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Howardena Pindell, Video Drawings: Football, 1976, C-print, 8 × 10". From the series “Video Drawings,” 1976–2007.

Howardena Pindell

Honor Fraser

Howardena Pindell, Video Drawings: Football, 1976, C-print, 8 × 10". From the series “Video Drawings,” 1976–2007.

To legibly capture a television screen, a photographer must have both patience and a variety of technical tricks at her disposal, including a carefully calibrated shutter speed and an exposure time determined through trial and error. In addition to the motion of the video image, the analog photographer must also be sensitive to the friction between the camera’s straightforward light-capture process and the CRT monitor’s beams of magnetized electrons, which light up pixels within the screen to present a steady image to the human eye, but whose glow registers quite differently to the camera. This finicky process was often used to document early video art, yet, for all the technical skill it required, it was rarely presented as “serious art” itself. For this reason, Howardena Pindell’s early experiments with this process are especially vital; her work is a touchstone for the seminal

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