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PRINT December 1975

Television: Video’s Frightful Parent

VIDEO ART. THE NAME IS equivocal. A good name. It leaves open all the questions and asks them anyway. Is this an art form, a new genre? An anthology of valued activity conducted in a particular arena defined by display on a cathode ray tube? The kind of video made by a special class of people—artists—whose works are exhibited primarily in what is called “the art world”—Artist’s Video? And if so, is this a class apart? Artists have been making video pieces for scarcely ten years, if we disregard Nam June Paik’s 1963 kamikaze TV modifications, and video has been a fact of gallery life for barely five years. Yet we’ve already had group exhibitions, panels, symposia, magazine issues devoted to this phenomenon, for the very good reason that more and more artists are using video, and some of the best work being done in the art world is being done with video. Which is why a discourse has already

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