Emergence of Video Art in Europe (1960-1980)

History, Theory, Sources and Archives

Werk - Mon Petit Chou

The ZKM | Center for Art and Media is joining the four-year international research-project Émergence de l'art vidéo en Europe: historiographie, théorie, sources et archives  (2021-2025). Funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and the French National Research Agency (ANR) and conducted by Grégoire Quenault at University of Paris 8 Vincennes - Saint-Denis and François Bovier at ECAL/University of Art and Design and the University of Lausanne, in partnership with the National Library of France (BnF), the research seeks to assess not only the very rich and varied video production in Europe but also the development of this medium internationally, as an additional history to the Northern American one.

To date, no Europe-wide history of video art exists. In order to remedy this shortcoming, a first four-year research (2016-2019) sought to pinpoint, map and provide national chronologies of the main pockets of video activity in Europe. Relaying on a network of some fifty national and international specialists, researchers, archivists, artists, witnesses, this second phase intends to rewrite the history of early video art in Europe. This reassessment is multi-layered given the continent’s wide diversity of political, social and cultural backgrounds (Europe is home to a variety of nation states and was, at that time, divided into two blocs) as well as country-specific artistic and technical contexts.  

The transnational approach to this research will become visible during the second four-year research (2021-2025), by various proposals like a website, a data-base and a series of publications and exhibitions. The publications will include a factual history, an anthology of European video artist’s texts and interviews, as well as a volume of critical and theoretical essays on video at European scale, conducted with a core team composed of Slavko Kacunko, Chris Meigh-Andrews, Miklós Peternák, Tomasz Zaƚuski. The exhibitions will gather canonical video pieces with lost or neglected material showing the complexity of this multifaceted field.


Dorcas Müller, Margit Rosen: sammlung-und-archive@zkm.de


University Paris 8 Vincennes - Saint-Denis, ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne, French National Library (BnF)