The early history of what would become later known as “video art” wasn’t so much about artists gaining access to broadcast television, although that did on occasion happen, but more about the incorporation of televisual technologies into existing art making paradigms. Early pioneers of ancient textbook video art of yore, artists suchWolf Vostell and Nam June Paik, used television sets in assemblages and sculptures, reconfigured, cut down and broken up, or incorporated them wholesale as found objects. Another classic technique of the time was an interference with the visual field of the screen through the use of magnets to warp and distort the ready-made image into something utterly abstract.
Alex White’s Slight Lull harks back to the purity of that pre-digital experimentation with an installation that, according to the artist, “…utilises a video synthesis system to generate a video form with audio signals. Continually drooping, Slight Lull simulates a sort of never ending moment of turning off, voltage dropping and winding down.” The outcome is a series of patterns that visualize the process and create a stunning sequence of minimalist abstract fields. In part a memorial to the passing of analogue, White’s show summons up the poetry of the wave, that sensuous ocean of signal that’s about to be absorbed by the glitch.
Review from Andrew Frost at The Art Life