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REWIND + PLAY. An Anthology of Early British Video Art DVD booklet

REWIND + PLAY. An Anthology of Early British Video Art DVD booklet

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Published by LUX
booklet for 2010 LUX DVD release REWIND + PLAY. An Anthology of Early British VIdeo Art available from http://shop.lux.org.uk, with a new essay by Sean Cubitt and information on all the works and artists.

'REWIND + PLAY presents a selection of key works from the first decade of artist’s video practice in the UK. From early conceptual experiments exploring the parameters of the medium to works dealing with media culture and television this collection explores the range and diversity of the first years of video as new media.
Three DVD box set including 24 videos by:
John Adams, Peter Anderson, Kevin Atherton, Ian Bourn,
Ian Breakwell, David Critchley, Peter Donebauer, Catherine Elwes, Judith Goddard, David Hall, Mick Hartney, Steve Hawley, Brian Hoey/Wendy Brown,
Madelon Hooykaas/ Elsa Stansfield, Tina Keane, Tamara Krikorian, Mike Leggett, Stephen Littman, Stuart Marshall, Chris Meigh-Andrews/ Gabrielle Bown, Marcelline Mori, Stephen Partridge, Clive Richardson and Tony Sinden.
Total running time: 336 minutes. 3 x DVD 9, PAL, Region 0
booklet for 2010 LUX DVD release REWIND + PLAY. An Anthology of Early British VIdeo Art available from http://shop.lux.org.uk, with a new essay by Sean Cubitt and information on all the works and artists.

'REWIND + PLAY presents a selection of key works from the first decade of artist’s video practice in the UK. From early conceptual experiments exploring the parameters of the medium to works dealing with media culture and television this collection explores the range and diversity of the first years of video as new media.
Three DVD box set including 24 videos by:
John Adams, Peter Anderson, Kevin Atherton, Ian Bourn,
Ian Breakwell, David Critchley, Peter Donebauer, Catherine Elwes, Judith Goddard, David Hall, Mick Hartney, Steve Hawley, Brian Hoey/Wendy Brown,
Madelon Hooykaas/ Elsa Stansfield, Tina Keane, Tamara Krikorian, Mike Leggett, Stephen Littman, Stuart Marshall, Chris Meigh-Andrews/ Gabrielle Bown, Marcelline Mori, Stephen Partridge, Clive Richardson and Tony Sinden.
Total running time: 336 minutes. 3 x DVD 9, PAL, Region 0

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Categories:Topics, Art & Design
Published by: LUX on Jun 08, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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REWIND + PLAY An Anthology of Early British Video Art The Past is a Different Medium Sean Cubitt The light

shows of the 1960s had not quite faded. Abstraction still held its charms. But in Mike Leggett’s Heart Cycle, one of the earliest pieces collected here, we can see something else beginning to take shape. Pop science images punctuate the abstraction, which eventually reveals itself to be derived from the rolling spool of a projector. The elaborate vision mix we had presumed turns out to be in part at least an artifact of filming through the apparatus: a self-reflexive gesture that would recur across the art and the critical language of the decade covered here. It was not, Leggett explains in his REWIND interview, that the works themselves were political in any but the most oblique sense, but that the act of making them, the alliances, the scrapedtogether funding, the vision of individual agents in the art world and the ethos of community building formed a kind of political movement underpinning the making of a kind of work which never really established itself in the UK. Uncollected by either the national art collections or the national film and television archive, marginal to the concerns of the art market and the art establishment, video art was, for this brief period, the only real avant-garde ever generated in Britain. It is that status that made it a political moment: a moment when an aesthetic turned into a mode of action. Watching the BBC’s drama Life on Mars (January 2006 

and April 2007) is – as it is intended to be – a window onto a world that is almost as remote from today’s 2/7 connectivity as the pre-war era of tugged forelocks and Jarrow Marches. At the same time, it was a period of intense political commitment and turmoil nationally and internationally. Old myths of empire collapsed in Rhodesia’s unilateral declaration of independence. The anti-nuclear movement was revived, while the Anti-Nazi League politicised a generation and made Trotskyism a vigorous strand of youth culture. Thatcherite depoliticisation led by the new hedonism of the Blitz Kids was as yet a faint smudge on the horizon. European structuralism and North American cybernetics formed the intellectual vanguards for the video artists of the day, as they struggled to escape the stranglehold of Clement Greenberg’s mediumspecific aesthetics, and to find new ways to address the old question, how to make contemporary art matter to social and political life. The 1970s began with Ian Paisley’s election in North Armagh and ended in the Winter of Discontent, spanning the era between the break-up of the Beatles and the dissolution of punk, between Smithson’s completed Spiral Jetty and Jenny Holzer’s Truisms. The 1980s were Thatcher’s decade, a decade of intense political antagonisms, of war on ‘The Enemy Within’ the , Miners’ strike, the abolition of the Greater London Council, and the re-orientation of the UK economy towards the finance sector. In retrospect, the suicide of Joy Division’s Ian Curtis in 1980 seems an apt introduction to the sense of foreboding that came over the country’s youth as unemployment soared and political antagonism erupted in the urban uprisings of 1981 in Brixton, Toxteth, Dalston and elsewhere. 

In 1980 Tony Cragg was working on Britain Seen from the North: the decade concluded with the Magiciens de la Terre show at the Beaubourg. In between, there was a slow, painful opening of the art establishment to both global perspectives and the art emerging from the diasporas now becoming familiar elements of the rich multicultural experience of daily life in urban Britain. Revolutionary aspirations in the immediate aftermath of 1968 turned to postmodern ironising, while in an equal and opposite movement, feminism, identity politics and environmentalism became mass political movements with deep effects on the social and intellectual life of the period. 1979 saw the first Walkman personal stereos. MS-DOS only became available in 1981; the first cellnet mobile services in the UK were licensed in 1981 (services opened for business in January 198). Between 1972 and 1982, the decade spanned by this compilation, the UK scarcely moved from a three-channel terrestrial TV regime. Channel Four was in preparation through the first years of the 1980s, but the opening broadcast would not come till November 1982. Cable TV was the subject of public hearings in the same year, but the first services would only come online in 1985, while satellite broadcasting would have to wait four more years after that. An era without mass access to internet, when network media were the province of command-line interfaces and specialist knowledge (the first e-mail protocol was released in 1971, the year of the first designs for file transfer protocol [RFC 114]), it was nonetheless a decade of rapid development in video technologies, from the 1968 Portapak to Umatic in 1971 and VHS in 1976 (the Sony Camcorder would not be available till 198). Increasingly precise 

transport mechanisms made edit controllers effective for the first time in the late 1960s, along with burntin timecode, allowing almost frame-precise editing. Two and three machine editing became available at London Video Arts, and along the street the music video houses were making kit available to the upcoming generation. All the same, with the exception of homegrown devices like Peter Donebauer’s Videokalos analog video synthesizer, the camera remained a key tool in the video art process, even as digital kit was becoming available through centres like John Landsown’s at Middlesex Polytechnic. These were the days of assembly edits, the ‘linear’ still referred to in the term ‘Non Linear Video Editing’ proudly worn by software packages like Final Cut, Premier and Avid. The decision to change an edit early in a tape meant laying every subsequent edit again. It required either a deep sensitivity to the rhythms and themes of the piece from the get-go, or as in many of these pieces, a reliance on far longer takes than were being used in the cinema and television of the time. And unlike contemporary digital editing, every edit caused generation loss, a downgrading of the image which became the central theme of a number of David Hall’s works. It was also, of course, the era of the change from monochrome to colour, the most radical shift in broadcast media since the introduction of television. Though the first regular service on David Attenborough’s BBC 2 began in 1967, access to colour equipment remained sparse in the 1970s. Cameras were expensive, and were tube-based, which meant that inadvertently pointing them at the sun could destroy the most expensive element and wreck a production.

