Media Studies 71: Fall 2008
Video Art

Time/Location: T/R, 2:45pm-4:00pm in SC230, screening M, 7:00pm-9:00pm; in BH210

Instructor: Ming-Yuen S. Ma
Phone: x74319

Office + Hours:

• Scott 213
• Thursday 11:00am-12:00pm, Friday 11:00am-12:00pm
• Wednesday by appt.

Course Description
An intermediate/advanced level media history course exploring video as an art pratice. For the Fall 2008 Semester, this course is taught in conjunction with Resolution 3: Video Praxis for Global Spaces, a collaborative project between the Pitzer Media Studies Program and LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibition) that inlcudes a book, an exhibition, and a symposium on contemporary video. The first part of the course addresses the chronolgoical development of video art in the U.S., the issues that arose within that history, as well as inherent characteristics within the practice of video art that make writing a linear history of the medium problematic, if not impossible. Some of these discussions will be explored and debated in the NARROWCAST exhibition and symposium, which will take place on Pitzer campus from late September to the end of November. The second part of the course will be focused on the Resolution 3 Symposium, which will take place in Claremont and Hollywood from October 24-26. After the Symposium, the remaining classes will focus on the contemporary issues that came out of discussions and presentations at the Symposium, and will be continue in class with guest speakers, field trips, and other activities.

Prerequisite: Language of Film (MS50) and/or Introduction to Media Studies (MS49). Video production experience recommended. Please note that this course requires a high-level of flexibility and initiative, participation in the exhibition, symposium, and selective out-of-class events are required.

Course Organization

General class activities include group discussion based on reading assignments, video screenings both in and out of class (usually at weekly screenings on Mondays 7-9pm), and class presentations, writing, as well as media project assignments that drawn from these activities. As a part of the class, students are required to attend the NARROWCAST exhibition, which will open at Pitzer's Campus Galleries on September 24. The class will also actively participate, report, and reflect on the 3-day Resolution 3 symposium, which will take place October 24-26. Other out-of-class events and field trips are likely. Guest speakers, including video artists, media scholars and curators will be invited to class especially during the sessions exploring contemporary issues in the second half of the semester. Your participation in these class activities will factor into your final grade

Please turn off all cell phones and pagers during class. These and other diversions are not acceptable during class time, and will lower your grade. 

Course Requirements
1. Attend all classes
2. Participation in class discussions and presentations
3. Participation in Resolution 3 and other assigned events
4. Completion of all individual and group assignments



Attendance and participation of all classes is required. Do not miss class or arrive late! If you miss class 3 times without a proper excuse, (e.g. a doctor's note if you are sick) you will be dropped from the class. Absences must be cleared by me before or after (in case of emergencies only) the class you missed in order for it to not affect your final grade. Attendance is determined by when I take roll.

Class Participation

Your active, well-prepared participation in class is essential to creating a dynamic (i.e. not boring!) learning environment. Although you will not receive a letter grade for class participation, it will figure into your final grade based on my observations.

We will study sexually explicit, political, and otherwise challenging material in this course. These are not included for shock value, but are legitimate investigations of controversial subject matters in media. You are certainly encouraged to explore difficult and complex subject matters in your work, and you should be prepared to consider these issues intellectually and emotionally. Our class is a safe space in which students can express their beliefs and opinions. You always have a voice, but please be respectful of others as well. Abusive language and behavior are not be tolerated. Open-mindedness is encouraged!


Class Assignments

There are four assignments for this class, due at the conclusion of each section. Written assignments are 3-5 pages, typed and doubled spaced, with proper citations (footnotes, videography, and bibliography). Media assignment are: single channel video no more than 3 mins. in length, or installation/performance of an equivalent scope. Media assignments must be accompanied by a 1-2 page paper explaining how your media work relates to the material (videos, reading, etc.) covered in class. Citations are required in the paper. You can choose whether to do a media or written assignment for each section. You should do at least one media assignment and at least two written assignments for the class. Other than specified group assignments, you are allowed and encouraged to collaborate with other students in the class for one of your assignments. Collaborative assignments will receive one grade for all the students involved.

