Rosalind Krauss on Video Narcissism


Krauss speaks alot about the meaning of “medium” and how it is used and applied from paintings, to technology, to psychological mediums transcending the material world and communicating with the beyond. ┬áThis of course brings my mind right back to Marshall McLuhan’s explanation that, “the medium is the message”. Vito Acconci points right to the middle of the screen in ” Centers”, but is really disregarding the fact that he is pointing to a video camera. He is in fact pointing to his reflection. The 20 minute roll of film, according to Krauss, is based on the medium of narcissism and not purely video. I think the video was essential to capturing this performance, but it does not dictate the performance. I tried to apply this concept of video narcissism to my own work… for a common subject of the artist is always the self. Last Fall, I used video to capture a performance where I repeated the word “fork” for over 20 minutes. I tried to center my face, so that you could see my lips speaking the words and perhaps my eyes drifting away, but as I did the entire production by myself, my face goes in and out of the frame bit by bit. Just as the words lose its syntax, my face and expression lose comprehension. In this example, I would say my medium was not video either, nor was it just strictly video narcissism. Perhaps the medium was just sound, and although sound is audio, it was still necessary to capture this with video too. Below is a still from the “Fork” video I speak of.

In this video, I repeat "fork" repeatedly for over 20 minutes. The word loses its syntax and new sounds, meanings and interpretations come up.

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