Projection, videowalls and large screens were still in development and rarely used until the mid 1980s. Monitors were the medium of display, rarely much bigger than a large domestic TV, giving screenings a kind of domestic huddle that fostered the community spirit of screenings in the AIR Gallery basement or at Bracknell video festivals. The discrete nature of monitors, and the possibility of running two or three in parallel, became a major if expensive tool in producing more complex performance pieces like Kevin Atherton’s and David Critchley’s. The qualities of monochrome are lost to us now. From the Trinitron grid, which brings greater apparent resolution by interpolating straight black lines across the screen, to the pixel array of LCD and LED screens, geometry has superseded the softer mix of fluorescents in the old television screen. The gradations of grays were integral elements to the video art of the period, especially given the difficulty of achieving rich blacks on the grey ground of blank screens, even in the deepest light traps. In works like Hooykaas and Stansfeld’s Split Seconds these grays become a palette in their own right, like the old grisailles of the late renaissance, but also a range of textures. The video image of the period is extraordinarily tactile, so unlike the glossy surfaces of digital D, and indeed of high-resolution screens and projections. Not so much making a virtue of necessity, but working with the capacities of the available tools to produce work of sensuous virtuosity, Hooykaas and Stansfeld, like Hall, use the limitations of sound recording too, to estrange but also to render tangible the processing of the image, and more so, its reception. If reflexive mediation on the gap between image and reality was de

rigeur, it led to other discoveries and other virtues, made from the loss of generations, and the relatively dim luminance of the available screens to make a range of textures, from velvet to grit, that passes across all the monochromes in this collection. But likewise the introduction of colour, from Donebauer’s early experiments at the Royal College of Art and later collaboration with Brian Hoey and Wendy Brown, to the variously subtle and lavish use of colour in early eighties works, brought with it a certain sense of wonder, and a readiness to experiment. Though the range of hues available to the television (as later the computer) is less than a third of the range visible to the human eye, there are moments when the lustre of pure colour leaps from the screen, as in Judith Goddard’s blues in Time Spent, the sumptuous greens revealed in zooms across the room where the fractured narrative plays out. These video colours are equally important in more chiaroscuro tapes. Like Goddard’s dark poppy against a field of black, John Adams’ Stories plays itself out in a zone of darkness in which the face and the few props acquire the colour not of nature or domesticity but of the monitor itself. But perhaps of all the works here it is Steve Hawley’s Extent of Three Bells that most depends on the limitations of the equipment. The comet tails which were the bane of television technicians, tracks left by sharp changes in light levels within the frame, become the matter of the tape, which puns first on the algebraic formulation of bell-ringing with an early calculator, and then with the visual equivalent, candles waved in arcs through a darkened room, tracing their paths not as afterimages in an eye, but on the tube itself, and in the process

lightening the space with the kind of dramatic account of candlelight familiar from great master paintings. The desire to be art was one of the great motivators of the period’s video practice. Tamara Krikorian’s Vanitas is a solid example, establishing the still life vanitas genre in her careful mise-en-scene, and even explaining it through the voiceover from the TV that appears in the depth of the mirrored image. Of course, in this mise-en-abyme, this nest of nested images, the symbol which above all evokes the fleeting pleasures of life is the television itself, and by inference the videotape that frames and gives it meaning. The political allegory here is closer to the surface than in almost any of the other tapes, even though gender politics especially creeps through a number of the performance pieces, and a satirical relation to broadcasting remains an important element. Krikorian actually cites political reporting in the tape, with the inference that this is mere froth on the daydream, while at the same time framing the artist herself as an element within the still life whose own ephemerality is also included in the general passing. It was the form of television, its domesticity, its familiarity, which most of all framed and formed the politics of the video art scene up to the mid 1980s. While many pieces adopted a critical and even negative attitude, others followed Donebauer into collaboration with TV, which was, it must be recalled, itself still a hotbed of radical drama before the Thatcherite cull of political entertainment. David Hall’s ten TV Interruptions of 1971, (seven of which were later released in recorded form as 7 TV Pieces) broadcast

unannounced on Scottish Television, could hardly harbinger a utopian dawn of artists’ television, but it did present in vibrant form the insight that the goggle box didn’t have to be like this, that it could have been and could yet be something quite radically other. The television was even more a unifying and familiar beast then than it is now, when the multi-channel universe scrambles familiarity and commonality, the shared familiarity that was the unavoidable outcome of the paucity of channels. This was too a period prior to time-shifted recording, so that the TV schedule was also a shared and common architecture of the day, and the year. To move towards this most common of commonsense vehicles, to interrupt but also and more importantly to stretch and redefine, was an integral political aesthetic. Its reverberations have yet to fade away. Sean Cubitt


Stories John Adams Eyebath Peter Anderson In Two Minds Kevin Atherton Lenny’s Documentary Ian Bourn

In the Home Ian Breakwell David Critchley Pieces I Never Did Circling Peter Donebauer Kensington Gore Catherine Elwes

Time Spent Judith Goddard TV Interruptions David Hall State of Division Mick Hartney The Extent of Three Bells Steve Hawley

Flow Brian Hoey/Wendy Brown Split Seconds Madelon Hooykaas/ Elsa Stansfield Clapping Songs Tina Keane Vanitas Tamara Krikorian

The Heart Cycle Mike Leggett Mirror Stephen Littman Go thru the Motions Stuart Marshall Continuum Chris Meigh Andrews/ Gabrielle Bown

2nd and 3rd Identity Marcelline Mori Monitor Stephen Partridge Video Sketches Clive Richardson Drift Guitars Tony Sinden

Works Stories (1982, 13 minutes) John Adams ‘Stories was the first work I produced after graduating from the Fine Art course at Newcastle Polytechnic. It was also the first stand-alone tape I had ever made. Until then I had used video as an element in performances and installations that I had made as a student. The equipment we used then was very primitive, mostly black and white reel-to-reel kit. It was drummed into the students not to point the cameras at light sources because this could cause a permanent ‘burn mark’ on the pickup tube. But then suddenly I had the opportunity to make a programme at Aidanvision studios in Carlisle where they had proper broadcast cameras on movable pedestals. Furthermore, these were colour cameras that could be pointed at lights! Although I was never interested in making formalist work, I was happy to take advantage of the advanced technologies available there and incorporate them into Stories. So a naked light bulb was in shot and the camera moved. Because is could. My interest was always in producing narratives which I hoped would say something about the world. However, I couldn’t make conventional dramas at the time, partly because of financial constraints but mostly in truth, because I knew absolutely nothing about directing or editing films. Stories is essentially about a character sitting alone in a room, reflecting on the past - and by implication, the future. Some of the things this person had done were pretty bad and I played the character, so there was some ambiguity there. It’s not up to me to interpret Stories but many people did ask me in a concerned kind of way, if these tales were true. I probably said that they were but that the character was fiction. Anyway, don’t bother calling because I never answer the phone.’ JA John Adams Born 19, Leeds, UK. Lives and works in Newcastle. After graduating at Newcastle Polytechnic, appointed as an associate lecturer there in Fine Art and Media Production. Founder member of the Basement Group and a trustee of Locus Plus. Worked also as a visiting lecturer, freelance writer, director, editor and video artist until establishing Indigo Multimedia in 199. Works include, Kick In the Eye, Stories,
Sensible Shoes, Bob & Jill Pt2, Intellectual Properties, We Are The Country, This Is the Man, It Seems Strange But It’s Almost Dinner Time, Margaret, Jamaica Plain, Goldfish Memoirs.


On art: ‘It was great being a video artist. The job was exciting and I got to travel and meet people. But I had to give it up because the pay was so bad. These days I make commercial productions instead. Sometimes it’s not so interesting but the money is okay.’ Eyebath (1977, 8 minutes) Peter Anderson ‘Eyebath evolved from an intensive phase in my experimentation with Sony’s black-and-white 1/2 inch high-density reel to reel video format, newly available to the Fine Art students at Lanchester College of Art and Design in Coventry, where I was a student. Faced with extraordinary limitations at the time for post-production, elements which are second nature to us now with complex editing and digital image manipulation on hand through our laptops, I set to with a pioneering spirit to conjure up a single screen piece. Essentially this was shot in real-time across three different time layers or recordings, which were condensed through the process into one resultant image. A certain amount of pre-planning conceptually was necessary in my studio, which resembled an eccentric scientist’s laboratory- the eye being the focus of my research! How far could I go in manipulating the eye through the medium of water and reflections, leaving certain things to chance, to achieve an abstract and unrecognizable image state, before returning to normality. The first stage of the process, with camera on tripod and ‘Portapack’ VTR alongside, was the straightforward recording of an eye occasionally blinking. The second stage involved the playback on an identical machine of this recorded image on a monitor screen reflected in a large mirror underwater in a tank. The resultant image was picked up (upside down) by the camera on the tripod. This second generation image was replayed, via the same means and reflections, for the camera to record the third generation and final image. No editing and no added sound were considered necessary. The visual narrative was punctuated by a recurring drop of water falling into the pupil of the eye. This rhythm lasts throughout the eight minutes. The reflected forms of the eye were intermittently disturbed, the water suspending them in the viewing monitor frame, as it were. This manipulation became more frantic, veering towards the abstract, before returning to an ultimate calm.’ PA Peter Anderson Born 19, Kenya, studied at Lanchester College of Art and 1