Week 1-4: assignment based on the two central questions in the first part of the class: "What is video art?" and "What is unique about the history (or histories) of video art?" You can choose to dicuss one of these questions in the assignment, or explore them together. You are required to incorporate additional material outside of assigned reading, videos seen in class, and at class screenings into this assignment. Due Tuesday September 30
Week 5-8: assignment exploring works in the NARROWCAST exhibition. Specifically, discuss the themes and connections you see between an archival work (done in the 1980s) and a contemporary work, and relate them to our class readings. Please note that the pairings and themes you explore in the assignment must be significantly different from those cited by Ciara Ennis in her brochure essay. While you are encouraged to read and reference her essay in your assignment, I would like you to find your own connections in the exhibition. Due Thusday October 30
Week 7: Group assignment related to the Resolution 3 Symposium. Format to be discussed in class. Due date TBA
Week 8-14: Students can choose to respond to one of the contemporary issues covered in this section, or propose a subject and format of your choice for this assignment. Your subject should be based on the videos, artists, topics, and theories we studied in class. if you decide to choose your own topic for this assignment, you must submit an abstract (for papers) or proposal (for media projects) by Week 10 for instructor's approval. All proposed assignment topics must approved by instructor. Due date Tuesday December 9

Written Responses - Each student is responsible for 2 written responses per section (a total of 8 responses for the semester). These will be posted on the Sakai site ( for the class during the section when said topic is discussed in class, and up to the due date for the assignment for that section. These posts can be public (visible to the entire class) or private (submitted to instructor only). They will not be graded, but will count towards the student's final grade for the class. Substantial responses and discussion based on previous posts can be counted as a post.

Unless an extension is approved by myself in advance of the due date, your grade will be reduced by one letter grade (i.e. B to C) per class day your paper is late. You are encouraged to meet with me individually during my office hours to discuss your assignments, your grades, and your overall performance in class. I am always open to suggestions and feedback!


Reading Assignments
Required readings will be from the following textbooks (available at the Huntley Bookstore), and/or posted on the class web site and on Sakai ( Suggested readings are available from Huntley in limited numbers, and will be posted on the web site and on Sakai. Readings are assigned by each class, and should be read by the class of the assignment. You are expected to draw from these readings during class discussions, for presentations, papers, media projects, other assignments.

Required Textbooks:
Patti Podesta, ed., Resolution: A Critique of Video Art , LACE: LA, 1986. This book is out of print, I will bring copies to class during the first week of school.

Michael Renov & Erika Suderburg, eds., Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1995.

Suggested Textbooks:
Doug Hall and Sally Jo Fifer, eds., Illuminating Video: An Essential Guide to Video Art, New York/San Francisco: Aperture/BAVC, 1990.

John Hanhardt, Video Culture: A Critical Investigation, New York: Peregrine Smith Books, 1986.

Michael Rush, Video Art, London: Thames and Hudson, 2003.

Additional References
A good place to start with your research

Roy Armes, On Video, New York: Routledge, 1988.
Barbara Abrash & Catherine Egan, eds., Mediating History: The MAP Guide to Independent Video, New York: New York University Press,1992.
Bad Object-Choices, eds., How Do I Look? Queer Film and Video, Seattle: Bay Press, 1991.
Peter X. Feng, ed., Screening Asian Americans, New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 2002.
Peter X. Feng, Identities in Motion: Asian American Film & Video, Durham: Duke University Press, 2002.
Coco Fusco, English is Broken Here: Notes on Cultural Fusion in The Americas, New York: The New Press, 1995.
---, The Bodies That Were Not Ours and Other Writings, New York: Routledge, 2001.
Harry Gamboa, Jr. and Chon Noriega, Urban Exile: Collected Writings of Harry Gamboa, Jr., Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1998.
Roger Garcia, ed., Out of The Shadows: Asians in American Cinema, Locarno: Olivares/Locarno Film Festival, 2001.
Martha Gever, John Greyson, Pratibha Parmar, eds., Queer Looks: Perspectives on Lesbian and Gay Film and Video, New York: Routledge, 1993.
Darrell Hamamoto & Sandra Liu, eds., Countervisions: Asian American Film Criticism, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2000.
Thomas Harding, The Video Activist Handbook, London & Chicago: Pluto Press, 1997.
Kate Horsfield and Lucas Hilderbrand, Feedback: The Video Data Bank Catalog of Video Art and Artist Interviews, Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006.
Amelia Jones, ed., The Feminism and Visual Culture Reader, New York: Routledge, 2003.
Alexandra Juhasz, AIDS TV: Identity, Community, and Alternative Video, Durham: Duke University Press, 1995.
---, ed., Women of Vision: Histories in Feminist Film and Video, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001.
Russell Leong, ed., Moving The Image: Independent Asian Pacific American Media Arts, Los Angeles: UCLA Asian American Studies Center and Visual Communications,1991.
Laura U. Marks, The Skin of The Film: Intercultural Cinema, Embodiment, and the Senses, Durham: Duke University Press, 2000.
---, Touch: Sensuous Theory and Multisensory Media, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002.
Jose Munoz, Disidentification: Queers of Color and the Performance of Politics, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1999.
Ira Schneider and Berl Korot, Video Art: An Anthology, New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976.
Ella Shohat & Robert Stam, Unthinking Eurocentrism, New York: Routledge Press, 1994.
Bill Viola, Reasons for Knocking at an Empty House: Writings 1973-1994, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995

