Moving Images

Moving Images
Group Z, Love, 1995
Early Experiments Online

In 1995, along with many people all around the globe, I was making my first Web page, for an experimental film club in Moscow. I still remember confusion about the new medium. Was it here to replace everything that was before, or was it just a temporary phenomenon to give way to something else next Christmas? Whatever the future would hold, one thing was absolutely clear: in a couple of more weeks, maximum a month, when the next browser version was released and the connection got a bit faster, with some more memory in the computer, it would be possible to watch films online.

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The Rise of an Empire

A recent New York Times article chronicled the rise of a company called the Cheezburger Network, the enterprise behind the popular blog of humorously captioned photographs of cats, or LOLcats. Images from the blog have been flying around the Internet for the last few years, most notably one of a cat paired with the caption “I can has cheezburger?”

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The Year Video Art Was Born

Artists have been working with video since the autumn of 1965. The story goes that Nam June Paik, a Korean-born artist, purchased the first Sony Portapak delivered to the U.S. in New York on October 4, 1965. On that same day, carrying the camera with him in a taxi, a traffic jam created by Pope Paul VI’s motorcade held him up. Paik videotaped the procession, and that afternoon he screened the twenty minutes of footage to friends at Café a Go-Go in Greenwich Village. Some doubt this story and it’s indisputable that Paik shared the early moments of video art with lesser-known practioners including Juan Downey, Frank Gillette, Les Levine, and Ira Schneider, as well as with Andy Warhol, who was said to screen video mere weeks before Paik’s tape was shot and shown. Whoever was first, 1965 was the year video art was born.

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