Design and the Slade School of Art. He has taught on many art and design degree courses in the UK, for five years at the Slade School of Art and for 20 years as a visiting lecturer on the MA Film and TV design course at Kingston University, where he is a research fellow. He has led several dance for the camera workshops introducing dance and movement on screen to professional choreographers, film-makers and composers in the UK and Europe. Anderson is also director in television, a film-maker and a video artist working in the theatre and with dance. Movement and dance on screen have been central to his work for over 20 years, highlighted in the acclaimed short film boy (199), followed by greenman (1998) and Infanta (2000), all created over a five-year period with choreographer Rosemary Lee for broadcast on BBC2. Other major collaborations of note were with Cathy Marston, associate choreographer at the Royal Opera House in 200. They worked together on a dance adaptation of Ibsen’s Ghosts, with film projections, which was premiered in September 200 at the Linbury Theatre, Royal Opera House, London, before the piece toured worldwide. Another was the film Soil Dances, a year-long collaboration with Michael Platt, choreographer and theatre director in Suffolk. In 2006 they worked with six groups of youngsters from midSuffolk on this site specific-location based film project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. In May 2007, Peter worked on a major project with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra to create projections and an installation to accompany a concert performance of Bartok’s The Wooden Prince at the Lighthouse in Poole. In Two Minds (2 screen version composite version) (1978, 25 minutes) Kevin Atherton ‘In Two Minds began as a video performance in 1977. The format for the performance was that I would arrive at the venue a few hours in advance of the performance and make a video recording of myself asking questions whilst sitting where the audience would sit for the performance. On beginning the live performance I would face the audience and ask: ‘Are there any questions?’ Upon asking this question, the video recording of myself would begin playing on a video monitor situated amongst the audience. What ensued was a half hour conversation between my recorded self and my live self. In 1978, Stuart Brisley selected me, along with four other artists, for an exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, London. Although I wanted to continue doing the work that I was 16

currently doing, the opportunity of showing work in a gallery for a month was a different challenge to doing a one-off performance. The solution was to record the answers as well as the questions on video. In this way In Two Minds became a video installation. This time I made a recording of asking questions whilst sitting on a table at one end of the gallery and then recorded my responses whilst sitting on another table, at the other end. Seating was placed on either side of the gallery in order that the audience could watch the two monitors in dialogue with one another - Wimbledon Style. At the time I wrote in the exhibition leaflet: ‘I want my work to begin by asking questions, not just about itself, but also about the time and space that it finds itself in’ . More recently as a person in his fifties I have begun to perform again with the original Serpentine question tape. Across the thirty-year gap that now exists, between the live and the record, the work is still asking questions about the time and space that it finds itself in.’ KA Kevin Atherton Kevin Atherton was born in the Isle of Man in 190 and attended The Isle of Man College of Art and the Fine Art Department at Leeds Polytechnic. Graduating from Leeds Polytechnic in 1972 his early work was in the area of performance and film. In the 1970s he began using video as a counterpoint in performance and performed extensively through out Europe including at De Appel Gallery, Amsterdam, The Museum of Modern Art in Oxford, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, and the Project Arts Centre, Dublin. In 1979 he was included in the British Council survey exhibition Un Certain Art Anglais at the Musee d’Art Moderne, Paris. In the early nineteen eighties Atherton was one of the first artists in Britain to move out of the gallery and into public space, producing a number of pioneering site-specific public sculptures including A Body of Work at Langdon Park School in Poplar, East London. Other commissions from this time, described by Dianna Petherbridge as ‘time based sculpture’ included Platforms Piece at Brixton Railway Station which consists of three commuters, frozen as life size bronzes, waiting for a train, and Cathedral, a fifteen foot by ten foot stained glass window, permanently suspended between an avenue of trees in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire. Sculpture work has continued in the public realm including a series of pieces that integrate large scale mirror polished stainless steel spheres, these include: A Different Ball Game, in West Malling in Kent, A Private View in Cardiff Bay, and 17

more recently, A Reflective Approach in Leeds. Whilst working as Head of Fine Art Media at Chelsea College of Art, Atherton as Research Team Leader on the Virtual Reality as a Fine Art Media Research Project, developed Gallery Guide, a virtual reality performance, which he has performed at a number of galleries and museums internationally including The Museum of Modern Art Stockholm, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and the Tate Gallery, London. Atherton lives in Ireland, having moved there in 1999, to be the first Head of Fine Art Media at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin. In 2001 he held a mid-career retrospective of his media based work at Arthouse in Dublin and the Manx Museum in the Isle of Man. He is currently the NCAD Research Fellow at the Graduate School for Creative Arts and Media in Dublin. Lenny’s Documentary (1978, 45 minutes) Ian Bourn
Lenny’s Documentary takes the form of a monologue. It involves

one character who thinks aloud the script for a planned or imagined documentary about his life and environment. Lenny is obsessed by a bleak vision of his past and present circumstances. We are given fragments of what seems an eternal evening of dark introspection. A glimmer of hope remains in the tape’s one visual metaphor, Leytonstone High Road, which acts as a release from the dark interior and a possible way out for Lenny. Ian Bourn Born in London 19, lives and works in London. Studied at Ealing School of Art, 1972-7 and Royal College of Art, London, 1976-79. Screenings include Bracknell Video Festival; Hayward Gallery, London; The Kitchen, New York; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; National Film Theatre, London; Image Forum, Tokyo. Video Fellowship (awarded by Arts Council of Great Britain and Sheffield City Polytechnic), 1982-83. Coinstigator with Chris White of Housewatch a group of mixedmedia artists who collaborate, individually or collectively, to produce environmental site-specific performance events. ‘Ian Bourn has been making videos since the late 70s, at a time when most video artists were experimenting with black and white low-band U-matic, and relatively few homes had video recorders. However it was the medium’s means of playback - on domesticTV-like monitors which attracted Bourn, who saw the potential for using the familiarity of television’s modes of address 18

to develop his own highly personal and idiosyncratic style. Taking his cue less from contemporary artists’ film and more from televisual conventions, with a particular antipathy for TV’s portrayal of the ‘cheeky Cockney chappie’ he set out to , develop his own pantheon of imaginary tragi-comic characters, pitched somewhere between Tony Hancock and Harold Pinter. Bourn has described his single-screen video work as ‘a kind of portraiture that examines role-play and the viewer’s relationship with people portrayed on film.’ As well as being a consummate writer, Bourn is also an actor, often appearing in his own and other’s work. The blurring of fiction and autobiography is what gives the work its edge. This is paralleled in his work for Housewatch, a mixed-media group co-founded by Bourn in 198, in which the facades of real houses are used, their illuminated windows presenting the passer-by with an illusory, fictional interior.’ Felicity Sparrow, Luxonline, 200 In the Home (1980, 10 minutes) Ian Breakwell The traumas of a wedding night. In the Home is a domestic melodrama of absurd intensity in which newlyweds in their ideal home undergo a severe emotional trauma on their wedding night. Colour videotape produced at Aidanvision Studios in Carlisle along with The News. The artist explores the conventions of television studio production by focusing on two aspects of the medium: the television play and the television news. Ian Breakwell Born in Derby in 19 and died in London in 200. Studied at Derby College of Art and the West of England College, Bristol. From his early performances in the 1960s Breakwell worked in a diverse range of media, from painting to film, video, performance and installation. He has exhibited widely and his paintings are in public and private collections including Tate Gallery, Contemporary Art Society, Victoria and Albert Museum; Museum of Modern Art, New York and Art Gallery of New South Wales, Australia. Screenings include: World Wide Video Festival, The Hague; Videonale, Bonn; National Video Festival, Los Angeles. He produced films for television broadcast and is well known for his writing, which includes: Ian Breakwell’s Diary 1964-85 (Pluto Press, 1986); collected illustrated fiction The Artist’s Dream (Serpent’s Tail, 1988) and Free Range published by Victoria and Albert Museum 199. 19

Fellowship at King’s College and Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge 1980-81; John Brinkley Fellowship at the Norwich School of Art 1982-8; Artist in Residence, Tyne Tees Television 198; Artist in Residence, Durham Cathedral, 199-9. David Critchley Pieces I Never Did (3 screen composite version) (1979, 31 minutes) ‘Pieces I Never Did was made as my attempt at a ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ drawing on all the elements of differing , forms that I could muster. This was not simply a summation or record of all I had done before but rather a working together of disparate elements into a coherent complex whole. My intention was to push the boundaries of video art at that time: to push my own physical, intellectual and moral boundaries, and to negate the whole endeavour by sowing the seeds of the work’s own destruction from the outset. The resulting three channel, eighteen part, 1 minute piece both celebrated and denigrated my own history, my peer group and my alma mater. In 1984, along with all of my other films, photographs, recordings and works on paper, I did actually destroy all the master material, edits and copies in my possession – left in a black bin liner in Tisbury Court, Soho. Copies of the single screen version, (made for practicality after the three channel version), survived in the collections of several colleges and galleries. It was from these that I have been enabled by the REWIND project to make a complex reverse-edit procedure with Adam Lockhart and create what is essentially a restoration of the three-channel piece. This in turn has been composited into a single channel version on this DVD. So, there are now the single, three in one three separate channel versions.’ DC David Critchley David Critchley, born in 19, studied art in Newcastle upon Tyne and at the Royal College of Art, London. Having exhibited at the Serpentine gallery The Video Show in 197, he became one of the organisers of the influential series of installations and media performances at 2B Butler’s Wharf in the late 1970s. Critchley was a central figure in the organisation of London Video Arts from its inception in 1976, and as its manager between 1981-86. He taught video art at the Slade and Chelsea and was a visiting lecturer at many UK art colleges in the late 1970s and early 80s. His video artworks have been screened in the UK, Europe, North America 20