Your final grade will be based on the following
Assignments one, two, and four 15% each
Assignment three 30%
Sakai posting 5%
Class participation* 20%

* Your general performance in class including participation, attendance and punctuality, except in the special cases listed above, such as if you have more than 3 un-excused absences.

Generally, outstanding ('A') students in this class have good attendance and completed all their assignments on time. They are consistently well prepared for class, and actively participate in and advance our discussions with pertinent information, questions, and observations. Their work demonstrate their awareness of the issues at hand, the historical context for the film and videos they are discussing, as well as their ability to articulate their observations and analyses in a clear and concise manner. Only letter grades are given out in this class.

Academic honesty - all work done for this course must be the original work of the student submitting it, and should have been undertaken exclusively for this course. No work done prior to this class maybe used to fulfill the class assignments.

Extra credit - Students are encouraged to attend screenings, conferences, lectures, exhibitions and web events related to this course. Write a two-page (typed and double-spaced) report of the event or activity. Incorporate the event's relevance to the class as well as your personal responses to it. Proof of attendance is required (keep your ticket stubs, programs, etc.) Students are allowed two extra credit papers. Announcements for events of interest to this class are done in the first 5 mins. of each class.

* I try my best to make my grading criteria as clear as possible, and you are welcome to come and discuss your grades and your class performance with me. However, I only consider legitimate concerns, and be aware that your grade is as likely to go down as it is to go up after I reassess your assignment. I do not tolerate haggling, bribing, threats, and any other pointless arguments. I consider all aspects of your performance before I assign a grade, please respect my assessment as I respect your efforts.




Course Schedule:

September 2 : Introduction

Class introduction
Review syllabus & requirements
Class discussion: What is video art?
In-Class Screening: compare the music video for "Video Killed the Radio Star" by Britsh pop group Buggles—the first music video shown on MTV in 1981 to an excerpt from LEAVING THE 20TH CENTURY (1983) by Max Almy, from the first Resolution exhibition.

September 4: What is Video Art?
Discussion based on reading
In-Class Screening: CENTERS (1971) by Vito Acconci, 1 min., excerpt on Youtube
BALDESSARI SINGS LEWITT (1972) by John Baldessari, 4-5 mins. excerpt of 15 min. tape
THE CHILDREN’S TAPES (1974) by Terry Fox, 5 mins. excerpt of 30 min. tape
TECHNOLOGY/TRANSFORMATION: (1978)  by Dara Birnbaum, 6 mins.
I'M NOT THE GIRL WHO MISSES MUCH (1986) by Pipilotti Rist, 7:45 mins.

