REWIND ITALIA: Videoart in Italy 1968-1994

Lead Research Organisation: University of Dundee
Department Name: Duncan of Jordanstone College

Abstract

The history of Videoart is a varied one. Linked to the appearance in 1965 of the Sony Portapak, the first portable video camera, or to the first video exhibition 'TV as a Creative Medium' (Howard Wise Gallery, New York, 1969), its conceptual origins can be traced back to Spazialismo, the art movement founded by Lucio Fontana (Milan 1947-52). Historiographies have often emphasized a pervasive American influence on the evolution of this art form particularly since by the end of the 1970s American museums, including the Whitney and the MOMA, added video to their curatorial departments, thus contributing to the survival of the medium.
Traditionally, the history of Videoart in Europe has been of interest to restricted circles of specialists, although programmes devoted to the preservation of analogue videotapes have appeared in several European countries: the Netherlands Media Art Institute, The Video Data Bank Denmark, France Heure Exquise and ZKM in Germany. Recently, the inception of Videoart in Britain, has been the concern of the AHRC funded REWIND: Artists' Video in the 70s & 80s research project (2004-08) www.rewind.ac.uk. Such a project, whose aim was to encourage the re-exposure of a significant period of video production in Britain to a wider audience constitutes the intellectual springboard for the proposed REWIND ITALIA: Videoart in Italy 1968-81.
The reiteration of the iconic term 'rewind' in our new project's title signals a continuity of aims, (within a culturally distinctive context like the Italian one) and our confidence in the validity of established research skills, methodologies and institutional context (Duncan of Jordanstone at the University of Dundee - an institution with an excellent track record in managing significant research grants).
The impetus behind the REWIND ITALIA project stems from the consideration that Italy was a vibrant centre of Videoart production and exhibition throughout the 1970s. All the more remarkable because of the international reach of the work produced. Some of the artists connected to the Italian video centres include well known names such as: V. Acconci, J. Baldessari, C. Boltanski, D. Buren, G. De Dominicis, A. Kaprow, J. Kounellis, M. Abramovic, S. Bussotti, G. Cattani, C. Kubish, N. J. Paik, J. Shaw, P. Weibel, B. Viola. This early work laid the foundation for Videoart, thus it is only timely that its history and the social, cultural and economic circumstances that characterized its rise and, ultimately, its fall into critical oblivion are finally brought to light.
In detail, REWIND ITALIA will focus on the activities of video production and documentation of three centres: Art/Tapes/22, run by Maria Gloria Bicocchi in Florence (1973-76),the first European studio for artist videos; the Centro Video Arte run by Lola Bonora in Ferrara (1972-94), a rare example of public sponsored videoart, and the Galleria del Cavallino based in Venice and run by Paolo Cardazzo. Between 1974 and 1981 the Galleria produced over one hundred videos shown in several (inter)national exhibitions. In addition, the project will consider the rich video tape collection of Luciano Giaccari whose group Studio 970/2 was interested in using the new medium for artistic documentation (see for example the 'Television as Memory' project, 24 hours no-stop Theatre, Varese June 2nd 1968).
The activities of the above centres have received only scanty international exposure, (an exception is the exhibition Art/Tapes/22, Long Beach,CA. University Art Museum, 2008). To date, no critical overview of the above experiences has been produced. Also, there is an urgency to this research, illustrated by the fact that the pioneers mentioned above (Bicocchi, Bonora, Cardazzo,Giaccari) are already in retirement. Their impact on the history of video as an art form has for too long escaped the recognition that they so unequivocally deserve.

Planned Impact

The knowledge and understanding developed by the project will be of interest to individuals and organisations that have a remit to study, promote and exhibit video art, including contemporary art museums, international film and video archives, universities, media art centers, media theoreticians, art history scholars and critics. The output from the 'Rewind Italy' project will disseminate knowledge with regards to a crucial period in the history of video to both scholars and the public in the UK and internationally through the website, the symposium/conference and screening, and the publication.

The publication will become a definitive document on the period and is intended to promote international interest and a scholarly re-assessment of the medium in the context of contemporary electronic media practices. After the funded project phase we anticipate and will facilitate interest from curators, and liaise with them on further screenings and exhibitions. The Investigators will also present papers at appropriate international conferences on video art, focussing on conservation and heritage IP issues, beyond 2012. The Research Fellow will have considerable impact upon the academic community in Italy, not least because of the project's exemplary status as an arts and humanities-funded project, and its team-based character, a somewhat rare event in the Italian context, outside of archaeology.

