California Video: Artists and Histories

California Video: Artists and Histories

by Glenn Phillips
     
 

Published to accompany a landmark exhibition on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum from March 15 through June 18, 2008, California Video presents the first comprehensive survey of the history of video art in California. Since the late 1960s, California artists have been at the forefront of an international movement that has expanded video into the realm of

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Overview

Published to accompany a landmark exhibition on view at the J. Paul Getty Museum from March 15 through June 18, 2008, California Video presents the first comprehensive survey of the history of video art in California. Since the late 1960s, California artists have been at the forefront of an international movement that has expanded video into the realm of fine art. Whether designing complex video installations, devising lush projections, experimenting with electronic psychedelia, creating conceptual and performance art, generating guerilla video, or producing works that promote feminism and other social issues, these artists have utilized video technology to express revolutionary ideas. 

This illustrated volume focuses on fifty-eight artists, from early video pioneers such as John Baldessari, Bruce Nauman, and William Wegman, to Martha Rosler, Diana Thater, Bill Viola, and other established and emerging talents. Thirty-seven recent interviews shed new light on these artists—their influences, creative processes, and impact. Together with commissioned essays, rare reprints, and previously unpublished video transcripts, California Video chronicles a distinctly West Coast aesthetic located within the broader history of video art. 

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
 “Excellent.”—Christopher Knight, Los Angeles Times

“This gorgeous, sumptuous, indispensable book is a guide to the work of California video artists such as Skip Arnold, Chris Burden, the Kipper Kids, Paul McCarthy, Bruce Nauman, and many, many others. . . . Lively, accessible, and stunningly designed, this is a work to return to again and again for fresh and unexpected insights into the burgeoning work of video art.  Essential.”—Choice

“The scope of the research is commendable, and one of the great characteristics of the book is the pairing of the primary material of artist interviews with a thoughtful selection of essays.”—Camerawork 

“Captures, chapter by chapter, a time and place that smart curatorial forethought managed to record and the Getty was able to preserve. Recommended.”—Library Journal

California Video: Artists and Histories is a beautifully designed, compelling, and extensive compendium of some the very best of American video art.”—The Bloomsbury Review

“This volume provides a new context for well-known artists, offers overdue recognition for others, and shines a spotlight on emerging talents.  A must.”—Umbrella  

Choice Outstanding Academic Title

Selected for 2008 AIGA 50 Books/50 Covers

Library Journal

The growth of independent video and the proliferation of handheld video cameras generated the phenomenon of video art, of which California was the epicenter. Institutions like the Long Beach Museum of Art had the prescience to collect in and exhibit this medium from its earliest years: there a video library represented such key artists as the Kipper Kids and John Baldessari. In 2006, the Getty Research Institute acquired the collection; today, in conjunction with an eponymous exhibition, it publishes this monograph. Edited by exhibition curator Phillips, the work suffers from a basic shortcoming that video images transfer poorly to the static, printed page, and this makes often vibrant performance pieces look like remote, staid esoterica from a distant and strangely geeky past. This A-to-Z encyclopedia of 58 artists working in the medium is nonetheless valuable because it captures, chapter by chapter, a time and place that smart curatorial forethought managed to record and the Getty was able to preserve. In the last 50 pages, essays by Phillips and other curators/scholars document this now-lost art form, providing a solid history on one of the late 20th century's quintessential art forms. Featuring entries on and interviews with each artist, video transcripts, and rare reprints; recommended.
—Douglas F. Smith

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780892369225
Publisher:
Getty Publications
Publication date:
05/28/2008
Edition description:
1
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
9.00(w) x 11.70(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Glenn Phillips is senior project specialist and consulting curator in the Department of Contemporary Programs and Research at the Getty Research Institute.

 

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