C-TREND (1974) by Woody Vasulka, 4 min excerpt

Required Reading
David Antin, " Video: The Distinctive Features of the Medium," Video Culture, pp. 147-166
Michael Rush, Video Art, Introduction, pp. 7-11
Dara Birnbaum, "Talking Back to the Media", Resolution: A Critique of Video Art, pp. 51-56


No Monday screening this week

Additional Reading

Walter Benjamin, "The Work of Art in The Age of Mechanical Repreoduction," Video Culture, pp. 27-52
More information on Pipilotti Rist in Video Art, pp. 103-110
More information on Woody Vasulka in Video Art, pp. 163


September 9: Nam June Paik—the George Washington of Video Art?
Nam June Paik Fluxus, performances with Charlotte Moorman
ZEN FOR FILM (1962-64) by Nam June Paik, 8 mins. Recreation in class or on Youtube
Other early works by Paik, see clips from EDITED FOR TELEVISION
GLOBAL GROOVE (1973) 3 min excerpt from 28:30 mins.
GOOD MORNING MR. ORWELL (1984) excerpt from 38 mins.
Examples of Paik's video sculptures: 1 (TV Buddha), 2 (Piano Piece, 1993), 3 & 4 (TV Robots)

Required Reading
John Hanhardt, "De-collage/Collage: Notes Toward a Reexamination of the Origins of Video Art," Illuminating Video, pp. 71-79
Martha Rosler, "Video: Shedding The Utopian Moment," Illuminating Video, pp. 31-50

September 11: Considering the Histories of Video Art
GLOBAL GROOVE (1973) 3 min excerpt from 28:30 mins.
GOOD MORNING MR. ORWELL (1984) excerpt from 38 mins.
Examples of Paik's video sculptures: 1 (TV Buddha), 2 (Piano Piece, 1993), 3 & 4 (TV Robots)

Required Reading
Kathy Rae Huffman, "Video Art: What's TV Got To Do With It?" Illuminating Video, pp. 81-90
Marita Sturken, "Paradox in the Evolution of an Art Form: Great Expectations and the Making of a History," Illuminating Video, pp. 101-121


EXCHANGE (1973) by Robert Morris, 36 mins.
THE CONTINUING STORY OF CAREL AND FERD (1970-75) by Arthur Ginsberg and Video Free America, 30 mins. excerpt from 60 min. single-channel version edited for WNET in 1975. Original presentation was a 3-channel video installation on 8 monitors, with a live camera feed of the audience, and often with Carel and Ferd present.

Additional Reading
Louis Althusser, "Ideology and Ideological Stats Apparatuses (Notes Towards An Investigation)," Video Culture, pp. 56-95
Nam June Paik, " La Vie, Satellites, One Meeting—One Life," Video Culture, pp. 219-222
Michael Rush, Video Art, Ch.1: Shaping A History, pp. 13-61

Additional Viewing
EDITED FOR TELEVISION (1975) 28 mins., A WNET documentary on Nam Juin Paik, view on UBUWEB.


September 16: Video in Studio, Early Experimentations
STAMPING IN THE STUDIO (1968) by Bruce Nauman, 5 min. excerpt
CALLIGRAMS (1970) by Steina and Woody Vasulka, 4 min excerpt.
Excerpt of DOUBLE VISION (1971) by Peter Campus, 15 min.

Required Reading
Rosalind Krauss, "Video: The Aesthetics of Narcissism," Video Culture, pp. 179-191
(Optional, or scan it) Kathy O'Dell, "Performance, Video, and Trouble in the Home," Illuminating Video, pp. 135-151

September 18: Video and Narcissism

BOMMERANG (1974) by Richard Serra, 11 mins., 5 mins. excerpt
VERTICAL ROLL (1972) by Joan Jonas, 20 mins., 5 mins. excerpt
THREE TRANSITIONS (1973) by Peter Campus

Required Reading
Michael Rush, Video Art, Ch. 2 Video and the Conceptual Body, pp. 63-123 (read 63-87, scan the rest)

PERFORMER/AUDIENCE/MIRROR (1975) by Dan Graham, 23 mins.
BOMMERANG (1974) by Richard Serra, 11 mins.
VERTICAL ROLL (1972) by Joan Jonas, 20 mins.
CREMASTER 3 (2002) by Matthew Barney, 182 mins.

