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Provoking Histories – Red Green Blue: A History of Australian Video Art

Arguably Griffith University has one of the best Australian Video Art collections in the country largely due to the vision, foresight and vigilance of past Griffith Artworks Directors and Curators Magriet Bonnin; throughout the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, and Beth Jackson throughout the 1990s and 2000s.



Read more about Magriet Bonnin here :


Read more about Beth Jackson here:



And in recent months video art national living treasure artist and media activist Stephen Jones has been helping current GU artworks crew restore, digitise and preserve the collection for future generations.



In this exhibition – in three chapters-  curated by Matthew Perkins, ‘Red Green Blue’ brings together works from the 1970s through to the present day, drawn from the archives, artist holdings and the Griffith University Art Collection. Presented over three episodes, each running for a month, the exhibition takes the viewer on a historical journey that is also a celebration of the ongoing dynamism and depth of Australian video art practice.



Emerging as an art form during the late 1960s and 1970s, video has continued into the 21st century as a prominent mode of artistic endeavour, with artists responding to the new possibilities opened up by advances in technology. From its earliest days, artists have embraced video’s radical potential – as a medium for artistic expression, a tool for political agitation, and a means with which to question the status quo. ‘Red Green Blue’ explores these intersections across its three themed episodes, tracing connections from early experimental origins through to the multiple and proliferating modes of today, to reassert the importance of video to Australian art history.


Episode One – ‘Red: Everything is Political’ runs Friday 31 March to Saturday 29 April 2017

Episode Two – ‘Green: Body, Technology, Action’ runs Tuesday 2 May to Saturday 3 June 2017

Episode Three – ‘Blue: Perception and Encounter’ runs Tuesday 6 June to Saturday 8 July 2017


1980s Artist-Run Queensland – Aside

Many artists living and working in Brisbane during the 1980s and 1990s worked in Super 8, a distinctive genre of amateur ( for love) filmmaking that, arguably, “preceded” Video Art as we know it today, and early analogue Video Art. See links here in the ARI Remix living archives we are growing slowly as the archive builds momentum for artists including Stephen Jones, Gary Warner, Linda Wallace, Michelle Andringa, Adam Boyd, Mark Titmarsh, Jeanelle Hurst, Russell Lake, Paul Andrew, Geoffrey Carl Schmidt, David Stafford, Tim Gruchy, Zip Collective, Climbing Frame, Michael Bouwman and Wondrous Fare, Dog Fish Cat Bird, Stephen Stockwell and many more. Hip Deep at Bureau Art Space, an artist-run space located in Shop 2 ( an old cheesecake shop) in the old City Plaza on the corner of George and Adelaide Streets in 1989 right next to City Hall is one of Brisbane’s many early collaborative Video Art events and exhibitions. Under Director Peter Cripps at the IMA, located at 107 Edward Street in the 1980s there was a vibrant and lively culture of regular Super 8, Video Art and Performance Art events and participatory screenings.



In the 1970s artist and activist Stephen Jones was teaching video production to students of the University of Queensland (UQ) and the then Queensland Institute of Technology (QIT) and working in Video production of my own and others’ works at the Brisbane Community Arts Centre,  Video Resource Centre, then located at what is now Metro Arts at 109 Edward St, Brisbane.