In contrast to the inherently illustrative practices of television and film, video art often expresses itself semantically. Video artists are consciously aware of their mediums, and because of this, video art is often a self-referencing discipline that address itself at any given opportunity.
Use of the terms illustrative and semantic comes from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s entry on Conceptual Art [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/conceptual-art/#SemRep]. By using these terms I note that I am also making the tacit claim that video art by it’s very nature is conceptual. Formally cited as: Schellekens, Elisabeth, “Conceptual Art”, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Spring 2015 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <http://plato.stanford.edu/archives/spr2015/entries/conceptual-art/>. This metaphorical use of video art : semantics can possibly be expanded.
This self-referencing tendency is probably a product of video art being derived from experimental film, the key word being experimental. [Explanation and research needed to give substance and clarity to this hypothesis.]
For example: The conventions of character and plot that dominate television and film are second tier in video art, which seeks to emphasize and/or manipulate the viewer’s conceptions of motion, space, time, and “data”. As such, video art may not contain characters or a discernable plot. Dialogue – and even sound – may be omitted.
Data is used informally in reference to the electrical components, the machines, the digitalization of information…Data is the amalgamation of motion, space, and time, and the consolidation of these elements is important to note in the ways in which the discipline experiments. FORMAL DEFINITION (taken from Google Search Engine, 04.27.2015) | Data [da-ta]: (computing) the quantities, characters, or symbols on which operations are performed by a computer, being stored and transmitted in the form of electrical signals and recorded on magnetic, optical, or mechanical recording media. From the Latin datum [da-tum], literally “something given,” defined as a piece of information, an assumption, a premise or a fixed starting point of a scale or operation. |
Concerning experimentation with the moving image, the time image: The time image and the motion image – as they were – are bound by the notion of space, meaning (1) the scene, the area in/on which an action occurs and (2) the position of items and objects in said area. [Opinions obviously influenced by G. Deleuze, Find reference if possible and/or necessary].
In lieu of these things, video artists maneuver data via overlay/superimpoisition, acceleration, deceleration, extraction, accumulation, loops, disruptive sequences, forcing errors, and through creative coding and incorrect editing. Also note the manipulation of traditional conceptions (pacing, anticipation, follow-through, and overlapping and secondary action(s)) of time and motion.
– Science + Science Fiction
– Pseudoscience and Fringe Science
– Emergence and Artificial Life
– Man’s gaze – both cinematic and scientific – on nature.
– The man versus nature literary motif… and how it is informed by “eschatology.”
– Man’s desire to match and exceed the magnitude of the universe by mechanical and chemical means.
– The Organization and Sequencing of Information
– Disruptions in narrative or expository structures
– Binary systems – Morse code, scansion(poetry), logical syllogisms
Concerning Gaze and Data. I use pixilation, noise, scanlines, as well as accelerations and decelerations in time, time codes, etcetera to remind viewers of the type of vision in which they are actively engaged, a caveat to the notion that we need to always be aware that we are looking at an object through a filter, through machines. It is not objective. It may be corrupted. It is. I’m essentially trying to break the fifth wall, to cast doubt and judgement on willing suspension of disbelief/cognitive estrangement. I believe a formal terms for this could be defamiliarization, alienation, and estrangement (see Bertolt Brecht and Verfremdungseffekt) but in a strange turn, I believe it adds a certain verisimilitude to my fictions.