Additional Reading

Martha Gever, "The Feminism Factor," Illuminating Video, pp. 226-241
William Olander, "Women and the Media: A Decade of New Video," Resolution: A Critique of Video Art, pp. 43-46
Margaret Morse, " Video Installation Art: The Body, the Image, and the Space-in-Between," Illuminating Video, pp. 153-167
Interviews with feminist video artists such as Susan Mogul in Women of Vision (Alexandra Juhasz, ed., Women of Vision: Histories in Feminist Film and Video, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2001)

Additional Viewing
Excerpt from Adjungierte Dislokationen/CONJOINED DISLOCATIONS (1973) by VALIE EXPORT
Works by Paul McCarthy SAUCE (1974), CLASS FOOL (1976), WGG TEST (2003), STRETCHED (2008) a documentary about McCarthy and Mike Kelley. Also do a search on YouTube for other works by him.
Works by Marina Abramovic, search on YouTube, and BALKAN BAROQUE (1999) a film about her.
KORE (1994) 17 mins., or OPPERCULUM (1993) 15 mins., both by Tran T. Kim-Trang
Works by Ryan Trecartin I BE AREA (2007) 108 mins., (TOMMY CHAT JUST E-MAILED ME) (2006) 8 mins., A FAMILT FINDS ENTERTAINMENT (2004) 42 mins. Also do a search on YouTube for other works by him.
Works by Pipilotti Rist
Works by Sam Taylor Wood


September 23: Video and The Body—Past and Present; Video as Alternative TV
UNDERTONE (1972) by Vito Acconci, 37 mins., 10 min excerpt
TAKE OFF (1974) by Susan Mogul, 10 mins.

Global feminist work:
- GESTURES (1974) by Hannah Wilke, 5 mins. excerpt
- ART MUST BE BEAUTIFUL (1975) (2007) by Marina Abramovic
- FEMALE SENSIBILITY (1973) by Lynda Benglis, 13 mins.
- Women of color artists Tran T. Kim-Trang, Regina Jose Galindo (in Narrowcast) and Patty Chang

Male body and narcissism (?):
- BLACK AND WHITE TAPES (1970-75) by Paul McCarthy, 6:30 mins. excerpt
- Excerpt from PAINTER (1995) by Paul McCarthy
- Excerpt from CREMASTER 3 (2003) by Matthew Barney, 31 mins./120 mins. (multiangle version)

Required Reading
Deirdre Boyle, "A Brief History of American Documentary Video," Illuminating Video, pp. 51-69
Jean Baudrillard, "Beyond Right and Wrong or the Mischievous Genius of Image," Resolution: A Critique of Video Art, pp. 8-14
Beverle Houston, "Television and the Video Text: A Crisis of Desire," Resolution: A Critique of Video Art, pp. 110-124
David James, "InTerVention: The Contexts of Negation for Video and Its Criticism," Resolution: A Critique of Video Art, pp. 84-93

September 25: No Class Meeting - Please Attend the Opening of NARROWCAST Exhibition (6-8pm at Nichols Gallery and Lenzner Family Art Gallery, Pitzer Campus)


4 MORE YEARS (1972) by TVTV, 60 mins.
ETERNAL FRAME (1976) by Ant Farm & T.R. Uthco, 23 mins.

Additional Reading

Christine Tamblyn, "Qualifying The Quotidian: Artist's Video and The Production of Social Space," Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, pp.13-28

September 30:
NARROWCAST—Reframing Global Video 1986/2008
Gallery talk with Ciara Ennis, meet in the Nichols Gallery, Pitzer campus
First assignment due today, bring it to the talk

Required Reading

Exhibition brochure for NARROWCAST (I will hand out copies in class, or pick up from any Pitzer gallery)
Resolution: A Critique of Video Art, pp. 3-6, 18-33

October 2: Resolution: A Critique of Video Art

Presentation in class: (5-10 mins.) Select one work from the Resolution exhibition DVD and discuss it in relationship to a contemporary work of their own choosing (you can use your own work). In a one page write-up, relate your comparative analysis to the reading you did from Resolution: A Critique of Video Art, post the write up on Sakai as one of this section's posts, present your comparative analysis in class with clips from DVD and/or web-based video such as UBUWeb or Youtube.

