Korean-born artist Nam June Paik was a seminal figure in video art. His video sculptures, installations, performances and single-channel videos encompassed one of the most influential bodies of work in electronic media art. Merging global communications theories with an irreverent Fluxus sensibility, his work in music, performance and video explored the juncture of art, technology, and popular culture. Paik, who is recognized as a visionary artist of the international avant-garde, died in 2006.
Charlemagne Palestine is an influential composer, performer and visual artist. In the 1970s, Palestine produced a seminal body of performance-driven, psychodramatic video works in which he ritualistically used physicality, motion and sound to achieve an outward articulation of internal states. Intense and often violently charged, these exercises are characterized by a visceral enactment of physical and psychological catharses.
Artist collective Paper Rad synthesizes popular material from television, video games, and advertising, reprogramming these references with an exuberantly neo-primitivist digital aesthetic. As member Jacob Ciocci writes, "In the '70s and '80s cartoons and consumer electronics were bigger and trashier than ever and freaked kids out... Now these kids are getting older and are freaking everybody else out by using this same throw-away trash."
Alix Pearlstein's performance-based videos function as abstract dramas, operating in a realm between the theatrical and the cinematic. With deadpan humor and a minimalist aesthetic, she employs stylized gestures, role-playing and pop cultural references to create narrative meaning, or uses actors to examine group dynamics and social constructs. Exploring performative strategies, these works, often set in an indeterminate void, condense psychological narrative to expose heightened realities.
Raymond Pettibon's work, including his idiosyncratic pen and ink drawings, juxtaposes an aggressive rawness with an oddly poetic, even metaphysical, sensibility. Pettibon's deliberately crude, low-tech video narratives are irreverent tales of 1960s and '70s West Coast radical subcultures, from Patty Hearst and the Manson family to the Los Angeles punk rock scene. These wildly ironic, deadpan dramas feature an ensemble of luminaries from L.A.'s post-punk underground.
In a conceptual, multi-disciplinary art practice that includes video, sculpture, and what he has called "redistribution," involving sound, music, and written texts, Seth Price engages in strategies of appropriation, recirculation and packaging to consider issues of cultural production and the distribution of information. Shifting and manipulating the detritus of commodity culture, his projects have included early sampler-based academic music, anonymous Internet-circulated video, and art historical imagery. Investigating the cultures generated and re-circulated by mass media technologies and information systems, Price ultimately questions the production and dissemination of art and meaning itself. He is also part of the Continuous Project collective.