Monday, 7 April 2008

On Video-Art

In the saturday evening lecture Joke Ballintijn explained the nature of her daily work; as a staff member in the collection and distribution department of the Netherlands Media Art Institute in Amsterdam. Talking about the field of video-art from the point of the view of the distributor, as well as the artist, Joke discussed the different platforms that are available for video-artists to showcase their work, dependent on the visibility or exclusivity the artists wants to give the work. While a limited edition piece sold to a select few collectors will ensure a secure income for the artist due to a higher cost-price, it will keep the piece isolated from the general public. Loaning a piece out to an institute like the Netherlands Media Art institute, on the other hand, results in a greater visibility, as well as the ability for the artist to retain all rights to the work.

As for the selection of video-art by the distributor, Joke mentioned a few points taken into consideration by a distributor, besides subjective opinion of a work. The first was that the artist should work in an artistic context, as opposed to the commercial video-world. The work should be suitable for a presentation in a museum or the gallery-circuit. Additionally, an original technique or style is highly appreciated. On top of these, a distributor will also consider whether a particular artist and artwork will add the collection as a whole; for instance, a lack of Egyptian video-art might make such a piece more interesting.

The evening was rounded off with a screening of a selection of video-pieces from the Institute's collection; ranging from short scripted films on a seemingly Utopian future to rhythmically re-edited politician's speeches.

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