Required Reading
Resolution: A Critique of Video Art, scan through the book, pick out an equivalent of 20-30 pages to read and report on


DVD compilation of Resolution exhibition, on my shelf at Pitzer A/V, MacConnell Hall

Additional Reading


WEEK 6: SEX, HISTORY, AND REALITY—1980s to 1990s
October 7:
Framing the Decade 1970s-80s; Documentary, Television, Reality?
AMA L'UOMO TUO (ALWAYS LOVE YOUR MAN) (1975) by Carla DeVito, 19 mins. , 5 mins. excerpt
MADE FOR TV by Anne Magnuson and Tom Rubinitz (1984), 15 mins. , 5 mins. excerpt
ETERNAL FRAME (1976) by Ant Farm & T.R. Uthco, 23 mins., 5 mins. excerpt
LIKE A PRAYER (1990) by DIVA TV, 28 mins, 5 mins. excerpt
DOUBLECROSS (1985) by Lyn Blumenthal, 8 mins. in Narrowcast exhibition
QUIEN PUEDE BORRAR LAS HUELLAS/WHO CAN REMOVE THE TRACES (2003) by Regina Jose Galindo, 2 mins. in Narrowcast exhibition
JOAN DOES DYNASTY (1986) by Joan Braderman, 31 mins, 5 min excerpt

Required Reading (for the week)
Review reading from Week 4: Boyle, Baudrillard, Houston, James
William Olander , "Women and The Media: A Decade of New Video," Resolution: A Critique of Video Art, pp. 76-83
Interview with Kate Horsfield, Susan Mogul in Women of Vision, pp. 95-106
(scan), 183-194 (read)
Bill Horrigan, "Dweller on The Threshold," Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, pp. 165-172
Gregg Bordowitz, "Operative Assumptions," Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, pp.173-184

October 9: Susan Mogul, Resolution 3 Symposium Overview
First part of class, attend screening of DRIVING MEN (2008) by Susan Mogul in Avery Auditorium (CHECK), 1:30-3:30pm, artists will be present for Q&A after screening
Overview of Resolution 3 Symposium, Friday, Oct. 24 - Sunday, Oct. 26

MADE FOR TV (1984) by Anne Magnuson and Tom Rubinitz, 15 mins
JOAN DOES DYNASTY (1986) by Joan Braderman, 31 mins
LIKE A PRAYER (1990) by DIVA TV, 28 mins

Additional Reading

Sara Diamond, "Sex Lies with Videotape," Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, pp. 189-206
Judith Mayne, "Julie Zando's Primal Scenes and Lesbian Representation," Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, pp. 346-359
James M. Moran, "Wedding Video and Its Generation," Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, pp. 360-381
Michael Renov, "Video Confessions," Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, pp. 78-101

Additional Viewing

NUN AND DEVIANT (1976) by Nancy Angelo, 14 mins. excerpt from 20 min. video (on my shelve at PZ A/V)
MEDIA BURN (1976) by Ant Farm & T.R. Uthco (on my shelve at PZ A/V)
LOVE TAPES (1981) by Wendy Clarke, compilation (on my shelve at PZ A/V)
VAULT (1984) by Bruce and Norman Yonemoto, 12 mins.


WEEK 7: SEX, HISTORY, AND REALITY—1980s to 1990s
October 14: Sex Wars and Censorship
KISSING DOESN'T KILL (1990) by Gran Fury, 30 sec. PSAs
FEAR OF DISCLOSURE (yr.?) by David Wojarnowicz and Phil Zwickler, TRT?
GMHC Safer Sex Shorts (selected)
TONGUES UNTIED (1989) by Marlon Riggs, 60 mins, excerpt
IT WASN'T LOVE (1992) by Sadie Benning, 20 mins., excerpt

Required Reading
Marlon Riggs, "Tongues Re-Tied," Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, pp. 185-188
Patricia R. Zimmermann, "Fetal Tissue: Reproductive Rights and Activist Amateur Video," Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, pp. 304-332
Laura Kipnis, "Female Transgression," Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, pp. 333-345

October 16: History and Memory

Discussion of Resolution 3 group project , please bring an idea or post it on Sakai forum before class.
HISTORY AND MEMORY (1991) Directed by Rea Tajiri, 32 min.
COMFORT ME (1987) by Soo Jin Kim, 5 mins.
EKLEIPSIS (1998) Directed by Tran T. Kim-Trang, 22 mins., excerpt

