Australian Video Art

Video Void: Australian Video Art
1970s, 1980s and 1990s

In Australia there is a significant lack of knowledge regarding early Australian video artworks and an audience faces substantial difficulties in accessing these works and tracing the history and leitmotifs that connect them. American theorist Fredric Jameson described this as the 'disappearance of history' ­ the way in which our society is losing the capacity to retain its own past and has begun to live in a perpetual present. Jameson blamed electronic images like these because, in his opinion, they represent a paradox for memory and history as they connote the immediate instead of the past.

In the context of video art in Australia identifying that 'historical moment' is not without its problems, primarily because documenting this history has been somewhat neglected. In Australia in the 1970s video was marked by its experimental pluralism with a variety of approaches to the medium, for example: commenting on the social or political; documenting performances; and exploring the synthetic potential of the video image and television as a mass-media icon. This lecture will trace a number of these important historical threads through the 1970s and highlight the importance of accessing these works via archives and collections.

Presented by the Faculty of Art & Design, Monash University

Matthew Perkins talks about the Video Void of the 1970s...