and worldwide, and are currently in distribution with LUX. Trialogue was screened as part of A Century of Artists’ Film in Britain at Tate Britain. After LVA he formed and ran the video production company Greenstreet Ltd until 1991. Followed by a period of distance from the production of public art work, Critchley began to collaborate with Dr Liz Lee and Susie Freeman from 1999 onwards, creating multi-media installations with a Science-Art theme centered around a variety of common medical conditions. Many artworks, exhibitions, publications and web sites followed, culminating in the permanent exhibit since 200 of Cradle to Grave in the Wellcome Trust Gallery at the British Museum. Circling (1975, 12 minutes) Peter Donebauer Music composed/performed by Simon Desorgher The imagery and sound were performed and recorded by Donebauer and Desorgher ‘playing’ together in real time with both participants having visual and aural feedback of each other’s transforming contributions as they affected the piece in real time and thus in turn their own continuing contributions. The tape represents an early example of the visual techniques Donebauer developed through access to the old ATV colour studio donated to the Royal College of Art in London in 197. These techniques involved manipulating the studio in ways for which it was never designed, enabling the development of a form of ‘Electronic Painting’ equivalent to the ‘Electronic Music’ that was being first developed around that time. The two went on to work together for several years with Desorgher providing and co-ordinating the sound elements through a mixture of traditional musical instruments and electronics. The key visual motif of a slowly spinning form is used as a visual metaphor for cyclical processes in nature in general. Whilst there is no direct attempt to visualise specifically astronomical events, Circling triggers cosmic associations in most people. It can equally suggest connections to an individual’s personal inner space rather than a collectively perceived outer one. In parallel with the visuals, the soundtrack utilises repeating elements that circle back on themselves, and was performed as a live mix of eight pre-recorded loops of different lengths running randomly alongside one another. Peter Donebauer Born 197, studied at the Royal College of Art in London. He 21

was a pioneering artist in the UK in the 1970s and early ‘80s working with video in newly-available colour and collaborating with musicians, pursuing improvisational, non-representational and spiritual aspects of media art. Supported by the Arts Council of Great Britain, the British Film Institute, Gulbenkian and Thorn-EMI, he was the first UK artist to be commissioned by the BBC for national broadcast. Donebauer built an image-processing synthesizer, the ‘Videokalos Image Processor’ to extend his work beyond TV studios and , performed at venues including the Ikon Gallery, Birmingham and ICA, London. Works from that period have continued to be shown nationally and internationally. Donebauer went on to found one of the UK’s most respected independent production companies, Diverse Production, and has recently returned to a full-time role as an artist, including a recent retrospective performance at Tate Britain. Kensington Gore (1981, 15 minutes) Catherine Elwes ‘This early tape is based on my experiences as a make-up artist at the BBC in the 1970s. I wasn’t much good at the glamour make-ups, but I made blood and gore my speciality. In Kensington Gore, I drew on my old make-up skills and created a slit throat out of mortician’s wax dripping ‘Kensington Gore’ into the gash to complete the effect. ‘Kensington Gore’ is the name for theatrical blood and it is also the address of the Royal College of Art where I was a student at the time. The idea of the work was to deconstruct the illusion of a wounded body, one of the images with which television induces fear or excitement in the audience, then as now. Although it was quite clear that the wound in the tape was fabricated, people winced when the knife cut through the wax and women dragged their children out as the ‘blood’ was applied. I was astonished to witness how a moving image with synchronised sound could so easily lead viewers to suspend disbelief even when the illusion was being simultaneously revealed as a trick of paint and wax. I inter-cut the throat-slitting sequence with a story of an event that took place when I was filming on location in Scotland. The film included a scene involving a group of British redcoats who were ambushed by Highlanders and I had to create numerous sword and knife wounds including slit throats. I became so absorbed in this mythical carnage that when a member of the crew was kicked in the head by a nervous horse, I was quite unable to switch back to reality and instead carefully observed the spurting of blood and 22

worked out where it should flow from the angle of impact etc. I only registered the event as real when the director fainted. In Kensington Gore this event was related in various theatrical forms ranging from the slapstick of mime to the authority of the text read with my inherited BBC accent. This Brechtian approach reduced the story to the form of its telling and although it was based on real events, it did not pretend to posit an irrefutable truth. In the same way that reality and fiction are often interchangeable, the truth of an event has as many versions as there were witnesses.’ CE Catherine Elwes Born 192, St Maixent, France, studied at Slade School of Art and Royal College of Art. Lives and works in Oxford and London. Catherine Elwes is a video artist, writer and curator who was active in the feminist art movement in the late 1970s. She co-curated the exhibitions Women’s Images of Men and About Time at the ICA in 1980. Throughout the 1980s her work and writings continued to explore time–based media in general and feminist themes in particular centring on the belief that the ‘Personal is Political’ Recent work in video has investigated . masculinity as it solidifies and dissolves within the military especially in the image of the war hero. She is currently working on a series of landscape works. Her videos have been shown widely both here and abroad and her tapes are in a number of collections including the National Gallery of Ottowa, Arnolfini Gallery, Liverpool and Arts Council England. Her work has been broadcast on Channel  television as well as on Spanish, Canadian and French networks. Elwes is the author of Video Loupe, (K.T. Press, 2000) and Video Art, a guided tour (I.B.Tauris, 200). She is currently writing Landscape and the Moving Image for Wallflower Press. From 19982006 she was the director of the UK/Canadian Film & Video Exchange and is currently co-curator of Figuring Landscapes, an international screening exhibition on themes of landscape. Elwes is Professor of Moving Image Art at Camberwell College of Arts, University of the Arts London. Time Spent (1981, 12 minutes) Judith Goddard ‘Time Spent was the first work I made using video. I was doing an MA at the Royal College of Art, and the tape was in part prompted by a question from Peter Kardia - Head of my Department. He asked me what I did with my time? I spent the 2

next week recording with a video camera - and the work Time Spent was my reply. I realised, that the time I could not account for, was perhaps as important to me, as the time that could be measured by events or the activity of making. In that inbetween time, I was looking, thinking and daydreaming. It was a space that allowed thoughts and images to come together and fall apart, an unstructured place of possibility. To acknowledge this space and avoid the danger of ‘death by daydreaming’ I had to find a form for it. In Time Spent, I wanted to translate the gazing into looking, to focus the amorphous state using the camera and its lens, and by editing to construct an order of images, which would unfold over the 12 minutes in a non-narrative structure. The work opens with a white screen; we hear the off-screen sound of sparrows chirping, a hammer banging repetitively and children playing in the distance. Cut to the first silent image, which is photographed from a screen and reinserted in the narrative. It shows a man, head in hands with downcast eyes, the making of this image is revealed by the scan lines, which slice diagonally across his face. The duration of the still, while allowing for concentrated viewing, was an issue of the day, a deliberate contrast with the medium of television. Throughout the tape the differences between the still and the moving image are highlighted by the use of photography and video. The stills are all silent while the moving image has a multi-layered soundtrack. The first moving image is a focus-pull of an extreme close-up of a blurry horizon. The camera then focuses and zooms out. We see a green and white checked tabletop and a vase of tulips - a domestic interior. A vague conversation is heard though we never see the participants, and in the background Beethoven’s 7th Symphony plays. The work continues in this domestic interior, its occupants more absent then present, a pattern of stillness and movement, of distorted reflections, diagetic sound and space with colour filled detail are patched together like a quilt.’ Judith Goddard Born 196, Shropshire, lives and works in London. She has an MA from the Royal College of Art, and has taught at the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam and Slade School of Art, London. Goddard began using video in 1982, her single screen and large-scale installations have been shown widely both here and abroad. Early on Goddard developed a rich visual style influenced by film, collage and painting, an example being the video triptych The Garden of Earthly Delight (1991) that offers a 2

fragmented, dystopian view of life in the 1990s in the spirit of Hieronymus Bosch. Goddard’s exhibitions include Tate Britain and Liverpool; Museum of Modern Art, Oxford; the Bluecoat and John Hansard Gallerie’s; Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, as well as installations in Portugal, Canada, Estonia and India; her single channel work has been screened worldwide. TV Interruptions (7 TV Pieces) (1971, 23 minutes) David Hall Ten works commissioned by the Scottish Arts Council were broadcast by Scottish Television, unannounced and uncredited, in August/September 1971. Later, seven were compiled as TV Interruptions (7 TV Pieces). ‘TV Interruptions (7 TV Pieces) were my first works for TV, and are a selection from the original ten. Conceived and made specifically for broadcast, they were transmitted by Scottish TV during the Edinburgh Festival in 1971. The idea of inserting them as interruptions to regular programmes was crucial and a major influence on their content. That they appeared unannounced, with no titles (two or three times a day for ten days), was essential.. These transmissions were a surprise, a mystery. No explanations, no excuses. Reactions were various. I viewed one piece in an old gents’ club. The TV was permanently on but the occupants were oblivious to it, reading newspapers or dozing. When the TV began to fill with water newspapers dropped, the dozing stopped. When the piece finished normal activity was resumed. When announcing to shop assistants and engineers in a local TV shop that another was about to appear they welcomed me in. When it finished I was obliged to leave quickly by the back door. I took these as positive reactions...’ DH (1990) ‘These have come to be regarded as the first example of British artists’ television and as an equally formative moment in British video art’ Diverse Practices: A Critical Reader on . British Video Art. ‘David Hall’s work set the stage for an era in which artists took up the camera to challenge television’s established formulations and its power as a medium of social control... [his] interventions almost established a genre, with subsequent works by [for example] Stan Douglas, Bill Viola and Chris Burden following the form of unannounced disturbances…’ Eye Magazine, Issue 60, 2006. Hall’s transmissions formed part of the Scottish Arts Council’s Locations Edinburgh event, the first exhibition in Britain to be staged outside the confines of a gallery. 2

