Saturday, 25 February 2012

# 53 [25 November 2009]

I was pleased to hear Matthew Collings' views on video-art earlier this week on 'School of Saatchi': "Video-Art at the moment gets you brownie points if you do it".

Everybody is doing it now. I remember four years ago I applied to be part of a BBC2 production on contemporary art (I saw the advert in a-n). I was accepted and when I asked one of the team why, she responded that they needed a video-artist in the group. I recall saying to my wife that I thought it would be a docu-soap and not my sort of thing, but I was pleased to be accepted and thought that the exposure could only be good. Shortly after that there were huge cuts in programming on the BBC, so the show was postponed.

Whilst we were watching 'School of Saatchi' Helen said to me: "Isn't this the programme you were accepted for?". Well, the format has changed a lot, its more glam and more 'X-Factor'. I saw the advert for 'School of Saatchi' last year and would have applied but only UK residents were eligible. However, the point is, this time round there were 1000s of applicants, including probably 100s of video-artists. When I applied four years ago I got the impression that I was accepted because video-art was a bit different . . . how times have changed in such a short period. I put it down to the ease, accessibility and affordability of new technology amongst other things.

Throughout the programme the panel analysed the videos of some of the candidates. The prevalent debate was: "What makes this video-art and not film?", an issue I've had to deal with a lot. Could my videos be categorised as film? I come from a totally different background to a film-maker. I am a painter and see my videos as an extension of my paintings. In my videos I address the same visual issues: colour, form, composition and texture but with the exciting additions of movement and sound.

Linked to this discussion is some good news. Whilst I was transcribing the interview with Norbert Herz yesterday I received an email from Bangkok confirming that one of my videos will be screened in a festival of abstract video: FRESH ABSTRACTIONS organised by the School of Architecture and Design at the University in Bangkok. Rarely does such an opportunity arise for abstract video-art.

Ten minutes later I received another email, this time from Ottica TV, a video streaming web channel of which I am a part. There is to be a screening in February at Bankside and a possible projection on a building in Croydon. So, back to work preparing disks for presentation . . . strange, as just this week I decided to get back to messing about with paint in my studio.

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