Where does video art comes from ? What about video art today ? Where is video art going ?

Video art has been invented by the children of the 2nd World War and it is a contemporary art of arabic revolutions and the Greek tragedy 2013 This year video art is celebrating its 50th birthday. And as Vladimir Nabokov used to say “The more attention is paid to coincidences, the more they happen.” This year, Marseilles is the European Capital of Culture.

50 years of video art

The year 63 was chosen as the starting point of this great history (which is far from being finish) in reference to a founding act made by the Corean artist Nam June Paik who exhibited his 13 “prepared” TV sets in the Parnass Gallery in Wuppertal in Germany, in the frame of a Fluxus event (Music/Electronic TV). The same year, the German artist Wolf Vostell screened his famous “Sun in your head” and the french Jean-Christophe Averty caused a scandal on television when he put a baby in a mill (“The green grapes”, October 63). These 3 artists give the proof of the international dimension of video art, its hybrids forms (video, television, computer, cinema, visual arts, music…), its insolent attitudes regarding the artistic rules in effect then.


If the first generation of artists mainly comes from rich and industrialised countries, we assist now to the affirmation of video art creation in new territories : North Africa, Middle-East, Asia, Central and South Americas… When choosing to refer to two artists (Paik and Vostel) linked to Fluxus and a pataphysician one (Averty), we want to affirm the audacity, the will to foster the flux between life and the artistic gesture, the hunger for creating new forms and new relationships between the art work and the spectator, rather than a devotion to new technologies. The memory of video art has to be written in an open future: the paths of the future are not marked out yet. They are to be discovered only under the steps of those who venture on them. Just as Alice (Lewis Carroll) discovers that in order to reach the Red Queen she has to walk backwards, we will turn towards the past only to be able to open new paths in video creation. It is not about dedicating electronic poetry to digital tools and art historians, but indeed about dedication the tools and knowledge to the artists. Thus video art will not betray its own project… Re-existence!

Where and when?

The celebration will take place all the year long, with 4 main international stops, to end in France in November.
Japan (Tokyo), February 8th to 22nd . This is a very symbolic choice, as we remember that Sony invented the first light camera (Portapak), which is the tool of the pioneers of video art.
Belgique (Liege) du 19 au 21 Mars. Do you know that there, a public television (RTBF) produced and screened video art works for 10 years (Vidéographies).
Egypt (Alexandria), April. Celebrating 50 years of video art with the birth of a first video art festival is affirming that video art is not dead. And what a nice present to video art. Palestine (Jerusalem, Ramallah, Gaza) in July. As the symbol of the new territories of video art creation.
France (Marseilles) from November, 7th to 30th.. The rendez-vous of international video arts to try to answer the questions Where does video art come from? What about video art today? Where is video art going?.This last stop will be organised in the frame of one of the oldest video art festival (26 edition of Les Instants Vidéo) and will be supported by Marseille European Capital of Culture. (lien)

Where we will let the revolt of memory thunder

“It is not a question of preserving the past but of realising one’s expectations, as today the past continues as destruction of the past.” (M. Horkheimer and Th. Adorno, Dialectic of Enlightenment, 1944).

contact : 1963-2013@instantsvideo.com

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