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Wonder Woman deflecting bullets.
  • Analogue and Digital: Video Art


    Posted on: 04/02/2016

    This summer, visitors to our Mediatheque can indulge in a curated package of exquisite video art.

    From one frame to the next, amid a fiery explosion of movement, the body of a seemingly ordinary woman morphs into a superhero!

    Woman Woman spin in original TV series

    Dara Birnbaum’s Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman, 1978-9 sees video artist Dara Birnbaum reappropriating and remixing scenes from the popular 1970s television series Wonder Woman. Deliberately jittery, repeated and out of sequence, Birnbaum's edits have the appearance of flawed analogue material stuck in a loop. This is pre-internet, television becomes both medium and content in this video as Birnbaum embraces the technology of the time, the perspective it yields and the malleability of the medium to explore representation.

    Viewed as an influential exemplar to bring out from the ACMI Collection this video was selected to form part of Foundations Australian Video Art: Digital and Analogue. This program, a collaboration between the Australian Mediatheque and Channels during their 2015 festival, provided an excellent opportunity to mine the video art treasures from the ACMI Collection to create an exciting program exploring video practice in Australia and its influences from around the world.

    B2002999 Swell

    A still image from the work 'Swell'

    The program focuses on the socio-historical use of analogue video as well as its aesthetic and physical re-use in digital and contemporary practice. Some pieces explore the tactile quality of celluloid and magnetic tape as a medium, seemingly pushing back from or resisting the digital world. While others utilise the frenetic energy, the twitch and flicker of the analogue screen roll or the translation of film and found footage into the digital arena to create new forms of social and artistic expression.


    A still from Sadie Benning's work

    Extended beyond the Channels festival come into the Mediatheque to view the video art of Ian Andrews, Sadie Benning, Dara Birnbaum, Siegfried Fruhauf, Laresa Kosloff, Jonathan Nix and Peter Tscherkassky, and explore the early as well as current influences to Australian video art.

    Topics range from early cinematography, celluloid films, pre-internet culture and personal broadcast, that together shaped the foundation of video art practices since late 70s.

    - Candice Cranmer, Collections Access Officer

    These and other video art works can be seen at the Australian Mediatheque.

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