Access to the full text of the entire article is only available to members of institutions that have purchased access. If you belong to such an institution, please log in or find out more about how to order.


Video Art By Spampinato, Francesco

DOI: 10.4324/9781135000356-REM352-1
Published: 09/05/2016
Retrieved: 12 April 2024, from


The term “video art” is used to describe art made using video technology. Not to be confused with experimental cinema or art film, video art is based on a specific type of electronic image consisting of a two-dimensional composition of pixels. The main feature of video, both in technical and conceptual terms, is its instant playback capability, which is not possible with film, but which allows the creation of an instantaneous mirror-like replica of reality that is available to be manipulated, either live or in post-production. Video art was born in the mid-1960s and has developed in tandem with the evolution of video technology and its increasing availability.

Video has become a major tool for artists over the past fifty years, and a quintessential postmodernist medium, which has allowed critical and meta-linguistic responses to be made to what Guy Debord (1931–1994), French writer and leader of Situationism, has called “the society of the spectacle,” referring to mainstream forms of media entertainment such as television, cinema, and advertising. Video is employed to document scripted performances and improvised actions, to appropriate preexisting moving images or to create new narratives. Artists’ videos display live or prerecorded images in single- or multichannel settings or as part of multimedia installations shown in exhibition spaces or in the public sphere, broadcast by television or distributed as videotapes, CDs, DVDs and recently as digital media files.

content locked



Article DOI



Related Searches

Citing this article:

Spampinato, Francesco. Video Art. Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism, Taylor and Francis,

Copyright © 2016-2024 Routledge.