Excerpt from Paul Sharits' "Shutter Interface" (1975) *Maybe don't watch this if you have epilepsy.
As far as artistic genres go, video art is still a young tyke. It didn't grow into a known and identified category until the late 1960s and early '70s, and from there it's exploded. Still young, wild terrain, it's evolving faster than most of us can keep track of, so getting that initial footing is important, especially if you plan on attending the Dallas VideoFest to see what innovators around the world are doing with the medium. Don't feel daunted. Beginning this Thursday, local not-for-profit art space, The Power Station is teaching a series of FREE, educational classes on video art called, "Four Nights, Four Decades."
The one evening per week program brings in local artists/college educators to teach about specific spans of video art history. This Thursday, August 30, Michael Morris (Adjunct prof at SMU, UNT, and Richland College) kicks things off with the highly experimental, hard and loose camera play of the 1970s. He'll show work by George Landow, daddy mac Paul Sharits and more, and lay out the background of Structuralism and other themes in a program titled "Building a Better Machine: Moving Image Works From The 1970s."
Here's the rest of the schedule: (1980s) Thursday, September 6, 7:30 p.m. -- "The MTV Era: 1980s Video Art," led by Benjamin Lima, Assistant Professor, Art and Art History, University of Texas at Arlington.
(1990s) Thursday, September 13, 7:30 p.m. -- "Between Two Wars: Video Art and Surveillance in the 1990s," led by Jenny Vogel, Assistant Professor of New Media Art, University of North Texas.
(2000s) Thursday, September 20, 7:30 p.m. -- "reMEdiations: Contemporary Video Art from the Middle East," led by Nadav Assor, Assistant Professor of Expanded Media, Connecticut College. Visiting artist at UNT.
Get a lesson, it's free. Then, when you go to Dallas VideoFest on September 26, it'll be more interesting because you'll have a historical foundation to build your experience on. Perfect. The Power Station is located at 3816 Commerce Street.