Required Reading
Marita Sturken, "The Politics of Video Memory: Electronic Erasures and Inscriptions," Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, pp.1-12
Erika Suderburg, "The Electronic Corpse: Notes for An Alternative Language of History and Amnesia," Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, pp.102-123

HISTORY AND MEMORY (1991) Directed by Rea Tajiri, 32 min.
TONGUES UNTIED (1989) by Marlon Riggs, 60 mins

Additional Reading

ART OF MEMORY - Raymond Bellour, "The Images of The World," Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, pp. 149-164


October 21: Fall Break - No Class

October 23: Preparation for Resolution 3 Symposium
Updates on the Symposium this Friday, preparation for class project
Preview of artist presentations at the Symposium
Wafaa Bilal, Artist/Scholar Dialogue, Ismail Farouk , Gina Lamb/REACH LA, Julia Meltzer & David Thorne , Frederic Moffet, LA Art Girls, Alex Villar
Resolution 3 Symposium, Friday Oct. 24 - Sunday Oct. 26, attendance mandatory

Required Reading
Resolution 3 Prospectus (this document is not for public distribution, please do not share it with anyone outside of our class who is not a part of the Resolution 3 project!)
RES3 web site

No Monday screening this week


October 28: Resolution 3 Symposium Wrap-Up
Discussion/reaction to the Symposium
Further refinement of third assignment format, parameters, expectations. Ref: Alex's blog
Discussion/selection of contemporary issues

October 30: Sex Wars and Censorship
Second assignment due today
KISSING DOESN'T KILL (1990) by Gran Fury, 30 sec. PSAs
GMHC Safer Sex Shorts (selected)
TONGUES UNTIED (1989) by Marlon Riggs, 60 mins, excerpt

Required Reading
Review Riggs, Zimmerman, and Kipnis readings from Week 6

No Monday screening this week


November 4 : History and Memory
"PLEASE KILL ME, I'M A FAGGOT NIGGER JEW " (1996) by Rachel Schreiber, 10 min.
JEAN GENET IN CHICAGO (2006) by Frederic Moffet, 26 min.
HISTORY AND MEMORY (1991) Directed by Rea Tajiri, 32 min.
COMFORT ME (1987) by Soo Jin Kim, 5 mins. screen in class

Required Reading
Review Sturken and Suderburg


"PLEASE KILL ME, I'M A FAGGOT NIGGER JEW " (1996) by Rachel Schreiber, 10 min.
JEAN GENET IN CHICAGO (2006) by Frederic Moffet, 26 min.
HISTORY AND MEMORY (1991) Directed by Rea Tajiri, 32 min.

Additional Viewing
EKLEIPSIS (1998) Directed by Tran T. Kim-Trang, 22 mins.

November 6: Shorter Class Meeting

If you are planning to choose your own topic for the next assignment, hand in an abstract on Thursday - leave a hardcopy in my mailbox, or send as an MS Word document (with .doc as suffix) via email.

November 8, Saturday: Field Trip to MAK Center

Ismail Farouk, artist walk through of Locus Remix, see below for time and direction

Required Reading
MAK Center Urban Fellow Initiative
Ismail Farouk web site
MAK Center General Information

Additional Viewing
On Thursday, Art 199, Senior Project in Art, will be taking a field trip to the 2008 California Biennial, Prof. Ciara Ennis has kindly agreed to let students from this class accompany them. They are leaving at 1pm sharp outside the Gold Student Center, and plan to be back on campus by 5/5:30. if you want to go, you have to provide your own transportation. I have another class on Tuesday, so I will not be going.

