Public Displays of Video

I recently reviewed a great book on video art for Prefix Photo‘s 23rd issue, Shadow Plays. The magazine launched this week, and will be on newsstands for the next 6 months. The book, Pixels and Places: Video art in public space, is a survey of many projects throughout the short but illustrious history of video art. Written by Dutch art historian Catrien Schreuder, the slim volume is well worth a look for anyone interested in the topic. And truthfully, it’s hard not to feel a little invested in public video art display when one is often surrounded by projects of various merits and descriptions gracing the omnipresent video screens and projection surfaces of the commercialized downtown world.

Here’s an excerpt of my review:

“What artistic possibilities does public space offer for video art, and conversely, what can video art offer public space?” These are the central questions posed by Pixels and Places: Video Art in Public Space. Rather than seeking to define an optimal model of public video art, the book offers about 80 brief case studies—from large urban installations, to smaller-scale initiatives—with a focus on the Netherlands (where the book’s author and publisher are based) and the Rotterdam festival, Cineboards. Pixels and Places also draws in related issues: increased commercial dominance in public space, and changing forms and conventions in video art.

Prefix’s articles aren’t available online, but the magazine can be found at various art galleries and bookshops around the city (and elsewhere, I’m sure). The rest of the magazine looks wonderful—I haven’t read the whole thing yet, but it certainly looks to be packed with thoughtful articles and inspiring photos.