The Experimental Television Center’s Video History Project is an on-going research initiative which documents video art and community television, as it evolved in rural and urban New York State, and across the US. Begun in 1994, the Project has several initiatives including research, conferences and the website.
Significance of Our Endangered Media History
Thousands of tapes by these pioneers of independent media are scattered throughout the State in rural and urban centers, in libraries, museums, media arts centers, artists’ spaces, universities, video collectives and in private collections. Along with the tapes themselves are other resources and documents which broaden our understanding of the works, and also the historical and social environments within which they were produced.
Unfortunately, this tremendous historical and cultural legacy remains largely unknown and difficult to access, while the tapes and documentation are deteriorating, at risk of being lost to future generations.
While the number and scope of media education and communications programs have expanded dramatically in the past decade, access to early video collections remains limited, and information is difficult to locate and access.
In an environment of rapid and dynamic technological change, the media arts field now encompasses new digital tools and systems which have profound implications for the creation of works and the interactions of audiences with works. With access to historical records and documents we can begin to explore the ways in which earlier arts practices inform the evolution of contemporary work and its position in culture.
By inviting people to help us make materials accessible, we work together to establish contexts for the study of early media projects, and increase public awareness about the work done over the last four decades.
By contributing information, you are fostering a dynamic and inclusive history, giving voice to the many independent media makers and organizations, small and large, that have worked to advance the media field.
The Center began work on the Video History Project in 1994. It is a reflection of our commitment to and participation in the media arts field since 1968, a concern with preservation of the artifacts of the history, and a recognition of the difficulty of accessing information and locating resources.
We invite your participation.