While studying video art history and criticism in the late 1980s, I acquired a personal collection of tapes, catalogues, books, and assorted documentation, material that provided background for a dissertation I completed in 1993. Since then I’ve managed to keep most of those archival texts—and several notebooks—which have traveled with me from the Midwest to Southern California, and from one living space to another. I’m no longer sure what’s in all the boxes I’ve been lugging around, but I’m ready to reexamine what I have, for I know that sooner or later I’ll have to downsize my collection: it simply takes up too much room.
As I proceed with my inventory, I’ll discuss my findings in this blog, Transforming Video Art: Private & Public Archives. It complements another blog I’ve kept, VirtualDayz, which focuses on personal and cultural memory in the digital age. (That blog is now available in book form as VirtualDayz: Remediated Visions & Digital Memories. A companion piece, Video-Graphic Alchemy: Transforming “Dear Diary,” is also available.)
Since my video archives extend beyond the contents of the boxes stored in my living room, I will include in the inventory the broad range of private and public materials I’ve studied over the years, as well as essays I’ve written, videos I’ve produced, memorabilia I’ve saved, and new multimedia experiments I may attempt. Relevant posts from VirtualDayz may appear here, too. In fact, the first entry from that blog sets the stage for the project I’ve just introduced. Posted on June 27, 2005, “Media in Transition” begins:
While transferring my personal collection of artists’ videos to DVD, I’ve been watching a retrospective that dates back to the late 1960s, when independent video emerged as the next creative frontier. Boxes of exhibition catalogues, articles, books, and other documents related to the evolution of this movement fill my living room, reminding me of fragmented histories that are fading from public memory as “new media” infiltrate our lives and video adapts to the twenty-first century. From a creative standpoint, I’m fascinated by ways that artists, writers, film- and videomakers, and hybrid producers of all kinds are experimenting with digital technologies and the Web, yet, surrounded by the video archive my home has become, I feel inclined to make connections and establish links not only among the latest innovations but also between those media and selected strands of independent video from earlier eras. My explorations of new media are thus colored by selective engagements with video art from the 1960s to the early 1990s. . . . Now, as then, I focus on novel approaches to self-representation, autobiography, and personal narratives.
Technorati tags: video_art, archives