May 6, 2PM

Coffee & Conversation | Technologies of Togetherness: From Video Collectives to Facebook Groups


How do new technologies change our ideas about what it means to be together? In the era of social media, the ease and availability of communication allows us to be in constant contact with others regardless of their location, creating new opportunities to establish communities. Several artists in Open Video Call reference internet-based communication in their work while others thematize communication and shared experience more generally. Each work however uses the particular properties of video to connect with its viewers. In this talk, Emily will focus on the moment when the medium of video was itself a new technology. She examines the phenomenon of video art collectives prevalent in the late 1960s and early 1970s to explore the ways video can be said to create community through both its creation and viewing. This talk will explore the utopian potential attributed to video technology at this early moment as well as the frustrations of that utopianism. Looking closely at the works in this exhibition, attendees will speculate on current thinking about the relative ability of video to create connections between people, especially in a moment seemingly inundated with new ways to communicate.

This discussion is free and open to the public; register here.

EMILY LEIFER is a second-year graduate student in the History of Art at Bryn Mawr College. She received her MA in the History of Art from Williams College and her BA in Art History from Brandeis University. Emily has held internships at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art, David Zwirner Gallery and The Judd Foundation. Her research focuses on the art and visual culture of the 1960s and 1970s. She is particularly interested in how visual artists in the Los Angeles area contributed to the popular conceptions of ecology and the environment around 1970.

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