Video Information Center and Documentation of Art in 1970s Japan
This project aims at archiving the tape library and other resources of Video Information Center (VIC), and investigating the activities of VIC.
The VIC tape library consists of approximately 1,200 tapes recording performances, exhibitions,symposiums in 1970-80s, such as: Interview with Jiro Takamatsu at his studio, Interview with Nam June Paik, Kishio Suga Event (1975).
News and Activities
Video Information Center (VIC, 1972-) was a group that used videos, a recording medium that had just begun to spread at that time, for recording and experimental television broadcasting of performances, exhibitions, symposiums and various other events from 1972 through the early 1980s. VIC’s approximately 1,200 videotapes include the Artist Union Symposium ’76, an interview with Jiro Takamatsu at his atelier, an interview with Nam June Paik while creating art, and an event by Kishio Suga (1975), etc.
These works of art, which captured temporary form as media, increased from the 1960s. The only ways of referring to these works today is through printed matter, pictures, videos and other materials. In that sense, VIC’s tape collection can be a body of materials that serves as a solid materials foundation for research on Japanese art in the 1970s and for the international interest in that field, which has been growing in recent years.
Furthermore, because VIC recorded not only Japanese artists, but also the activities of foreign artists such as Nam June Paik and Merce Cunningham, it is expected to be a medium for grasping the activities of foreign artists in Japan as well.
Digitization of tapes / Surveys of VIC and related activities from the same era / Revision of inventory
The VIC tape collection is presently stored at the Keio University repository, and the basic organizational works of checking against the existing inventory and labelling have been completed.
The main work during FY2016 is the digitization of the tapes.
Among the VIC tape collection, mostly tapes related to performing arts have been digitized several times in the past, but this time the standards for selecting items for digitization include not only videos shot by VIC, but also videos of VIC (records of VIC activities themselves). This is because, compared with the importance of its activities and materials, discussions of VIC itself and of its position in art history have been insufficient. For that reason, this project will reconfirm the position of VIC through an interview with a person involved (VIC representative Ichiro Tezuka) and by holding meetings of a working group that will carry out comparisons with Video Hiroba and other activities and related movements of the same era.
Also, the tape contents will be surveyed using the digitized files, and the inventory revised.
Information release in Japanese and English / Consultation with concerned parties toward utilization / Examinations of digital data use and preservation methods
A Japanese/English bilingual pamphlet presenting an outline of VIC and its inventory will be prepared and posted on the web site, transmitting information about the existence of the materials and their contents.
The digitized tapes will be available for research inside the Keio Univertisy Art Center’s archive, following the practice at the existing archive. Meanwhile, making the inventory public may result in requests for loans, screenings and other tape use. Discussions will be held from now with the concerned parties regarding the basic response policy in such cases.
Working group meetings are planned to discuss technical issues on the long-term preservation and utilization of digital data.