Beyond the academic arena, the project has the potential to deliver a number of benefits to the Culture, Heritage and Public sectors. For example, the REWIND research team has considerable experience of negotiating license agreements with artists, the details of which will be offered to the research communities through associated knowledge exchange efforts, including presentations, visits, symposia and publications. Furthermore, the documentation of the project will provide the blueprint for other cultural and public bodies to engage in the development of their own open source archiving and dissemination activities. There may also be, and we would seek, interest from broadcasters.

The Interviews will create considerable interest worldwide. The Italian curators and artists (including Bill Viola) will attract many visitors to the project resources on the website, gradually developing the project's significance and subsequent impact.

 
Title REWIND| British Artists' Video in the 1970s and 80s; 1980s at Careof DOCVA, Milan, Italy 
Description Careof DOCVA, Milan Careof DOCVA, Milan, Italy Fabbrica del Vapore, via Procaccini 4, Milan, Italy 6 November - 1 December 2012 Tuesday- Saturday 15.00 to 19.00 REWIND in collaboration with Careof presented an exhibition/expose of UK artists from the REWIND collection at DOCVA, Milan. Works featured were: David Critchley, Pieces I Never Did (3 Screen Version), 1979, 31'3'' Peter Donebauer, Entering, 1974, 6'50'' The Duvet Brothers, Multiscreen, 1986/2008, 23'38'' John Latham, Nmutter, 1984, 6'55'' Stephen Partridge, Interrun, 1989, 6'14'' Elaine Shemilt, Doppelgänger, 1979-1981, 9'11'' Television Interventions, 1989-90 The REWIND DVD of work from the 1970s produced by LUX was also available for viewing. Curated by Stephen Partridge and Adam Lockhart 
Type Of Art Artistic/Creative Exhibition 
Year Produced 2012 
Impact Increased awareness of UK video art in Italy. Increased awareness of REWIND Italia project 
URL http://www.careof.org/EN/inside_2012_REWINDENGLAND.html
 
Description RewindItalia researched early video art activity in Italy from the late 1960s to around 1990 and the start of the digital age.
We have discovered the important artists, curators, academics, museums and galleries that either produced the works or were involved in dissemination through exhibitions and events. We have re-discovered and restored some important early videotape works thought to be lost, by migrating the analogue tapes to digital tape and data file.
A detailed Chronology has been developed in English and Italian for use by curators, and historians (see impact narrative). Research Methodology was advanced by the use of re-enacment of original artworks involving performance.
Exploitation Route The findings will be particularly useful for curators interested in developing exhibitions on early video art from Italy or Europe and North America in general.
Broadcasters, critics, theorists, artists, scholars, and students will also be informed by the findings available through the website and the Rewind/Italia publication will was published in Spring 2015
Sectors Education,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

URL http://www.rewind.ac.uk/rewind/index.php/I-chi_siamo
 
Description The detailed Chronology which was developed by the AHRC Research Fellow and PDRA Dr Laura Leuzzi (supported by PhD Candidate Valentino Catricala of Rome Tre) - has been published in full by Professor Marco Maria Gazzano of Roma Tre, in his publication, "Kinema. Il cinema sulle tracce del cinema", Published by Exorma. ISBN 978-8895688893. Release Date: Novembre 2012. The Chronology has been further expanded since 2012 and is now translated into English & Italian and will be published in the REWIND publication by John Libbey Publishing, Spring 2015. Professor Marco Maria Gazzano also intends to have it translated into Spanish for a forthcoming publication in Columbia. The REWIND Website has been consulted by a number of curators including Andrea Lissoni, TATE Modern for research in future exhibitions. The REWINDItalia book has been reviwed on several journals, websites and art magazines including "Art Monthly","Media N","Engramma", "Neural", "ArtsLife","Juliet Art Magazine", "Arshake". Colin Perry on the "Art Monthly"defined it a "significant piece of research and a vital contribution of any library of video art history". Key artworks and findings recovered during REWINDItalia have been exhibited in private and public galleries, including MACRO Museum of Contemporary Art Rome, Laura Bulian Gallery (Milan) and Peep Hole (Milan).
Sector Creative Economy,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections
Impact Types Cultural

 
Description 2012 CRF/RSE European Visiting Research Fellowship
Amount £2,000 (GBP)
Funding ID CRF/RSE 
Organisation Royal Society of Edinburgh (RSE) 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 09/2012 
End 11/2012
 
Title Re-enactment 
Description Research Methodology was advanced by the use of re-enacment of original artworks involving performance. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2006 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact The method was then developed within the research project EWVA, and will be extensively studied and developed for a new project to be submitted to the AHRC in 2019- Re-Enact. 
 
