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Themesicon: navigation pathArt and Cinematographyicon: navigation pathImmersion/Participation

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ability to synthesize information when viewing images is challenged by the time factor. This paradigmatic change is primarily characterized by the fundamental instability of the viewer—which is, by the way, increased by the freedom of the viewer to move around in front of and inside the video installation. In a museum setting, the concentration is upon the viewer’s optical reception of the work. Under such changed circumstances as these, however, concentration is shifted with a focus upon the responsibility of the observer. [8]

Representation as Visceral Experience

The experimental character of the video installations made by younger generations of artists has brought them closer to the category of performance. Performative practices of the late 1960s and early 1970s have been revived, a gesture which makes a nod particularly to the directness of performance art, realized through the relationship between the director’s instructions and the space of the performance. While such practices focused on the body and the psyche, they were further expanded by


film and video into an enquiry into their social and medial conditions. In this respect, the works of the 1990s are fundamentally different from early video works and other practices, which were definitive for video art until the late 1980s. For one, the particular frameworks of a given work—which at first remained largely intact in monitor sculptures by artists such as Nam June Paik, Bruce Nauman, Marie-Jo Lafontaine, or Bill Viola—increasingly evolved into variable fields of images. With walls, ceilings, floors, and free-standing screens now strewn with multiple projections, the static frame of the black box has been dissolved into a spatial experience of infinity. Cinematographic formats allow for kaleidoscopic panoramas of movement pictures, in which larger-than-life protagonists seem to take corporeal shape in the space, as if they were onstage. For another, what were once minimal patterns of action in earlier video works—representing an «aesthetic of documentation» barely revealing the trace of a director’s hand—have been transformed into theatrical microdramas. Works such as those by Tony Oursler, Monika Oechsler, or Eija-Liisa Ahtila capture the audience in a psychologically loaded narrative

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