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Video Art Hardcover – November 24, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson (November 24, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0500237980
  • ISBN-13: 978-0500237984
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 9.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,602,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The significance of video (and, more recently, digital video technologies) in the development of narrative film is widely known and well documented. Yet although video has also created nothing short of a revolution in the fine arts, few satisfying histories of video art exist. Rush's comprehensive volume gamely attempts to fill that void. Engagingly written, exhaustively researched and filled with hundreds of images of video works and installations, the book combines a trenchant historical overview with a more focused thematic analysis. Though Rush acknowledges the obvious fact that the video art boom was sparked by the sudden availability of affordable, portable video equipment, he's quick to place video in a less arbitrary cultural context. The genre, he points out, actually combines any number of disciplines and art-historical categories. In this way, video art is very much a medium of its time. From its early stages as a means of deconstructing television (typified by such early practitioners as Frank Gillette), to the more personal and political work of the "giants" of the field (Vito Acconci, Nam June Paik, Bruce Nauman, Bill Viola), to the bigger names of today (Pipilotti Rist, Pierre Huyghe, Matthew Barney), the usual suspects are brought sharply into focus. Rush's real success, however, lies in his discovery of what others have overlooked: the obvious yet oft-ignored contributions of Andy Warhol, for example, or the groundbreaking video work of Jean-Luc Godard. An ideal introduction to the history of and the formal/theoretical considerations behind video art, Rush's book shines a light on the tiny details that make up the genre's big picture. 383 illustrations, 296 in color.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

"Illustrated with examples from some of the best-known artists in the field."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

42 of 45 people found the following review helpful By N. Harrison on February 24, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I would like to think of myself as someone who is fairly well informed of the (short) history and theory of video art. As such, I will say this book is a very basic, sort of bland overview of the langauge of video. It's very well put together in terms of it being flashy and "hip"; all the stills are well printed and all the big, "in-vogue" art star names are included (but where are people like Haron Faroqi? Or did he just shoot on film and thus not make the hipster cut?) With that said, there is little to no actual critical content in the writing. It introduces concepts in a very simple way, and doesn't actually end up saying much other than varying degrees of further artist canonization. I don't know maybe I am just too picky and also semi-brainwashed by more rigorous academic books on the topic, but I actually stopped reading the book because it was so boring. If you're looking for a slick coffee table book with which to impress your friends, one that will let them know that you too have joined that cool club called "connoisseurship of video art" and a book that they will tend to thumb through just to look at "all the pretty pictures" (which I find hilariously absurd- a book of still images taken from video), then this book is for you. If you're looking for anything deeper than that, I would look elsewhere to titles like "Illuminating Video : An Essential Guide to Video Art" by David Ross, Doug Hall, Sally Jo Fifer, and David Bolt.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By a on October 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
N. Harrison pretty much nails it - this is just a coffee table book. Blowups of individual video stills are nice looking, but don't convey much of anything about the works. The blurbs are largely superficial. Rush's earlier book "New Media in Contemporary Art" is a much better survey of the terrain. Harrison's point about Harun Farocki also illustrates a wider point - the conceptual rubric of "video art" is incoherent and unnecessary. It was a stop-gap introduced in the 60s when this stuff was brand new, but unnecessary and no longer useful today. These are simply Artists. Full stop. They often work in installation, sometimes in film, video, photography, computational playback mechanisms (Stan Douglas)... the term "Video Art" is now simply marketing jargon.
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Format: Paperback
I'm using this book as an introduction to video art for a university class I'm teaching in China and it's perfect. Where there's little access to the actual videos, the big, beautiful photos do a lot of service, as do the simple descriptions. The other reviewers give it low marks for not doing a job that it didn't promise to do, which isn't fair. Rush does superlative work in introducing video to the uninitiated via image and text.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The definitive study of video art and an excellent way to prepare for the 50th anniversary of this art form in 2015
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