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<nettime> The Premature Birth of Video Art
Kimberly De Vries on Wed, 3 Jan 2007 05:58:14 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> The Premature Birth of Video Art

> So the myth of Paik's first work of video art appears to pre-date its own
> possibility. While Paik undoubtedly was a pioneer user of portable video
> equipment, he probably shared the original moments of video art with other
> artists, including Frank Gillette, Ira Schneider, Les Levine, and Juan
> Downey. The mythic story of Nam June Paik shooting the first
> Portapak-generated video art out of the back of a taxi in 1965 is
> apparently just that, a myth.

This could be a case in which the vehicle of a metaphor has changed
its tenor (and our collective memory): Paik is regarded as a pioneer
and we generally think of pioneers as people who plunged ahead of the
rest, surviving with bare essentials and without reliable connections
back to civilization.  I guess conceiving someone filming from a
window with a  camera firmly plugged into the wall is too dissonant
with our notions of "the pioneer"  :-)

--or perhaps there's some other perfectly logical and clear
explanation of the discrepancy, but what fun is that? ;-)

Kim De Vries

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