Title REWINDItalia Artists' Online Database 
Description REWINDItalia Artists' Online Database hosts a collection of documentation (including essays, , interviews, and bio and bibliographical data about artists, critics, curators, journalists related to early video art in Italy. 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact Materials from this database have been included in master and PhD thesis in UK and Italy. We have been contacted by students, scholars, curators and amateurs with enquiries on this materials. 
URL http://www.rewind.ac.uk/rewind/index.php/I-banca_dati
 
Description Art and new technologies, cinema and media: videoart, expanded cinema, media art. 
Organisation University of Rome Tor Vergata
Country Italy 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution PhD research and Thesis by Valentino Catricalà, a candidate at Department of cinema and art at the University of Rome III, Italy.
Start Year 2011
 
Description 'Contemporary Italian Artists and New Media: roots, new approaches and new prospective', L. Leuzzi, V. Catrical√†, JICMS Conference, The American Academy in Rome, 10 June 2017. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Following to this, Leuzzi was invited to collaborate to the blog of the AHRC funded research project "Interdisciplinary Italy".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://www.wellesley.edu/sites/default/files/assets/departments/italian/files/jicms_conference_prog...
 
Description 'The fourth Encounter in Motovun (1976): a platform for experimentation for early video art', L. Leuzzi, AAH Annual Conference, University of Loughborough, 7 April 2017. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A paper from this presentatio was submitted for the proceedings in 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Cinema & Diversit√† culturale conference (Rome) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Partridge, Notaro and Leuzzi launched REWINDItalia at the Cinema & Diversità culturale international symposium (November 2011).
Originating from that event started an ongoing collaboration with the Department of Performing Arts at Universita' degli Studi di Roma Tre.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
 
Description Il cinema sulle tracce del cinema 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Leuzzi participated with a presentation to Il cinema sulle tracce del cinema, a short one day conference (12 december 2013) held at Cinema L'Aquila in Rome, curated by M.M Gazzano (Universita' degli Studi di Roma Tre).
Leuzzi has subsequently invited to participate to publish her paper in the symposium proceedings (publication edited by MM Gazzano, scheduled for Autumn 2016).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2013
URL http://www.cinemaaquila.com/evento/il-cinema-sulle-tracce-del-cinema/
 
Description REWIND Italia Facebook Page 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact The REWIND Facebook Page was established in 2011 for up-to-the minute news and associated events and is followed by a community of 500-2000 people per week. Source: Facebook Insights October 2013.


There are currently 1018 followers of this page (Jan 2016)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011
URL https://www.facebook.com/RewindItalia
 
Description REWINDItalia Book launch at CCA, Glasgow 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The event included a short presentation by the editors with screenings of excepts from seminal video works, followed by a performance of Videosonata by Venice-based composer and Venice Biennale Golden Lyon winner Claudio Ambrosini; his performance was a reenactment of his seminal video work from 1979.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
URL http://www.cca-glasgow.com/programme/56042c06bfbbd08c5f000005
 
Description REWINDItalia Symposium 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact First Symposium 'REWINDItalia: Videoart in Italy 1968-1982' held on April19th-20th 2012 at MACRO - Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome.
The symposium was a "research event", focused particularly on the experimental video produced in the period (1968-1982), addressing several artistic tendencies and interpretative paths, including both pioneers and most recent artists and critics. Among the participating artists were: Claudio Ambrosini, Theo Eshetu, Luca Maria Patella, Federica Marangoni, Luigi Ontani, Michele Sambin, Mario Sasso, Guido Sartorelli, Luigi Viola. Attending curators included: Maria Alicata, Stuart Comer, Deirdre McKenna, together with gallerists, accademics, critics, art historians and media theorists such as: Renato Barilli, Achille Bonito Oliva, Silvia Bordini, Valentino Catricalà, Eleonora Charans Sean Cubitt, Giorgio De Vincenti, Bruno Di Marino, Lia Durante, Francesca Gallo, Marco Maria Gazzano, Luciano Giaccari, Laura Leuzzi, Angela Madesani, Dino Marangon, Anna Mazzanti, Silvia Moretti, Anna Notaro, Steve Partridge, Anne Marie Sauzeau, Lorenzo Taiuti. The journalist Mario de Candia, the director Carlo Quartucci, the performer Carla Tatò and the operators Carlo Ansaloni and Angelo Bacci will also be attending.
Interdisciplinarity of approaches reflected in a stimulating and insightful discussion with several questions and comments from the audience. Following to this event REWINDItalia team member were invited to present at Roma Tre, DOCVA (Milan) and Videoex Festival (Zurich).
Proceedings from the symposium were uploaded athttp://www.rewind.ac.uk/rewind/index.php/I-presentazioni
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.museomacro.org/mostre_ed_eventi/eventi/rewinditalia_videoart_in_italy_1968_1982
 
