Can't stop thinking about my convo with Ben Love about the "closed circuit" vs the "open circuit" in video. Yael's references are cinematic, grand, etc. in order to reflect nationalism but that is pretty much gone at this point? It happened sometime in the last four years at least, at least here, and now the imagery of nationalism has very little to do with cinema. It's 4chan, Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, etc. It's interesting as a problem in video because the majority of video composed and created now don't really follow certain aspects of cinema in a way that breaks away from it.
So the idea of the open circuit is art and culture that is not just exciting but driving ideology and communicating with the current world. And a closed circuit still exists but it is something that starts to get fixed in a more concrete fashion or feels more referential.
(My level of confidence in this is currently two drinks in at a dinner party)
Closed circuit: jazz, rock, abstract expressionism, ballet, etc.
Open circuit: EDM, research-based practice, TikTok
It's not that exciting work can't come out of closed circuit but it's usually exciting in the context of the closed circuit. And that even if it leaves the closed circuit and crosses over into culture (Amanda Gorman) it does not open up closed circuit culture to the broader cultural environment.
It's challenging to think about but also means that I have to be careful about how to compose things because the aesthetic reference needs to be understood in the context of the culture.
Though I worked on video most during TAAS – and have the most ideas in video outside of sculpture at the moment – I am a little surprised at how little I have thought about it in a critical way beyond the project level.
During a conversation with Stacey Goodman they mentioned that they had to deal with the idea that video was still seen as suspect by the non-profit/grant-making world due to its' commercial associations.
This is ironic of course because video art is terrible at selling and though NFTs may actually do something interesting here to make this sustainable. But I feel sometimes my issue with video art is that it's not often clear what it is or what it's referencing – performance and video go so well today that it's unclear sometimes if the video itself is documentation alone or something else. The term video itself seems so specific and now archaic because it's lost meaning in the amorphic nature of video content on the internet.
Vertical video is fundamentally an extension of identity and the primary vessel for the performance of identity. Horizontal video is a representation of place. It's easy to make a subject/object/individual divide but with vertical video that separation and sorting becomes much harder to do. There is something also monolithic about the black slab - seen from both Stanley Kubrick and John McCracken – that makes me unable to think about how we are trying to constantly project a fixed or stable identity – a brand – through our phones, that would be impossible in any other medium or form.