David Hall Born 197, studied at Leicester and the Royal College of Art in the 1950s and early 1960s. Awarded first prize for sculpture at the Biennale de Paris 1965, he also took part in the first major exhibition of Minimalist art, Primary Structures, New York 1966, before turning to photography, film and video. His first television interventions appeared on Scottish TV in 1971 and his first video installation was shown in London in 1972. His single screen and installation work has been widely screened and exhibited internationally and he has made work for broadcast by, among others, BBC TV, Channel  TV, Scottish TV, Canal+ TV and MTV. He helped form the Artist Placement Group with John Latham and others in 1966; was co-organiser of the seminal international Video Show exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery, London 1975; and was co-curator of the first video installations exhibition at the Tate Gallery, London 1976. In the same year he initiated and was a founder of the artists’ organisation London Video Arts (now part of LUX). Appointed Honorary Professor at Dundee University in 200 he has taught at the Royal College of Art, St Martin’s School of Art, Chelsea College of Art, San Francisco Art Institute, Nova Scotia College of Art and many others. He introduced the term ‘time-based media’ through his writings, and created the first time-based art degree option with an emphasis on video at Maidstone Art College, Kent (now UCA) in 1972. Sculpture, films, videotapes and/or related material at the Tate Gallery London, Museum of Modern Art New York, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, Gemeente Museum The Hague, West Australia Art Gallery Perth, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, British Council, Arts Council of England, Contemporary Arts Society, Great South West Corporation Atlanta USA, Richard Feigen Gallery New York, Visual Resources Inc. New York, Royal College of Art, Harvard University, ZKM Karlsruhe and other public and private collections worldwide. Films and videotapes held by LUX, London, British Film Institute, National Film and Television Archive, REWIND Archive and Venice Biennale Archive. State of Division (1978, 5 minutes) Mick Hartney ‘The basic idea behind State of Division was that a videotape would be found on a bus and played by the finder. It would be found to contain the rambling statement of a character aware of himself only as a video recording. In fact the tape was an attempt to deal in a state of tranquility with the experience 26

of period of clinical depression I had had some years before. As I was no longer affected by these feelings, I felt free to deal with them with a degree of humour. The work does seem to have hit a variety of different nerves in its audiences perhaps because of the apparently raw, confessional nature of the script.’ MH Mick Hartney Born 196, London, lives and works in Brighton. Mick Hartney is one of the first generation of video artists in the UK. He is also the first systematic chronicler of the medium, setting out the aesthetic and political territory of video art in influential articles such as An Incomplete and
Highly Contentious Summary of the Early Chronology of Video Art (195975) (LVA Catalogue, 198) and After the Small talk; British Video Art in the Eighties (Video Positive Catalogue, Liverpool, 1989).

Hartney is also author of a number of monographs on video and media artists including Nan Hoover and Jack Goldstein. Hartney’s own practice has included works of a political nature including Orange Free State (1978) in which issues of apartheid are alluded to in the juxtaposition of a black woman’s treatise on investments, economics and employment and a white man’s assumed superiority in his critique of her position. More personal works include the classic, State of Division (1979) in which the artist is seen on a screen within a monitor screen describing the subjective experience of being the object of the spectatorial gaze. Over the years Hartney’s work has been shown internationally at major venues including the Pompidou Centre, Paris; The Kitchen, New York and the Tate Galleries in London and Liverpool. He is currently Senior Lecturer in the School of Art at the University of Brighton. The Extent of Three Bells (1981, 5 minutes) Steve Hawley ‘The extent of three bells was made in 1981 and was almost my first video - I dimly recall something previously on reel to reel tape. I was interested in the materiality of video, and especially the video camera, and at that time the colour vidicon tubes would react to light to produce a flare in low illumination, something I found quite beautiful. At the same time at Brighton Polytechnic we had just taken delivery of a nearly frame accurate U-Matic editing system, and I wanted to try and create musical structures using the editing process. I put the two together with a system based on bell ringing, where the rigid patterns broke down increasingly quickly. The 27

technician who helped to make the piece had been in theatre and he broke down as well, laughing, saying he was corpsing. The piece as a whole explores the technology of video, in a way, but is also about the disruption of logical structures, which was a preoccupation in my work at the time.’ SH Steve Hawley Born 1952 in Wakefield, studied at Brighton Polytechnic. Lives and works in Manchester. Steve Hawley is an artist who has worked with film and video since 1981, and has shown his work worldwide, in galleries and on broadcast TV. There has been a long preoccupation with language in such pieces as Language Lessons (199), (made with Tony Steyger) his documentary on artificial languages was broadcast on Channel 4 and is in the collection of Fundacio La Caixa, Barcelona. His tape Trout Descending A Staircase (1990), commissioned by BBC2 TV was awarded a German Video Art prize in 199. More recently his work has looked at new forms of narrative, in such works as Love Under Mercury (2001), his first film for the cinema, which won a prize at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and Amen ICA Cinema (2002), a palindromic video which won the prize for most original video at the Vancouver Videopoem festival. Speech Marks (2004), was one of the first works shot entirely on a mobile phone and won a special prize at the 200 VAD Digital Arts Festival in Girona. He is currently making a generative narrative DVD piece, Timetable (2009), which explores the power of the medium to present images and voiceover at random. Flow (1977, 17 minutes) Brian Hoey/Wendy Brown ‘Flow was made whilst we were Artists in Residence to Washington New Town. It was made with financial assistance from the Arts Council of Great Britain’s Colour Video Bursary. At this time we were interested in using video as a ‘painterly’ medium to create abstract works that had the added dimension of time. Flow is a piece playing upon the fact that the video signal is actually created through the flow of electrons: the signal is never static but always evolving. The original imagery is water based: aerial shots of waves flowing onto the shore, clusters of bubbles on the surface of water and individual bubbles flowing through the air. The manipulation of the imagery makes allusions to microscopic photography also. The images dissolve, or flow, into each other. The piece was made using a half-inch monochrome reel to reel 28

recorder and camera (Sony Video Rover). The images were then processed using the Videokalos video synthesiser developed by Peter Donebauer and Richard Monkhouse. The colour was synthesised by the Videokalos. Brian’s undergraduate thesis had been about the effects of colour on human emotion and we were keen to introduce colour to a medium that had largely been restricted to monochrome in that era. Processing the black and white footage into colour involved a six hundred mile round trip from our base in North East England to Peter’s flat and studio in Brixton, which may seem hard to believe in this age of instant digital technology.’ BH/WB Brian Hoey Born 1950, Hartlepool, studied fine art at Exeter College of Art from 1969 to 1972 where he met Wendy Brown. At Exeter he developed interactive light sculptures. During post-graduate work at the Slade School these interactive systems evolved into video installations using time delays. His installation Videvent was one of the first video works to be shown at the Tate Gallery during Video Show in 1976. Brian and Wendy were Artists in Residence to Washington New Town from 1976 to ’79 where they initiated Artists Video, an annual festival of international video art. In 198 Brian began full time teaching in Higher Education at the London College of Printing (now London College of Communication). He later moved on to Northumbria University where he worked until 2009. Brian’s video work is now in the field of landscape video art. Wendy Brown Studied fine art at Exeter College of Art from 1970 until 197 where she produced behavioural art installations and kinetic works. After a period working as an audio-visual technician at University College London she began to work in video. Whilst Artist in Residence to Washington New Town she worked in a variety of media including video, inflatable play sculpture and light sculpture. In conjunction with Brian she initiated the Artists Video international festival. This event was the first opportunity for an audience to see video art in North East England and a number of seminal artists gained early exposure in this series of exhibitions. After a period as an arts administrator Wendy became a wood carver producing mainly relief work on natural themes and was awarded a residency at Grizedale Forest.


Split Seconds (1979, 11 minutes) Madelon Hooykaas/ Elsa Stansfield ‘In the installation Split Seconds, a small monitor is placed in front of a slightly larger one, with both monitors showing the same recording of wood being chopped. An axe splits logs apart; the video screen and frame are split in two at the same moment. The speed of the movement is greater than that of the eye.’ Audio Video Installations Hooykaas/ Stansfield, Provinciaal Museum Hasselt (198) Madelon Hooykaas and Elsa Stansfield Have been producing time-based art together for more than 30 years. Prolific artists, they have worked with a variety of media- film, audio, video, laser discs and CD ROMs, in their creation of video and sound installations and interactive sculptures, as well as cable casts and single channel video. They met as students at the Ealing School of Art, London in 1966 and started working together in 1972 in their studios in London and in Amsterdam. Their collaborations have been exhibited widely throughout Europe and North America as well Australia and Japan. Madelon Hooykaas, born in the Netherlands, studied in Paris, London and New York, travelled worldwide (staying several months in Japan) and worked in photography and film before collaborating with Stansfield. Elsa Stansfield, born in Glasgow, Scotland, studied at the Glasgow School of Art and also travelled widely (with a long stay in India). She studied and worked in film and photography at Ealing School of Art and did film studies at the Slade in London before her work with Hooykaas. She was head of the Time Based Media Department (Video and Audio) at the Jan van Eyck Academy from 1980 to 1991. Elsa Stansfield died on November 0, 200 in Amsterdam. Their collaborative work has been highly acclaimed; the pair were awarded the Judith Leyster Prize for artistic achievement in 1996 and in 1999 the CD-ROM Person to Person was awarded the grand Prix for New Media at Split Festival, Croatia. Twelve publications about their work have been published internationally as well as in numerous catalogues around the world. In 2010 a large exhibition of some of the key works will be shown in the Netherlands and in the UK. 


