In the euphoric environment of experimentation with the medium of video in the 1960s and 1970s video activism and community video coexisted. However, with time these practices splintered and the documentary formats they developed were incorporated into the mainstream and, consequently, were no longer considered as contemporary art.
In the last ten years there has been a return to documentary in contemporary video art with artists responding to the effects of globalisation and cultural imperialism. The documentary art works’ relationship to the real also points to a reaction against the relentless flow of reality through communication networks and the inability of these networks to respond in meaningful ways.
This paper will look at these issues with a particular focus on the syntactical nature of documentary film, and how this language has been utilised in contemporary video art. While an ethnographic interest is not new to the cinematic and television contexts of the documentary, the increased adaptation of this genre in contemporary art calls for an examination in relation to the effects of globalisation. This will be done through an analysis of contemporary artists such as Susan Norrie’s (Australia), Mark Boulos, (UK) and Aernout Mik (Netherlands).
|Keywords:||Video Art, Contemporary Art, Documentary|
Coordinator of Photomedia, Multimedia and Digital Arts, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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