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“Technology/Transformation : Wonder Woman” DARA BIRNBAUM , 1978

“Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman”

Arte Video team wanted to share with you, our love for one of our favorite video of all time :
“Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman” by DARA BIRNBAUM. This video is a must to see for several reasons.

Its aesthetic : “Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman” is first of all a beautiful explosion of colors and forms for the eyes. Dana Birnbaum made this video seen as it was a moving canvas. She edited the rushes with an idea in mind : offering a reconstructed vision of images by involving a panel of repetitions, interruptions, rhythms, sounds and colors.

The technical performances : at this stage of the video art history, many improvements have been made, thanks to new technologies and socio-cultural changes. Artists are truly becoming technicians and are now mastering the medium. What they wish to do now, is to push away the limits and offer something with innovations and risks.

The content : “Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman” shows how video art, as any other art as painting, can be read and understood with a historical context. Thus, this video is interesting also for the context in which it has been created because it gives clues and aspects of the social situation of the late 70’s in the US. Wonder woman is a POP culture symbol who through the years became an icon. She has evolved into an important symbol of the feminist movement; a movement which Dara Birnbaum was a part of. Wonder Woman was a representation of the emergence of women in active roles.

The conflict Video vs television : Video always had a close relationship with television. “Broadcasting compagnies with video equipment were seeking original production with new, different aesthetics from those practised by the film-makers of the peiod, in order to provide programmes, the duration and variety of which was increasing “(quoted from Centre Georges Pompidou). Although, there is a clear distinction existing between television and art video. Most of Art video artists enjoy denigrating television. They advocate the fact that corporate studio work isn’t comparable to efforts provided by individual artists. Mainly because of differences between methods of production and emotional involvment . Meaning that they put more efforts and their souls into the work. Which lead to oppose commercial vs artistic purpose.

Who is Dara Birnbaum ?

Dara Birnbaum is a new yorker who is well known for her influence, her provocation and contributions to numerical art and television. “In her videotapes and multi-media installations, Birnbaum applies both low-end and high-end video technology to subvert, critique or deconstruct the power of mass media images and gestures to define mythologies of culture, history and memory. Through a dynamic televisual language of images, music and text, she exposes the media’s embedded ideological meanings and posits video as a means of giving voice to the individual.” ( quoted from http://www.eai.org/) She also made a video called “Kiss the girls/Make them cry” in 1979 that we wanted to share with you for its humour and sort of critisism of an american television valueless .

“Kiss the girls/ nad make them cry ” 1979

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Written by D .M


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