As video takes over the world, I started to reflect on how long I’ve been involved with it –  since I was about 19 in the early 70’s.  I grew into adulthood first with indie video and then broadcast television when I became an editor in 1976.  I was lucky enough to be on the ground floor of many technological and cultural trends associated with video which I’ll describe here in aVideoLife.  And as I learned from my mentors at Synapse (Syracuse University) video also became part of my personal life.  To understand this era, think Whole Earth Catalog and Steve Jobs with the Homebrew Computer Club.

There is a CV aspect to aVideoLife, but is a video saturated world, the aim is to establish my bonafides as a veteran in the Video Culture.  Inspired by my work with video artists, I had opportunity to create many original works, two of which are in MoMA’s Permanent Collection.  All my work had a contemporary cultural charge that reflected my involvement in the original punk, then post-punk and hip-hop scenes.

The rounding out my video life is the collector or archivist aspect.  I’ve amassed a large collection that I used in my work of early mash-ups. This archive helped fuel an early manifestation of video curating or YouTube culture – the video lounge.  The first one I can remember was created by my friends at Danceteria in 1980.

The last part of the journey was getting a Mac and a modem in 1986 and then going to MacWorlds and the Digital Be-ins in San Francisco… and on and on….

BILL VIOLA: “when young people — when artists, when social activists — coming out of the late ‘60s realized that this new portable equipment was gonna be available and probably was gonna take us into the future, they immediately saw political, social and artistic creative uses of that technology. And that’s really how the whole thing started, and that gave us the video that we take for granted today.”

See also “Art CV – Shows & Press” next to About page 


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