TABLE OF CONTENTS

BREAKING THE BOX: THE ELECTRONIC OPERAS OF ROBERT ASHLEY AND WOODY VASULKA

TWO PHANTOMS HAUNT video art’s uneasy dreams—television and art. For over 20 years the conflicting models offered by these fields have pulled at video artists, simultaneously attracting and repelling them. They have found themselves trapped between these opposing positions—in most cases relegated to the fringes of the art world while dreaming of (or dreading) TV’s mass audience, political influence, and budgets which would allow them to do their work. By and large rejecting and rejected by both fields (though frequently yearning for the rewards each offers), video artists have formed their own community dependent on government grants, an energetic but thin network of exhibition programs, limited access to the general public, and a belief in the importance of their own work. Video art has always seemed a way station on the road to other places, to a destination somewhere between the

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