Video art

IN the foreword of his book ``Beyond Boundaries: New York's New Art,'' Jerry Saltz writes that ``a major shift is occurring in the New York art ... Much of it favors cultural or social subject matter over self-exploration or self-expression.'' A number of the artists Saltz surveys work with photographs or photographic processes. Dara Birnbaum, whose work ``PM Magazine'' appears at the left, works with TV cameras and VCRs. Her first videowork took imagery from the ``Laverne and Shirley'' sitcom, using technology then available only to television professionals.

The ready availability of VCRs caused her to change her mode of operation.

``I now `gather' footage from life rather than television,'' she explains in the Saltz book. The editing continues to be a highly refined process, giving definition to the subtlest of gestures - whether they be of a star from ... `Hollywood Squares' or a teenager in a New York City playground.''

She goes on: ``I have chosen to concentrate on what remains endemic to both `characters' - the restrain and near-suffocation which is imposed through this technocratic society - pressures which force people to declare, through communicated gestures, their own identity.''

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