Media & Performance

See what happens when artists perform—live or on-camera—and incorporate themselves and their audience into their work.

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Media & Performance

Performing for the Camera

Artists break the molds of video and film, and broaden the boundaries of art.

Participation and Audience Involvement

Without viewers playing a part, the work of these artists would be incomplete.

Performing Identities

Artists ask, Who am I? Who are you? and demonstrate that the answers are not so simple.

Expanded Choreography

See what happens when dance comes off of the stage and into the public arena.

Since the early 20th century, artists have been incorporating such non-traditional forms as dance, music, and their own actions into their art. The artists of the Dada and Futurist movements, for example, presented provocative performances meant to shock the public awake to their vision of society. But before World War II, performance occupied a less privileged place in the art world than the traditional mediums of painting, printmaking, and sculpture. Even the relatively newer and rapidly developing mediums of film and photography were more readily accepted as art than performance.

By the late 1950s, artists found themselves confronted by the realities of postwar reconstruction, new wars and ideologies (among them the Vietnam War and Communism), burgeoning social movements spurred by historically disenfranchised populations and increasingly disaffected younger generations, and a flurry of technological innovations. Within this cultural climate, artists began to question the role, relevance, and definition of art as they knew it. They blurred the boundaries between disciplines and embraced and re-configured new technologies, creating works that have come to be known as Media Art.

Perhaps most radically, artists from the early 20th century on have been breaking down the barriers between art and life by presenting projects outside of the context of museums and galleries, staging performances in the public sphere, and bringing everyday activities and materials into their work. Suddenly, art could be anything, and everything could be art.

1. A series of moving images, especially those recorded on film and projected onto a screen or other surface (noun); 2. A sheet or roll of a flexible transparent material coated with an emulsion sensitive to light and used to capture an image for a photograph or film (noun); 3. To record on film or video using a movie camera (verb).

An image, especially a positive print, recorded by exposing a photosensitive surface to light, especially in a camera.

A three-dimensional work of art made by a variety of means, including carving wood, chiseling stone, casting or welding metal, molding clay or wax, or assembling materials.

A work of art made from paint applied to canvas, wood, paper, or another support (noun).

A work of art on paper that usually exists in multiple copies. It is created not by drawing directly on paper, but through a transfer process. The artist begins by creating a composition on another surface, such as metal or wood, and the transfer occurs when that surface is inked and a sheet of paper, placed in contact with it, is run through a printing press. Four common printmaking techniques are woodcut, etching, lithography, and screenprint.

A term that emerged in the 1960s to describe a diverse range of live presentations by artists, including actions, movements, gestures, and choreography. Performance art is often preceded by, includes, or is later represented through various forms of video, photography, objects, written documentation, or oral and physical transmission.

The materials used to create a work of art, and the categorization of art based on the materials used (for example, painting [or more specifically, watercolor], drawing, sculpture).

Related Artists: Marina Abramović, Vito Acconci, Halil Altindere, Simone Forti, Joan Jonas, Mike Kelley, Ralph Lemon, Bruce Nauman, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O'Grady, Roman Ondak, Yoko Ono, Howardena Pindell, William Pope.L, Yvonne Rainer, Emily Roysdon, Tino Sehgal, Lorna Simpson, Jack Smith, Hito Steyerl