“In it’s early stages New Media’s relationship with contemporary art was propelled by the alliance of pioneering electronic engineers and progressive artists. In the mid to late 1960′s Robert Rauchenberg and electrical engineer Billy Klüver founded the organisation Experiments in Art and Technology – whose aim was to use the artist to influence and give human scale to the development of electronics, as engineers became increasingly crucial in their influence upon the human environment. The outcomes of these partnerships defined new technology not in the context of the commercial market place but through an avant guard line of enquiry as a mark of revolutionary sociological process.
This line of enquiry however switched from one which aimed to influence the future development of electronic technology to one which was influenced by video and it’s mass availability through commercial success.
In response to the cultural impact of the accelerated availability of video technology in the commercial marketplace, artists have examined the medium and the potential to use the broadcast moving image in a manner which exonerates the individual, appealing to the masses by inspiring independent thought and challenging the public over the role of the artist in society. Works such as Chris Burden’s “The TV Commercials” from 1973-1977 and the video collective Top Value Television (TVTV) who pioneered guerilla video, have aimed to liberate the medium from government and corporate vision, into the individual’s hands by applying experimental and forward-thinking tactics and techniques within their limited access to it’s means of production.
The Definitive Gaze looks at artists who acknowledge the influence of television and the media-circulated image, pushing the viewers’ expectations inherent in the traditionally broadcast moving image. Artists Alex Bag, Eric Baudelaire, Jacob Ciocci, Tom Rubnitz and Marcus Vater re-examine from the platform of contemporary art the language of popular film formats drawing influence from the disparate genres of advertising, cartoons, news, music video and soap opera which are commonly shown side by side, challenging the modern conventions of the hierarchies of information.”