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Replay on video semantics–Franklin responds to Colette


Regarding Copeland’s post of Sept. 12: my point here is that video has no particular syntax. Its syntax is borrowed from other forms: sculpture, if it’s object-oriented; film or television, if there’s moving, recorded imagery (image from Pipilotti Rist’s video, “You called me Jacky,” 1990); animation, if it has that look to it; installation, if it’s set up just so, and so on.

And while postmodernism may have broken down the boundaries between the media, it didn’t dissolve their centers. Pierson may work at the fringes of painting, but I understand where the center of painting is – a bit of colored adhesive paste on a flat surface, more or less. Film also has a strong center – so much so that when filmmakers switch to digital video, they’re still called filmmakers, and people watch their “films” without cognitive dissonance despite the fact that no film was used to make the object they’re looking at. What is video’s center? To say that it has none would be an observation, not an insult. Some artists find that ambiguity exciting, and the rest take up other media.

–Franklin Einspruch publishes


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