THE CONTEMPORARY PRE-HISTORY OF DIGITAL VIDEO
Multimedia Installation, 2017
Kevin Harris and Chad Eivins
Presented by Saint Louis public library
Analogue video (that is, video built upon the television format) survived a mere 60 years before its replacement by digital broadcast systems. Although home viewers most likely experience an improvement to their favorite sitcom, it would be a mistake to draw the same qualitative conclusions to the art making process. The experimental nature of video art may be enriched by the digital format, but there is still fascinating work to be done within the complex realm of analogue video. If anything, video artists now have two parallel processes to work with, which can be used independently or congealed into a single, holistic vision.
The contemporary prehistory of video is an interactive video installation utilizing a vast array of techniques associated with the elegance and immediacy of analogue video. Workstations will incorporate custom built video synthesizers for pattern generation and image processing. These stations will include long lost techniques used in the early history of video art, such as vectorscope re-scanning and astable feedback systems.
The installation will culminate in a real-time performance using video cameras and photosensor circuits to drive large scale projections.
Ultimately, the afternoon is an opportunity to celebrate the continued relevance and beauty of the television format.