edited by Kathy High, Sherry Miller Hocking, Mona Jimenez – The Emergence of Video Processing Tools


Intellect Ltd, ISBN-13: 978-1841506630, English, 442 pages, 2014, UK

Video artists from the heroic years (mainly sixties and seventies) would nowadays be rightfully considered “makers.” Their various forms of “hacking” with analogue video apparatuses of all kinds, include bric-a-brac solutions, pure technical innovation and exploitation of undocumented uses, fill the background of dozens of artworks and exhibitions. These two volumes are not meant to indulge in nostalgic celebrations. Editors have been (and still are) deeply involved in the historical “upstate New York” media art scene since the beginning. Here they tell related stories, but use fairly inspiring technical descriptions that constitute the connecting tissue between historical facts and modern digital software. Details and documents emerging from these priceless archives are discussed along with the latest generation of tools and methodologies. What lies behind both of them are essentially “processes,” and the resulting artistic practices generate high level technical innovation and re-appropriation. Video art finally pushed the medium to assume a different status from “mass-oriented” to “personal” (from a broadcast instrument to a tool for artistic and social expression). The contemporary illusion of using software to freely elaborate images lies in their “precast” conditions, enabling only a handful of presets to play with. So this compelling contextualised history with all its still possible trajectories, can re-enable a critical and liberating way of thinking about image production and its extremely attractive output.