EAST LANSING, Mich. — As digital and web-based forms of dissemination have competed with video art, what is left to distinguish it as a standalone genre? Once, perhaps, embraced as a form of real-time recording that was both more instantaneous and more efficient than film, the video camera has lost widespread popularity. What defines video art, and what about it remains relevant? This question lies at the root of Moving Time: Video Art at 50 (1965–2015), an ambitious show at Michigan State University’s Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum.
Video art was obviously an area of particular interest for Michael Rush, even before his tenure as the Broad’s founding director, and the exhibition, though conceived by him, was mounted in his stead by Curator and Deputy Director of Curatorial Affairs Caitlín Doherty, as Rush passed away in early 2015 following a battle with cancer. The two worked closely prior to Rush’s death, and Doherty’s sensitivity to his vision is acute, even though very little in the way of formal exhibition design was in place before she took the reins.