Clapping Songs (1979, 6 min) Tina Keane ‘In Clapping Songs commissioned by Audio Arts 1981 for the Riverside Studios, London, the approach is very direct and uncluttered. She used a slide-tape of two girls (her daughter and a friend) playing clapping games. The sound-tape is a series of clapping game songs which take us through the vicissitudes of life itself, including birth, childhood, courtship, marriage and death. Characteristically, the verses are larded with ‘bad taste’ sexuality and a morbid , fascination with death (the body will ‘rot, rot, rot’). There is a strong sense (as in Shadow Women) of the dialectic between concrete history (the ever-continuing generation of girls playing these games) and the universal rituals of play as learning.’ Michael O’Pray, Performance Magazine (1988) Tina Keane Born 198, London. Lives and works in London. Tina Keane studied at Hammersmith College of Art and Sir John Cass School of Art (1967-70) and got an MA in Independent Film and Video from London College of Printing (199-96). She has worked across a range of media from performance and installation to film, video and digital art. Tina Keane has exhibited widely both nationally and internationally and was Artist in Residence at various institutions including the Banff Centre in Canada. She is a founder member of Circles - Women in Distribution and curator and programmer of exhibitions and screenings including The New Pluralism exhibition at the Tate (with Michael O’Pray, 198). She has won awards from the Arts Council, Channel , the British Council and London Production Board. Keane has been a Visiting Lecturer at many colleges and universities throughout the UK and abroad, including Harvard University. Since 1982 she has been Lecturer in Film & Video at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design, London, where she has also been Research Fellow since 200. Vanitas (1977, 8 minutes) Tamara Krikorian ‘The idea for Vanitas came from a seventeenth century French painting Allegory of Justice and Vanity, attributed to Tournier, which I ‘found’ in the Ashmolean Museum Oxford. In it a woman is seated, holding a mirror, which reflects a number of still life objects, including a skull, a candlestick and other items denoting the transience of life. 1

Vanitas is a self-portrait of the artist and at the same time

an allegory on the ephemeral nature of television. Apart from the conventional still-life objects such as jewellery and flowers, the mirror reflects a TV in which a series of announcers appear edited in with shots of the artist, who is describing the symbolism found in Vanitas paintings. The daily flow of news seems little different today with its emphasis on money and war. The shots of the announcers are seen as 20thcentury icons, whose appearance and dress might appear to establish them as figures of authority but in Vanitas they simply become symbols of transience, like the flowers and shells and the self-portrait of the artist. My own interest in video and television stems from a formalist position, the analysis and de-construction of the medium within a strongly political context, while using symbolism and assemblage to create layers of meaning. This first Vanitas work led me to de-construct Vanitas and create a series of Vanitas installations in which I explored the use of different symbols of transience including the selfportrait, bubbles, shells, print media and live butterflies, All these works were carefully focussed on a critique of TV itself – the ephemeral medium.’ TK Tamara Krikorian Tamara Krikorian is an artist and curator. She studied music and worked as an assistant for Opera Piccola in London. She became involved in the visual arts while working in Edinburgh in the late sixties and in the early Seventies helped to develop the first Artists Register for the Scottish Arts Council, which included using video to document artists’ work. It was during this period that she started to use photography and video in her own work. She showed Breeze, her first four-screen work in Edinburgh, in 197, and at The Video Show at the Serpentine Gallery, in 197. As well as being a founder member of LVA and Stills Gallery (The Scottish Photography Group) in Edinburgh she was coorganiser of The Video Symposium and Video defining an Aesthetic, the first exhibition of British video installations at Third Eye Centre in Glasgow in 1976. She taught for a number of years at Maidstone College of Art and Newcastle Polytechnic while showing her installations in galleries across Britain. She also engaged in a vigorous critical debate alongside David Hall, Stuart Marshall and Steve Partridge writing regularly for Art Monthly, Studio International and other journals. She was a member of the Arts Council’s Film and Video Panel from 1980-8. From 198-200 as Director of Cywaith Cymru. Artworks Wales she worked with artists and 2

communities across Wales developing public art projects. She continues to show her work internationally most recently at Dundee Contemporary Arts in 2006 as part of REWIND Artists Video in the 1970s and 1980s as well as in Analogue, Pioneering Video from the UK, Canada and Poland (1968-88). She was also a speaker at the Analogue seminar held at the Tate in 2006 as well as Had to be There, the conference organised by FACT in Liverpool in 2007. She has published many texts on the Visual arts and on Video art in particular. Recent publications include a monograph on the Welsh artist Peter Bailey (2006) and articles for Planet magazine. The Heart Cycle (1973, 13 minutes) Mike Leggett ‘Throughout 1972 and 197 I pursued a hectic series of projects centred on 16/8mm film, video, together with sound and book production, many of which were related to one another in theme, and having in common my approach to experimentation. Initial experiments with Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) collaboratively with other artists (John Latham, Ian Breakwell, Kevin Coyne, etc) and students, were followed by encounters with the Portapak. From a background of filmmaking my initial encounters with video were revelatory: as a motion picture recording device the key features were an ability to play back motion pictures immediately, and to re-use the tape media if playback showed a recording to be unsatisfactory. In the contemporary context this may seem mundane, but in the early 1970s the potential of this facility, as others have noted, (Marshall, Donebauer, Elwes, Hartney 1996; Critchley, 2006), was as novel as it was without precedent. Work on The Heart Cycle commenced as a series of experiments with a roll of 16mm ‘found footage’ film and a newly acquired CCTV system sited at the Exeter College of Art where I taught. A film projector and several studio cameras connected through a simple vision mixer to monitors and a tape deck, recorded to videotape a series of procedures and adjustments made to the system during experiments and ‘rehearsals’ . The new media of analogue video delivered motion pictures displaying in ‘real time’ the states of a system in synthesis. The iterations reached a point of final performance, the extent unedited recording of The Heart Cycle. The ideal I observed at the time, would be to ‘perform’ the procedure to an audience; but analogue video technology had strict limitations for live performance. The Heart Cycle whilst fitting into the finite time span of the artist’s film, 

(a singular event), when replayed on the screen of a video monitor, retains in the electronic genesis of the black and white image, a provisional gesture in private performance towards a contemporary present. A present that in the digital environment, images the signs of decay affecting the videotape coatings – horizontal white lines and speckles make aleotoric appearances across the orchestration, an interference that however, registers the image base of the completed artefact.’ ML Mike Leggett Born in 19 in Surrey, England. Lives and works in Sydney, Australia. Mike Leggett has been working across the institutions of art, education, cinema and television with media since the late 1960s. He has film and video artwork in archives and collections in Europe, Australia, North and South America and practises professionally as an artist, curator, writer and lecturer. He was a founding member of the London Filmmakers Cooperative workshop and the Independent Film-makers Association (UK). He was an active member of the British film and television union until the mid-1980s when he migrated with his Australian partner and child to Melbourne, Australia. He has undertaken consultancies for the Australia Council for the Arts, the National Association for the Visual Arts, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Melbourne and was on the Board of dLux Media Arts (Sydney). During 2008 he completed a PhD with the Creativity & Cognition Studios in the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, University of Technology Sydney, exploring the precept of visual mnemonics for interactivity within hypervideo systems. He has curated exhibitions of media art for the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney (Burning the Interface<International Artists’ CD-ROM>), touring to Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne); the Brisbane International Film Festival; and Videotage Festival of Video Art, Hong Kong. He contributes to Leonardo; Continuum, World Art, FineArt Forum and is a regular correspondent for the Australian contemporary arts newspaper RealTime. He has an MFA from the College of Fine Art, University of New South Wales. 

