Califorinia Video: Artists And Histories

Feature by Willard Manus

Timed to accompany the current exhibition of the same name at the J. Paul Getty Museum is CALIFORNIA VIDEO: ARTISTS AND HISTORIES, a 320-page hardcover book edited by Glenn Phillips. The first comprehensive survey of video art in California, it looks at the work of fifty-eight artists and collectives who have excelled in that unique cinematic art form.

Among those represented in the lavishly illustrated (575 color and 80 duotone reproductions) are such early video pioneers as John Baldessari, Chris Burden and Martha Rosler, along with such emerging talents as Jim Campbell, Mike Kelly, Bill Viola and Kennifer Steinkamp. The volume's "Artists" section features biographical and interpretive essays about each artist; the "Histories" section contains six essays exploring larger themes involving feminist video projects, a history of cable-tv experiments and a chronicle of underground video projects in the 1980s. The "Histories" section also contains an in-depth group interview discussing the history of video programming at the Long Beach Museumn of Art, an institution which provided production facilities for many of the above artists, and whose world-class collection of video art was acquired by the Getty Research Institute in 2005.

Glenn Phillips is Senior Project Specialist and Consulting Curator in the Department of Contemporary Programs and Research at the Getty Research Institute. "I hope this project will generate renewed interest in video art's recent and distant past, inspiring new inquiries to commence where this one leaves off," he writes.

($39.95, Getty Publications, 800-223-3431)