Video Obscura

THE ESTHETIC POSSIBILITIES INHERENT in video have hardly been thought about at all. By “video” or “television” I mean much more than is normally understood by those terms. I mean the entire complex of hardware and software systems associated with visual broadcasting. I mean the sophisticated two-inch equipment available at the political top of the video structure to the portable half-inch videotape recorders and hand-held cameras used by artists and social radicals at the bottom. I mean “programs” made by one man, working alone, as well as by massive production teams—for “telecast” by video cassette, by cable television stations serving audiences in the thousands, or by closed circuit systems installed in a museum, a gallery, or a loft, as well as network trivia beamed to millions. I mean the moment and the quality of perception as well, when the electrons stream against the cathode-ray

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