Mirror (1979, 5 minutes) Stephen Littman ‘This was my first single screen piece. Shot using a Sony Portapak Rover using half-inch black and white videotape. It was edited onto Sony U-Matic 280 edit deck without any edit controller. It took a lot of skill to undertake these edit patterns as you had a hit and miss environment where non-PAL edits and wobble would constantly be placed in the work by the editing process used. This work evokes an emotional response of the driver navigating a ring road around the centre of Coventry. A planning disaster of concrete roads and subways. This journey explores time and space within the screen space further echoed in the mirror. Sound reinforces the pictorial movement to create a sound and rhythm work with symbolic meaning of who is watching whom.’ SL Stephen Littman Born 197, London. Studied at Coventry Polytechnic and the Royal College of Art. Stephen Littman is an artist, visual theatre documentalist and academic based at University College for the Creative Arts at Farnham; he has been involved in the organisation of festivals such as Video Positive, National Review of Live Art (Video) and was a member of the London Video Arts management committee from 1980 to 1987 running the screening programmes and technical workshops. His work has ranged from lyrical narrative to strict structural investigations of the language and form of video - but often introducing a redeeming touch of the absurd. He was a pioneer of using video wall technology, installing and curating a range of works for the Video Positive festival in Liverpool in 1989. Go thru the Motions (1975, 8 minutes) Stuart Marshall An extreme close-up of a mouth is used to examine speech patterning, perception of mime, vocal cavity resonation and the electronic fracturing of speech. Part of the Mouth Works trilogy which also includes Arcanum and Mouth Room. Stuart Marshall Born in Manchester in 199, died 199. Stuart Marshall studied Fine Art at Hornsey and Newport colleges of Art and did an MA teaching fellowship in New 

Music Composition and Ethnomusicology with Alvin Lucier at Wesleyan University, USA. Marshall was a founder member of London Video Arts in 1976, and was a committed advocate of British video art, as a practitioner, curator and theorist. He curated the first UK/Canadian Video Exchange in 198 and his videos and writings were amongst the first to explore the relationship between video, television and the media. With later works such as Bright Eyes, he explored, and challenged, misrepresentations of homosexuality during the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s, at a time when lesbian and gay lifestyles and sexuality were under attack as a result of Clause 28 and the media-encouraged prejudice surrounding the spread of AIDS. Towards the end of his life, working with Maya Vision, Marshall made a number of Channel  commissioned documentaries concerning gay identity and he continued to be a passionate campaigner for gay rights. Marshall was a dedicated teacher in a number of art schools throughout his career, including Chelsea School of Art, the Royal College of Art and Newcastle Polytechnic, where he made Pedagogue with Neil Bartlett and his students, a humorous riposte to Clause 28. Continuum (1977 5 minutes) Chris Meigh Andrews/Gabrielle Bown ‘Early British video art differs from its American counterpart and British experimental film in that it is concerned less with identifying the specific properties of the medium than with analysing the conditions of viewing and the mechanics and shaping of perceptual and social space. Continuum is a good example of this sort of work. Originally a two-screen piece made in collaboration with Gabrielle Bown, it plays out the difficulty two lovers have in communicating with each other whilst at the same time revealing the illusoriness of the space in which their relationship is constructed. A man and a woman each occupy a TV screen. The screens are set side by side and a pendulum visible behind each of the two characters, who face each other, swings between them, first one screen then the other. The dialogue between the two is one of mutual misunderstanding and misread intentions. However, the piece ends rather humorously, with that dialogue breaking down, as both agree that the conversation need not go on in this manner as to do so would be to satisfy only what the situation of their performing the piece demands of them. Laughing, the two both rise from their seats and, if we had not already realised, we see that the space and time each of them occupies is in fact only illusorily separate, or 6

only illusorily shared. The question is why this sort of space should be considered to be ‘illusory’ at all: why is it not real or architectural? This points to an essential difference, perhaps, between contemporary art and modern art: contemporary artists are less inclined to accept the autonomy of the art work, and consider the move of ‘revealing’ the conditions of viewing to be no less a construct than that which is thereby ‘revealed’ to be a construct.’ Jonathan Dronsfield Chris Meigh-Andrews Born 192, Braintree, UK. Lives & works in London and Lancashire. Chris Meigh-Andrews is Professor of Electronic & Digital Art and director of the Electronic and Digital Art Unit (EDAU) at the University of Central Lancashire. He studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths and completed his PhD at the Royal College of Art in 2001. A practicing artist working with electronic & digital media, he has been exhibiting his videotapes & installations internationally since 1978. Since 1990, Meigh-Andrews has specialised in sculptural and site-specific installations and video projections and recent work has often featured the harnessing of renewable energy systems. In 2002, his solar-powered web cast installation For William Henry Fox Talbot (The Pencil of Nature) was exhibited in Digital Interventions at the V&A, London. In 200 he produced Temporal View in Amsterdam (After BB Turner) a digital projection for Huis Marseilles Foundation for Photography, Amsterdam. In 200, Meigh-Andrews represented the UK with Resurrection, a solar-powered video installation at Digital Discourse an international exhibition to coincide with the heads of Commonwealth Government’s Conference (CHOGM) in Valetta. He is currently working with Architects Julian Harrap on an outdoor ambient-responsive digital image installation on the Monument in the City of London. Meigh-Andrews was chair of London Video Access 1987-89, artist in Residence at Oxford Brookes University (199) Saw Centre for Contemporary Art, Ottawa (199), Cleveland Arts (199) and Prema Arts Centre (199), and Arts Council of England International Artist Fellow at Bunkier Sztuki in Krakow (200/0). He was the recipient of a research award from the National Endowment of Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA) in 200 and has received British Council travel awards to Poland and Malta in 200. Meigh-Andrews organised and curated The Digital Aesthetic (2001) and Digital Aesthetic 2 (2007) in collaboration with the Harris Museum, Preston and is co-curator of Analogue: Pioneering 7

Artists’ Video from the UK, Canda and Poland (1968-88), a major

international touring retrospective exhibition. His book, A History of Video Art: The Development of Technology and Form, was published by Berg in November 2006. 2nd and 3rd Identity (1978, 10 minutes) Marcelline Mori ‘Two monitors face each other; on each is the same prerecorded image: a self portrait. The object of this preliminary set up is to reproduce artificially, the spatial conditions of a reflection of oneself in a mirror (the opposite to the normal video reflex). But on the outside surface of one of the monitor screens is an arrangement of small silvered squares in which the image on the second monitor is reflected (this time mirror-orientation). Since the pre-recorded image on both monitors is identical, the space between the image and its reflection is condensed within the frame of the first monitor. The image and its reflection both facing the spectator from the monitor screen. Between each appearance of the images a snow field (and its reflection) elucidate the process. In Magritte’s painting La Reflexion Interdite (The Forbidden Reflection) a man facing a mirror sees only the back of his own head reflected. Second and Third Identities in a way realises, with a time structure, a similar phenomenon but in reverse. The face and its reflection look out from the ‘mirror’ London Video Arts 1978 Catalogue .’ Marcelline Mori Marcelline Mori studied at the Sorbonne, University of Paris, graduating in 197. She went on to examine the burgeoning art of video in the UK for a research project under the auspices of the Beaubourg Centre in Paris. She moved to England in 1977 and became an active member of the newly formed London Video Arts. She began making videotapes and installations and showed at numerous international events as well as at key venues in the UK. Mori’s work is characterised by an engagement in the language of video often fragmented into smaller units between which she attempts to build a ‘rapport’ She described her work in the 1970s as ‘an attempt . to establish a ‘liason’ between content and form’ Since the . 1980s Mori has been working with paint on canvas, photography and sound. 


Monitor (1975, 6 minutes) Stephen Partridge ‘Monitor is an early work by Partridge which demonstrates his interest in structuralism. Structuralist analysis was of great interest to many artists at this time because it provided new and rigorous ways of thinking about art as a form of language. Its basic claim is that all signs (such as words, images, clothes, gestures, and so on) operate within systems (or structures), which are governed by rules. Thus it is not only words which function within the structure of a language, but all signs - there is a language of clothes, a language of the body, a language of painting, a language of sculpture, a language of film. Partridge’s quest in Monitor is to find a language of video. In order to do this, he has to make video turn in on itself: he has to make the medium of video ‘self-reflexive’ His most obvious way of doing this . in Monitor (apart from its title!) is to turn the camera onto the monitor itself, so that the subject of the video becomes itself. This alone, however, would not be enough to establish the unique properties of video; there is no reason why a film camera could not do the same thing. What makes video so special, however - what distinguishes its language from other kinds of filmic language - is that it can record and transmit simultaneously. There is no time delay. This can lead to the special phenomenon of feedback. When the video apparatus is turned on itself, it can produce an infinite series of repeated images, each nestled within the other like Chinese boxes. This effect thus mirrors that very same condition of self-reflexivity which forms the basis of language according to structuralist analysis. Look more closely at Monitor, however, and you will see that the effect of feedback has actually been ‘faked’ Partridge . has not simply presented a novel and quirky technical effect of the video medium. Like a mechanic he has dismantled it to provide a thorough examination, and then, like a poet, reassembled it in unexpected ways. The slightly different speeds at which the monitors are rotated in each of the images introduce an element of variation and syncopation, which contradict the standardised effect of simultaneity which occurs within ordinary feedback.’ John Calcutt (1998) Stephen Partridge Born 19, Leicester. Lives and works in Dundee. Studied at Maidstone College of Art and the Royal College of Art. Stephen Partridge is an artist and academic researcher. He was in the “landmark” video shows of the 1970s including The Video Show at the Serpentine in 197, The Installation Show at the Tate 9

