Well before camcorders, flash cards, HD resolution, and a host of other components that make up our digital world these days, New York native Bill Viola decided to become a video artist.
That was in 1973, when video was still mostly used for commercial television and some instructional use. While film had been slowly embraced in contemporary art circles, Viola’s use of video was an extraordinarily rare and rather exotic medium in the 1970s. Equipment was expensive, image quality was inconsistent, and poor resolution analog television displays were the only option for displaying work.
And yet Viola, almost on his own, saw the profound impact video could have with art and began to master electronic, sound, and image technology to highlight fundamental human experiences such as birth, death and aspects of consciousness.
In her interview with the Spy this month, Anke Van Wagenberg talks about Viola’s methods and legacy than can be seen at the Academy Art Museum’s exhibition, “The Dreamers” over the next three months. She also talks about Viola’s growing following, including his very successful show at the Grand Palais museum in Paris earlier this year.
This video is approximately one minute in length