The Videola was a video sculpture created by Don Hallock at the National Center for Experiments in Television at KQED-TV in San Francisco.
The Videola consisted of a color television monitor placed at one end of a pyramid lined with mirrors on each of the 4 sides. The image on the monitor is then reflected to produce an illusory spherical display, which appeared to float freely in space. The scale of the image as about 4x8 feet, as indicated by a reviewer for the San Francisco Chronicle. The Videola could display images from a camera, videotape recorder or from a video synthesizer. At the National Center for Experiments in Television at KQED-TV the Beck Direct Video Synthesizer was used as an input signal.
Hallock's device was an attempt to break out of the rigid constraints of the television display format, a 3x4 rectangle. Artists working with video at the time were approaching the medium creatively, and indicated a growing frustration with the confinements of the surface size and shape of the video monitor. Many early works were attempts to free the imagery from the "box". While the Videola did not offer artists options in terms of compositional area, since the images were initially displayed on a conventional monitor, the display of the images offered a new compositional field.
The Videola was displayed at the San Francisco Museum of Art in September 1973. The exhibition included videotape exhibition of works by Don Hallock, William Gwin and others, and live performance with Stephen Beck on the Direct Video Synthesizer and sound by Don Hallock on the Buchla Electric Music Box.
Further information can be found in
California Living, the magazine of the San Francisco Sunday Examiner, 9/23/1973
San Francisco Chronicle, 9/27/1973
Program notes from the San Francisco Museum of Art in September 1973