Stop with the Boring Video Art
published in Like No.9 - Melbourne,
are an artist. A contemporary one. You work 'beyond' painting.
You're into all sorts of things, all sorts of media. Hey
&endash; you're even a DJ. Next month you've got a interactive
sound installation happening. Yeah. But right now you've
got to finish a video art project you've been working on
for some time now.
before you start, I'd like to put in special request before
you hit the record button on your videocam.
might think you live in an aura of utter fascination, but
really, you don't. Your lounge room is thoroughly drab.
Your back yard is a yawning expanse of crap. And your kitchen
&endash; so warm and close to your early morning esprit
&endash; is oppressively normal. Granted you're a real artist
&endash; not one of those graphic designers, interior designers
or architects who are afflicted with doll's house syndrome
&endash; so I can dig you pushing the banal, the domestic,
the ugly, the grunge, the fucked-up. I'm also hip to your
neurotically messed-up insecurities which you therapeutically
exorcise in public in the form of art.
please stop with the boring video art.
not talking about ironically/deliberately/smart-arsely 'boring'.
I'm talking about genuine boring. Like a monitor sitting
on a plinth in gallery playing one shot of traffic from
'the city'. For 30 minutes. Or blurred-focus close-ups of
shit left lying around on your coffee table. For 30 minutes.
Or intensely unpoetic shots of some uneventful crud happening
outdoors, shot in long focus so I can't even see what the
hell is happening. For 30 minutes. Or shots of deserts,
rivers, clouds, trees, sunsets. For 30 minutes. Or wobbly
hand-held takes of your lard-arse cat. For 30 fucking minutes.
to how you handle the sound and music in your video &endash;
give up. Now.
doesn't capture reality, let alone your vision. That record
button is not a psychic link to your mind-blowing perception
of the world. It just records what's in front of the lens
- end of story. You simply have not thought about what it
is you put in front of the camera before you shoot. Worse
- you can't sort the shit from the shinola when you move
into your exciting digital edit suite.
(sorry - 'indie') cinema is currently a roving horde of
wannabes who make the worst post-Clerks crud imaginable,
but which in each director's eyes is something sublimely
above all the other crud. Video art is similarly a transfixed
mass of Bill "Mr. Humanity" Viola wannabes who somehow think
that video is a new tool, a suitable medium, a dimension
befitting their unique 'mixed-media transdisciplinary art
practice'. As if your collated video diaries and video journals
and video impressions are worth sharing. You probably only
give other video artists 30 seconds of your time at an opening
where you can't hear the audio, let alone see the image
clearly. Yet maybe that's all you deserve. You ain't breaking
any boundaries, norms or conventions of cinema, TV, the
Gallery. And you ain't bringing anything new that a bunch
of tired old fogie sculptors made us endure when they got
turned on, man, to the 'new medium' of video art in the
early 70s. Their polemics are as vacuous as your intuitive
grasp of the medium.
is it with the pathology of artists who think that everything
they do is a gift for us? It's not my birthday, so please
leave me alone. If you're going to hit the record button
give me something I haven't seen before. The sewer system
under Toorak Rd. A closing down sale for leftover Olympics
paraphernalia in Boronia. A mastectomy. You having sex.
The removal of asbestos in a city skyscraper. A tannery
in Northcote. Your parents having sex. Interviews with bogan
dealers in Russell St. A skater getting his balls crushed
on a metal balustrade. A cat getting shaved. I'll even go
for faked versions of any of this. Anything to get away
from the visual entrails which sprout forth in uncontrolled
excess from your empty imagination.
has great potential as a machine of the now by virtue of
the simple socio-cultural apparatus it is: you, a camera,
and shit that happens. No media, no content, no form, no
art, no space, no time, no context. But I'm afraid to say
it takes nous, savvy, skill, technique and an alive mind
to push the medium beyond its numbing base.
because you've been subjected to an unending stream of tedious
internationalist video art which has inflicted our shore
over the last 5 years is no excuse to mimic it. Quit fantasizing
that you'll be in Parkette or Wallpaper with hi-gloss photo
documentation of unengaging crap from your non-eventful
with boring video artists. Enough with boring video art
curators. Enough with boring video art