Bodily Skills Performance Skills: From video performance to “vine”

Semester Spring semester / 2nd & 4th semester

Dates & locations:
07.05.2019 / 17h – 21h at Progr room 369
08.05.2019 / 10h – 21h at Fellerstrasse 11 and Progr room 369
09.05.2019 / 10h – 21h at Schwabstrasse 10, Progr room 369 and Fellerstrasse 11
10.05.2019 / 10h – 17h30 at Fellerstrasse 11 and Schwabstrasse 10

Universität / Haute Ecole
Hochschule der Künste Bern
Teacher Valerian Maly, Dorothea Schürch, Andrea Gohl, Florian Ammann, Lara Stanic& guests
Contact email
for student applications
Content description

Bodily Skills Performance Skills: From video performance to “vine”

Every new technical advance creates new artistic formats. One example is the video performance.
In the mid-1960s, the SONY Portapak came onto the market, an unwieldy and
yet mobile camera set that allowed real-time moving images to be stored almost without
any time limitation. There were no 6-minute film rolls to constantly change, nor did the
material have to be developed in the lab to see the results – and all this at a reasonably
affordable price. Everyone could run their own film studio!

This made video an ideal tool for activists, live action in front of the camera, and video
as a performance format, which appeared for the first time in New York’s Greenwich Village
/ Soho artists’ quarter. One of the first video performances was probably a recently
discovered video of Nam June Paik’s “Bottom Happening”, a recording dating back to
1965 in New York in which he slowly unbuttons his jacket, button by button, and then
buttons it up again. Instead of using expensive electronic studios of the European variety,
New York’s downtown scene made a virtue of necessity with cheap and self-madeelectronics.
Video performance means the execution of an action or the staging of a performance by
the artists her- or himself in front of a running camera, so that the physical presence of
the artist enters into a dialogue with the camera. In contrast to the documentary recording
of a performance, the video performance is made for the camera’s eye – and thus
the action or performance does not necessarily need to take place as a live act in front
of and with an audience but instead first and foremost in the media space of the video

Pioneers: Vito Acconci, Terry Fox, Chris Burden, Joan Jonas, Nan Hoover,
Raša Todosijevic, Valie Export, Marina Abramovic, Bruce Nauman

Exemplary video performances: Works by Willian Wegman, Carlo E. Lischetti and others
Experiments with analogue and digital techniques for performances or performative video
clips, in front of and for the camera, can be used for the purpose of critical examination
and analysis of this specific performance format.

Looking back over the history of video art, especially video performance, provides vital
context for new forms of (self-)representation in social networks like Facebook, Instagram
and channels devoted more specifically to art such as Vimeo, YouTube and Vine, as
well as online performance festivals.