Description REWINDItalia and EWVA: methods, platforms and strategies to research early video art histories, Beside the Screen London 2018 - Vaults, Archives, Clouds and Platforms: Archiving and Preservation in the 21st Century (Conference) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact REWINDItalia and EWVA: methods, platforms and strategies to research early video art histories
Laura Leuzzi

This paper focused on two recent research projects - both based at DJCAD, University of Dundee - that have investigated early video art histories: 'REWINDItalia' concerning early video art in Italy in the 70s and 80s; and 'EWVA European Women's Video Art in the 70s and 80s'. These two projects (funded by the AHRC, and running from 2011-2017) have built online archives with ephemera, photographs, materials and interviews aiming to stimulate future research and provide fruitful materials and tools for artists, researchers, curators and art historians.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description REWINDItalia at NEoN Festival - Show us your Assets 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 'Show Us your Assets' was a mini-symposium part of the 2014 NEoN Digital Art Festival. The symposium dealt with the issue of futureproofing the digital arts. Art historians, academic researchers, archivists and artists participated to the event.
Partridge and Leuzzi presented REWINDItalia and participated to a round table discussing the project with other speakers and participants.
As a result, they enhanced the existing REWINDItalia network and exchanged knowledge and research outcomes from REWINDItalia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://www.mediascot.org/programme/neon/showusyourassets
 
Description REWINDItalia at VideoEx Festival 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact REWINDItalia presented two screenings curated by S. Partridge and L.Leuzzi, with the technical support of Adam Lockhart, featuring a selection of Italian early video artworks from the 70s and 80s.
The event supported the building of an international network of practitioners and professionals and helped reaching new audiences.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2014
URL http://videoex.ch/2014/de/programme-2014-rewind-italia-videoart-in-the-70s-and-80s.html
 
Description REWINDItalia book Launch at British Artists Film and Video Study Collection, Central Saint Martin, London 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The event included a short presentation by the editors with screenings of a selection of seminal video works.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL http://www.rewind.ac.uk/rewind/index.php/I-eventi#REWINDItalia:_Early_Video_Art_in_Italy_-_Book_Laun...
 
Description REWINDItalia: storie della videoarte italiana tra gli anni Settanta e Ottanta [REWINDItalia: histories of Italian video art in the 70s and 80s] 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact This invited talk was part of the conference series: Workshop Arte e Teatro III modulo età contemporanea, directed by Professor Monica Centanni and Dr Alessandra Pedersoli, IUAV, Venice.
Around 120 students attended and questions about specific artists and artworks followed.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Re-enacting early video art as a research tool for media art histories, Leuzzi L, Re:Trace 23-25 November 2017 - Media Art Histories, Danube University Krems 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The paper from this presentation for the conference proceedings was submitted and is currently under revision.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://pl02.donau-uni.ac.at/jspui/handle/10002/813
 
Description Rethinking Curating - part of the 2018 Media Art Festival, Rome, Accademia di Belle Arti, Rome 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact This round table included presentations by Prof. Sarah Cook, Valentina Ravaglia and Dr Laura Leuzzi, that explored curating media art in different contexts (festivals, museum and research events). Dr Laura Leuzzi presented about screenings, exhibitions and research events from REWINDItalia and EWVA.
The presentations were followed by a lively discussion that involved the panelists and the audience
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Rewind at DOCVA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? Yes
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Exhibition at c/o DOCVA (Documentation Center for Visual Arts) Milan, Italy. 6 November 6- 20 December 2012.

Invited by the organisation care of (DOCVA) to exhibit from the REWIND Collection.

works included those from:

David Critchley, Peter Donebauer, Duvet Brothers, John Latham, Stephen Partridge, Elaine Shemilt.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2012
URL http://www.careof.org/EN/inside_2012_REWINDENGLAND.html