Video art is a type of art which relies on moving pictures and is comprised of video and/or audio data. (It should not however be confused with television or experimental cinema). Video art came into existence during the 1960s and 1970s, is still widely practiced and has given rise to the widespread use of video installations.
Video art is often said to have begun when Nam June Paik used his new Sony Portapak to shoot footage of Pope Paul VI's procession through New York City in the autumn of 1965. That same day, across town in a Greenwich Village cafe, Paik played the tapes and video art was born. The french artist Fred Forest has also used a Sony Portapak since 1967. This fact is sometimes disputed, however, because the first Sony Portapak, the Videorover did not become commercially available until 1967 (Fred Forest does not contradict this, saying it was provided to him by the manufacturers) and that Andy Warhol is credited with showing underground video art mere weeks before Paik's papal procession screening. Fred Forest does however stipulate on his websIn 1959 Wolf Vostell incorporated a television set into one of his works, "Deutscher Ausblick" 1959, which is part of the collection of the Museum Berlinische Galerie possibly the first work of art with television. In 1963 Vostell exhibited his art environment "6 TV de-coll/age" at the Smolin Gallery in New York. This work is part of the Museo Reina Sofia collection in Madrid.
Many of the early prominent video artists were those involved with concurrent movements in conceptual art, performance, and experimental film. These include Americans Vito Acconci, John Baldessari, Peter Campus, Doris Totten Chase, Dan Graham, Joan Jonas, Bruce Nauman, Martha Rosler, William Wegman, and many others. There were also those such as Steina and Woody Vasulka who were interested in the formal qualities of video and employed video synthesizers to create abstract works.
Notable pioneering video artists also emerged more or less simultaneously in Europe and elsewhere with work by Pascal Auger (France), Domingo Sarrey (Spain), Wolf Vostell (Germany), Dieter Froese (Germany), Wojciech Bruszewski (Poland), Wolf Kahlen (Germany), Peter Weibel (Austria), David Hall (UK), Lisa Steele (Canada), Miroslaw Rogala (Poland), Rodney Werden (Canada), Colin Campbell (Canada) and others.(read less)