. Gillies’ screen work has been shown in festivals such as Videobrasil, Ars Electronica and the London, Sydney and Melbourne film festivals. He is an exhibiting artist in Video Logic at the MCA.

Ross Harley is an artist, writer, curator and educator in the field of new media and popular culture. His work crosses the bounds of cinema, music, art, design, architecture and media art practice. From 1986-91 Harley edited the influential art theory journal Art + Text. In 1992 he was the director of the influential International Symposium on Electronic Art, ISEA. Harley has edited a number of anthologies and conducts diverse research projects extending the electronic media art practice and theory.

Lyndal Jones has a long history of working with new media, video and performance art in Australia. Jones has produced an extensive body of work since the early 1980s, and is known for creating long-term projects which initially focused on performance then video installation. Throughout, her works have addressed the power of the experiential and the development of interactivity. Jones represented Australia at the 2001 Venice Biennale, and has shown her work at numerous galleries throughout Australia and overseas.

Dr. Stephen Jones is an Australian video artist of long standing and independent curator of electronic art. For many years (1983-92) he was the video-maker for the electronic music band Severed Heads. He is an experienced video editor and electronic engineer having developed equipment ranging from analogue video synthesisers to DVD synchronisers, and currently builds interactive installation devices for artists. He also provides conservation and preservation services in the electronic and video arts. Jones has recently completed a book on the history of the first generation of the electronic arts in Australia.

Dr. Danni Zuvela’s interest in experimental moving image encompasses research, teaching, writing, curation and the odd bit of practice (in both senses of the word!). As an academic, she has conducted extensive research into avant-garde film and video art, which she continues to foist on readers of various journal articles and books, and unsuspecting screen studies students. Zuvela is a member of OtherFilm, an artist collective dedicated to the production, distribution and exhibition of avant-garde, experimental, and artists film, video and music. Zuvela
co-curates the OtherFilm Festival, a 4-day festival of expanded, participatory and performative film and music.

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