ARTnews and Seeing Sound curator Barbara London sat down to discuss London’s recent publication of Video/Art: The First Fifty Years, her pioneering exhibition at MoMA Video Art: A History in 1983, and the evolution of her career amongst a fast-changing media landscape in New York City:
“A big change for everybody came in the ’80s when you had collectors like Peter Norton, who developed and sold the Norton antivirus software. I was very observant of someone like him, who was comfortable with technology. When there was a visit to his New York home at some point, maybe in the early ’90s, he had a laptop in his study with videos by artists playing. Up to that point, many museums were nervous. What is this? How do we take care of it? It was the biggest museums, like MoMA, SFMOMA, and Tate, that helped create a position in their conservation departments that would help take care of these materials. There was a shift so the tools were easier to use; the software gets better and better and smoother and smoother. Where are the ideas, or what makes a good work? You still have to slow down and ask those questions.”
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