WEEK 11:
November 11: Assignment 3 Blog Review Session

You should have your first postings published before our class meeting

November 13: Amitis Motevalli
Video documentation of past collaborative work with Amitis Motevalli - Xin Lu Video Bus Tour, ReCut Project, Untitied (Video Self Portraits) will be screened in class


November 18: Guest Speaker Ken Rogers, Professor of Media Studies at UC Riverside

Capital Implications: Labor Politics in Contemporary Video Art
Over the past fifteen years, we have witnessed the emergence of a new global, political, and economic order comprised of supranational trade agreements (such as NAFTA and GATT), new forms communication and information technologies, excessive privatization and deregulation, new modes of immaterial and “affective” labor, and transnational economic flows all of which have contributed to the global economic (and arguably cultural) crisis we are currently facing. What does this confluence of forces mean for video and media practitioners who are committed to delivering an anti-capitalist critique through art and culture?  Have we reached an historical moment when a sustained critique of the capitalist political economy can no longer emerge from outside of it but rather must directly and deliberately implicate itself in the social, technological, and economic systems it seeks to undermine?

This talk will address these questions by delivering a close critical reading of a recent experimental video collaboration between Juan Devis and Yoshua Okón that works through the politics of immigrant day-laboring in the face of the vast social, political, and economic inequities of Latino experience in Southern California.  Rather than taking the form of a detached ethnographic documentary or the advocacy of grassroots realism, their collaboration approaches what I will refer to as the functional axis of labor—the infolding of systems and procedures in and around the work that reveals the deep structural inequities of global labor practice—by reflexively co-implicating themselves, their videos, and ultimately the viewer into the labor of the video’s production.  I will situate this collaboration both within a re-visitation of the history of video as well as new models of interpreting the political efficacy of contemporary art, such as “relational aesthetics” and “distributed media.”

Required Reading
Claire Bishop , "Antagonism and Relational Aesthetics ," October, 110, Fall 2004, pp. 51-79

November 20: Assignment 3 Blog Review Session
Deadline for Assignment 3 Blog Project, Review and discussion in class

November 2
2: Field Trip to Threshold Of The Innocents And Martyred
On Saturday, we will visit Amitis Motevalli's installation "Threshold Of The Innocents And Martyred" (HARAM EH MASSOUMEEN VA SHOHAD HA) at the 18th Street Arts Complex in Santa Monica. it is a part of the larger exhibition "War as a Way of Life", curated by Clayton Campbell. In preparation, please read Amitis' artist statement, curatorial statement, and material on other artists in the show. We can also go view the Martin Kersels: Heavyweight Champion exhibition at the Santa Monica Museum of Art  
Directions to 18th Street Arts Complex. We will meet there at 3pm.
Directions to Santa Monica Museum of Art

Required Reading
Web site on "War as a Way of Life" and "Threshold Of The Innocents And Martyred"


No Class Meeting this week


December 2: TBA

December 4: Guest Speaker Irina Contreras, Independent Curator and Co-Director of MIX/LA
  I’ll show you yours if you show me mine I’ll show you yours if you show me mine: Issues of identity in flucuating video practices
How is the “I” currently used in both performance and video practices? While acknowledging the legacy of early video art making processes, we will also look at the growth of video collectives and artists who utilize the “we” in their “I”. We will look at the ways in which artists like Regina Jose Galindo have worked to use her own body as a symbol of femicide in the Americas and the ways in which media making has also utilized similar theory to build collective practice throughout the struggle for human rights in Chiapas. At the same time, how do we evaluate practices in which one speaks for the other or one in which they feel a symbiotic connection with their subject but nonetheless operate under typical documentarian practices? We will consider articles and work around building difficult dialoges within communities while continuing to think about the aesthetics of such practices.

Required Reading
Virginia Perez-Ratton , "Central American Women Artists in a Global Age ," Global Feminism , Maura Reilly and Linda Nochlin, eds., New York: Merrill, 2007. pp. 123-142
"Sparking Difficult Dialogues: Sam Feder and Dean Spade on Trans Documentaries", Make/Shift, pp. 37-39
Fortunate Living: A Video Trilogy by Marriage

Additional Reading
Carlos Fernandez , "Movements and Militant Media: Communications Technology and Latin American Grassroots Politics,"
William Jones, "A Witch Hunt at Amateur Hour," source unknown

December 9: Assignment 4, Narrowcast at LACE

Assignment 4 due today
Shorter class meeting today - go to the LACE opening tonight, 7-9pm, 6522 Hollywood Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90028 For more info call 323.957.1777

December 11: Final Class Meeting, Wrap-Up, Evaluation

Class wrap-up discussion

<Back to Course Listing

Back to top