One of the most celebrated and iconoclastic figures of the American musical avant-garde, John Cage has been instrumental in reshaping postwar Western music. Cage's radical innovations in compositions and theory — the application of chance and "found" sound as an integral compositional device, the creation of musical structures based on rhythm rather than tonality — were influential in altering traditional concepts of musical interpretation.
French videomaker Robert Cahen has since 1972 produced works for cinema and television. His fictions and documents are metaphoric voyages or reveries through time, place, memory and perception. Genres such as narrative and performance are expanded through visual, aural and temporal transformations of represented reality.
Vibrant and dynamic, the video works of Australian artist Peter Callas are singular in form, technology and iconography. In tapes, installations and laserdisc works, Callas constructs extraordinary landscapes of animated signs and emblems. These vivid and witty pictorial tableaux portray the popular, historical and media images embedded within the construction of cultural identity and collective memory.
French conceptual artist Sophie Calle redefines through personal investigation the terms and parameters of subject and object, public and private. In her projects, Calle immerses herself in examinations of voyeurism and identity. Often playing roles or adopting guises, she recasts her own identity to reconstruct or document strangers' lives, examining the relationship between the artist and the objects of her investigations.
From the mid-1970s until her death at age 31 in 1982, Korean-born artist Theresa Hak Kyung Cha created a rich body of conceptual art that explored displacement and loss. Informed by French psychoanalytic film theory, her video works use performance and text to explore interactions of language, meaning and memory. Cha's posthumously published book Dictée is an influential investigation of identity in the context of history, ethnicity and gender.
The work of Hong Kong-born artist Yau Ching strategically pulls apart the conventional relationship between spectator and text. Inverting the roles of "tourist" and "native," she interrogates the politics of representation in relation to questions of gender, exile, and cultural translation. Difference emerges as a core theme, invoked and challenged by the incongruities of public and private memories.
The video works of Korean artist Seoungho Cho are distinguished by a lyrical confluence of complex image processing and sound collage. His works are formalist, almost painterly explorations of subjectivity and the subconscious. These poetic meditations often focus on isolation and estrangement in relation to culture and landscape.
A leading figure in the American avant-garde cinema of the 1950s and 1960s, and a pioneer of video in the 1970s, Shirley Clarke brought a distinctive "choreography of images" to her work. An instrumental figure in the cinema verite movement, she also produced dramatic features. In 1970, she formed the Tee Pee Videospace Troupe, a loose collective working in experimental video and theater. Later works included theatrical collaborations with Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin.
Since 1972 Wendy Clarke has used video to produce interactive video installations and tapes. Her central project has been the Love Tapes, a series of over eight hundred short videotapes in which she documents people's individual definitions of the meaning of love.
Maxi Cohen has produced and directed an eclectic range of work for film, video and television. She has also been instrumental in initiating production and distribution systems for independent film and videomakers, and developing cable television as a means of local community expression.
Tony Cokes investigates identity and opposition through reframing and repositioning. He questions how race and gender influence the construction of subjectivities, and how they are perceived through "representational regimes of image and sound" as perpetuated by Hollywood, the media and popular culture. His assemblages of archival footage, media images, text commentary, and pop music use sources ranging from Louis Althusser, Malcolm X and Public Enemy.
Beth Coleman and Howard Goldkrand's work is a combination of electronic media installation, sculpture, and performance. They investigate invisible structures, from sound and spatial relations, to integrated systems, such as architectural fields, built-environments and communities. Through these practices termed as "cultural alchemy," Coleman and Goldkrand address the aesthetic issues raised by new media to make work that explores information technologies.
Fusing humor and horror, the whimsical and the macabre, Cecelia Condit tells stories that uncover dark fantasies of the subconscious beneath the surreal suburban landscape of Middle America. Condit's elliptical narratives, which have been termed "feminist fairy tales," put a subversive spin on the traditional mythologies of female representation and the psychologies of sexuality and violence.
David Cort was a founding member of the New York based Videofreex, a pioneering collective of media activists formed in 1969 to explore communication processes. The countercultural collective's work was grounded in the conviction that access to portable video equipment could provide an alternative voice to the monolith of network television.
A seminal figure of the twentieth-century avant-garde, American choreographer Merce Cunningham (1919-2009) engaged the boundaries of dance for more than seventy years. Emerging from and expanding upon traditions of theater, classical ballet and modern dance, Cunningham radically rearticulated the semiotics of the dancing body and created a distinctive language that survives him. Throughout his long career, Cunningham collaborated with a number of filmmakers and video artists, including Charles Atlas, on a series of pioneering dance pieces created specifically for the camera.