Video Art || Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman

Hello Netizens,
A new genre of art rose in the late 1960s because of artists such as; Nam June Paik and Andy Warhol. They used videos, through editing or manipulating films, to create art. Which then lead to many new opportunities for self expression. This new medium of art is called, Video art.

Video art is usually used in two different ways, and they are:
  1. Single-channel. 
  2. Installation. 
Single-channel is when a video is screen, shown or projected in a collection of images, and usually consists of multiple videos shown simultaneously, performance art or an assemblage of videos. In the other hand, Installation video is when other art mediums, such as; architecture, sculpture or design, are combined together with video. The use of Internet and computer art is becoming more prominent in manipulating films or to control a videos from the Internet, to create video art. Installation video is also considered to be the more common form of video art.

There is a difference between film and video art. Films produced for the silver screen or TV series produced to entertain the public aren't considered to be video art. Video art differs in film on not needing a storyline, sceen play, actors or dialogue. Its goals is to rather challenge the viewer's perception of time and space or their ideas.

Wolf Vostell is the first to use televisions set to create art. It was in 1959 when he created an assemblage called 'Deutscher Ausblick', which is currently in the Museum Berlinische Galerie. However, the pioneer of the video art movement is considered to be Nam June Paik, the korean musician, performance artist and sculpture. Another pioneer of this art movement is Andy Warhol, whom is the leader of the Pop-Art movement.

Nam June Paik begun producing video art in 1965, using his portable Sony video recorder. He produced a musical video art. 




This piece is called "Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman" by Dara Birnbaum. This video art consists of clips from the Television series Wonder Woman (1975-1979), that are cut and repeated purposefully. Birnhaum repeats the isolated instances when Wonder woman is a "real" woman transforming into a super hero. Wonder woman keeps spinning like a music-box doll, making her appear trapped in her metamorphosis. 

Birnhamu subverts the meaning of the show's hero using the show itself, highlighting the underlined problematic themes in the show. She removes everything from the show and keeps the explosions (action) and scenes where Wonder Woman is sexualised (objectified).

At the end of the video, Birnhaum spells out the lyrics of The Wonderland Disco Band - Wonder Woman Disco. Instead of the song being empowering, it contributes more to the issue of the media objectifying women. 

Dara Birnhaum created an art piece that highlights the issue of sexualisation and objectification of women in Media. Although this was created in the 70s and treatment of women in media has improved drastically since then, I still believe this still holds as important piece of art.

Nevertheless, the television series wasn't all bad but it did show Wonder Woman being a hero. It also marks as a first toward female superheroes, and it is enjoyable to watch if you can ignore the skimpy outfit.


References:
1. http://www.visual-arts-cork.com/video-art.htm
2. https://www.eai.org/titles/technology-transformation-wonder-woman
3. https://www.sartle.com/artwork/technology-transformation-wonder-woman-dara-birnbaum

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