Video is an electronic medium, dependent on the transfer of electronicsignals. Video signals are in constant movement, circulating between camera andmonitor. This process of simultaneous production and reproduction makes video themost reflexive of media, distinct from both photography and film (in which the imageor a sequence of images is central). Because it is processual and not bound torecording and the appearance of a "frame," video shares properties withthe computer. In this book, Yvonne Spielmann argues that video is not merely anintermediate stage between analog and digital but a medium in its own right. Videohas metamorphosed from technology to medium, with a set of aesthetic languages thatare specific to it, and current critical debates on new media still need torecognize this. Spielmann considers video as "transformation imagery,"acknowledging the centrality in video of the transitions between images—and thefact that these transitions are explicitly reflected in new processes. Aftersituating video in a genealogical model that demonstrates both its continuities anddiscontinuities with other media, Spielmann considers three strands of videopraxis—documentary, experimental art, and experimental image-making (which isconcerned primarily with signal processing). She then discusses selected works bysuch artists as Vito Acconci, Ulrike Rosenbach, Joan Jonas, Nam June Paik, PeterCampus, Dara Birnbaum, Nan Hoover, Lynn Hershman, Gary Hill, Steina and WoodyVasulka, Bill Seaman, and others. These works serve to demonstrate the spectrum ofpossibilities in video as medium and point to connections with other forms of media.Finally, Spielmann discusses the potential of interactivity, complexity, andhybridization in the future of video as a medium.Yvonne Spielmann is Professor ofVisual Media at Braunschweig University of Art. She lives in Berlin.
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