Gallery in 1976, The Paris Biennalle in 1977 and The Kitchen in New York in 1979. During the eighties he exhibited widely and also became interested in works for broadcast television and was commissioned by Channel  television to produce Dialogue for Two Players in 198. With Jane Rigby, he formed Fields and Frames - an arts projects and television Production Company - which produced the innovative Television Interventions project for Channel  in 1990, with nineteen works by artists for television (including his own piece in the series, The Sounds of These Words) He also co-produced . a short series of student and artists work Not Necessarily with BBC Scotland for BBC2 network television in 1991. He has also curated a number of influential video shows: Video Art 78 in Coventry; UK TV New York; National Review of Live Art 1988-90; 19:4:90 Television Interventions; and the touring tape packages Made in Scotland I, II, Semblances, Passages. He has worked with the artist and composer David Cunningham, whose soundworks and structural approach has enriched many of his works since 197. Other major collaborations include the artist Elaine Shemilt on a series of works including the installations Chimera and Rush. He has lectured since 197 in a number of art colleges, and established the School of Television & Imaging at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design (University of Dundee) He is . presently Professor of Media Art and Dean of Research. He is the principal investigator on the four-year research project REWIND, investigating the first two decades of UK artists’ video practice. Video Sketches (1972, 22 minutes) Clive Richardson ‘The Video Sketches tape is a continuation of work I was doing on perspective corrections, using projected light and photography. Video was a new tool which allowed me to record the process of working out ideas. Sketch 1 Pre-recorded tape of walking in both directions across the screen is played back with the monitor picture positioned having the same background perspective. The walking sequence is then repeated behind the monitor and in sync with the prerecorded tape. Because the two walking sequences occupy the same picture plane they give the illusion of being the same sequence. Sketch 2 Body rolls across the monitor screen on -degree angle left to right. The angle tilts to opposite side of screen and body rolls to left. The sequence repeats with gradient getting 0

less and rolling becoming slower until the floor is horizontal and the rolling stops. Tilting the camera each way to alter the floor horizon line gives the illusion the gradient is controlling the movement of the body. Sketch  A pre-recorded video of a repeating zoom in and out on a rabbit is played back on a TV monitor. The image of the monitor and rabbit was then recorded again, zooming in and out in reverse to the previous tape, keeping the image of the rabbit the same size. This gave the illusion of the monitor moving forward and back. Video Sketches was made while a student at The Royal College of Art in 1970-1972. Hugh Casson the head of Architecture had been to a World’s Fair Exhibition and seen a large multiscreen projection there, which gave him the idea of starting the department at the RCA called Environmental Media. We were given a small room and little money to be building World’s Fair exhibits, so I suggested buying video equipment which at least we could reuse. I was living and working in a church hall in Fulham at the time, so took the equipment there and recorded the Sketches Tape.’ CR Clive Richardson Born 19, Newark, Nottinghamshire, lives and works in London. Studied at Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College of Art, before going on to teach at Chelsea School of Art. He has worked for over 0 years as a producer and director of commercials and pop promos at Island Pictures and other production companies before going on to found Clive Richardson Films, producing over 100 pop promos. His work has been exhibited at the Royal Academy, the Serpentine Gallery, Tate Britain and the National Film Theatre. Drift Guitars (1975, 21 minutes) Tony Sinden ‘Drift Guitars is a video documentation of one of my early minimal sound pieces, performed ‘live’ in front of camera. Other related experimental works of the period such as the Functional Action Series (1972-1976) explored film, sound and photography. Drift Guitars emerged as a consequence of experimenting with sound, albeit music: performing a repetitive but transitional acoustic action. Drift Guitars was performed ‘live’ for the camera as a continuous unedited videotape, flaws and mistakes are an inherent part of the work. The music is formed as a counterpoint to the traditional notion of notated music, 1

producing a random ‘phasing’ structure that moves in and out of synch. I guess what interested me at the time ‘happened’ in the recording session, documenting the event of performing the work, the duration and music. Drift Guitars was finally produced by David Cunningham on vinyl: side B of the Functional Action Series (parts two and three) and distributed by Piano Records as an LP (1977).’ TS Tony Sinden Tony Sinden is an artist who began independently to make short experimental films in 1966. Subsequently he went on to produce several films funded by The British Film Institute and Arts Council of England. His practice in the 1970’s embraced a conceptual approach to film and video and wide-ranging debates of contemporary art. He was one of the first artists in the UK to exhibit film, video and installation in the gallery context, including the ICA, Serpentine and Hayward Gallery; Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol and Third Eye Centre, Glasgow. The issues of Tony’s current work continue to explore the moving image in relationship to issues of contemporary art and the environment of exhibition: opening up space for reflection and interaction, between the work and spectator. Tony has exhibited widely during his career, including installations at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Berkeley Museum and Pacific Film Archive; South Bank Centre, London; Assembly Rooms, Edinburgh, sites in Kyoto, Kobe and Art Tower Mito, Japan; Durham Cathedral; Canary Wharf Tower, London; Forest of Dean Sculpture Park; Lux Gallery; Whitechapel Art Gallery; and The Bloomberg Space, London. Tony Sinden collaborated with David Hall in the early to late 70’s participating in inaugural shows such as 197: The Video Show, Serpentine Gallery with 101 TV Sets. Hall and Sinden collaborated on the 16mm films of 1972/3, This Surface, Edge, Between, Actor and View. This collaboration developed out of him earlier assisting David Hall in the production of Hall’s TV Interruptions for STV in late 1971. He taught at Maidstone College of Art from 1971 to 1980. Sinden’s practice has spanned three decades of substantial production, experiment and exhibition. He has worked across mediums: single screen 16mm, expanded 16mm, video, installation, slide and site related. 


Afterword Stephen Partridge About ten years ago there was a developing concern about the early works produced in the UK using film, video, performance and media installation. Because of the fragile and decaying nature of the early media and the growing obsolescence of the associated technology, video works in particular were in danger of disappearing altogether. This unhappy state of affairs was compounded by the fact that so little had been written down about the work. The hegemony of text in our culture can distort histories and particularly the relative significance of artistic output. In early 2002 I was approached by Laura Mulvey, who had herself, become concerned about the state and status of early video work produced in the UK. She suggested that I might be well placed to develop a research project to address both the issues of conservation and to write and record - from primary sources - an intelligible history of the field. I am deeply grateful for the advice, information and support I subsequently received while I was developing the project, from a great number of distinguished artists, scholars, curators, writers and arts administrators, particularly David Curtis of the British Artists’ Film and Video Study Collection. REWIND | Artists Video in the 70’s and 80’s, funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, started its work in early 200 and this DVD anthology is a very tangible outcome from the research undertaken. Based at the Visual Research Centre, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design in Dundee, we have spent 

the last five project that have had the the artists, REWIND would

years on a rewarding and multi-faceted has re-discovered many ‘lost’ works. We pleasure of working closely with the all without whose enthusiastic co-operation, not have been possible.

Jackie Hatfield undertook the majority of the field research for REWIND, and Maggie Warwick and I completed the interview series. Our archivist Adam Lockhart has established himself as a leading specialist in archiving and conservation issues for artists’ video. Sean Cubitt has been a constant adviser to the project, also contributing theoretical and historical input including the essay included in this booklet. The DVD anthology is largely derived from the REWIND Collection with some important gaps filled from the LUX archive, and affords a revealing insight into the concerns and innovative approaches taken by the artists working in the first decade of video production. For those interested in further exploration, visit the REWIND website for interviews with the artists and supporting information and ephemera at www.rewind.ac.uk 

A note on the selection of works The works on REWIND + PLAY An Anthology of Early British Video Art represent a broad selection of artists’ video work being made in the UK from 1971 to 1982. The selection is by no means exhaustive but rather represents a cross section of strategies and themes being explored in the medium at that time, particularly in and around London Video Arts (one of LUX’s predecessor organisations). The period the DVD focuses on is really a pre-digital one, when artists were first exploring the parameters of the medium and where frame accurate edit controls were not readily available, which to a degree shaped the work that was being made. In terms of the physical quality of the works - the DVD has been made from the best master versions available at this time - mostly without extensive restoration work, (some of which have faired better than others), and are presented here with the dropout and glitches which have very much become part of the patina of works of this era. 


REWIND + PLAY. An Anthology of Early British Video Art is published in Great Britain in 2009 by LUX in collaboration with REWIND Artists’ Video in the 70s and 80s In memory of Tamara Krikorian (19-2009) and Tony Sinden (19-2009) LUX, rd Floor, 18 Shacklewell Lane, London, E8 2EZ www.lux.org.uk REWIND, Visual Research Centre, University of Dundee, DCA 12 Nethergate, Dundee, DD1 DY www.rewind.ac.uk Many of the works included on this DVD are distributed by LUX and part of the REWIND collection. For more information on many of the artists and works see www.rewind.ac.uk and www.luxonline.org.uk Selection Benjamin Cook, Sean Cubitt, Adam Lockhart, Stephen Partridge and Emile Shemilt Producer Benjamin Cook Design Paul Abbott Video re-mastering Adam Lockhart DVD Production Stephen Connolly Printed in the UK by Branded Media DVD 9/ PAL/ Region 0 © 2009. Videos copyright with Individual artists. Essay Sean Cubitt. Publication LUX The copyright holder has licensed this DVD for private use only. All other rights are reserved. Any unauthorised copying, editing, exhibition, public performance, diffusion and/or broadcasting of the DVD or any part thereof, is strictly prohibited. REWIND Artists’ Video in the 70s and 80s is funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council LUX is financially supported by Arts Council England


Artists’ Video in the 1970s & 1980s

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