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Video Data Bank Celebrates 40 Years of Visionary Video

VDB TV: Decades, a five-part curated screening series, is now streaming for free at vdb.org/tv

leahgilliam_sapphireandtheslavegirl
Leah Gilliam, Sapphire and the Slave Girl, 1995. Courtesy of Video Data Bank at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. © Leah Gilliam.

This November, Video Data Bank (VDB) at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago celebrates forty years of supporting video art and artists with the launch of VDB TV: Decades, a five-part curated screening series exploring the VDB’s unique archive, streamed for free on the VDB TV platform.

Founded in 1976 at the inception of the media arts movement, VDB is a leading resource for video art. The VDB collection includes 6,000 video art titles by more than 600 artists, made available to museums, galleries, and cultural institutions through VDB’s extensive international distribution service.

VDB works to foster a deeper understanding of the video art medium, and to broaden access and exposure to media art histories through its programs and activities. These include supporting both analog and digital archives, preservation of historically important video art, the commissioning of essays and texts that contextualize artists’ work, the publication of curated programs and box sets, and an extensive range of public programs.

VDB TV: Decades casts a distinctive eye over the development of video as an art form. First in the series is The Whole World is (Still) Watching, an exciting survey of the Nineties curated by regular Artforum contributor Solveig Nelson, featuring videos by seminal artists including Dara Birnbaum, Tom Rubnitz, and Suzie Silver. Launching November 14th at vdb.org/tv, this special series will mark the beginning of an incredible year of reflection and celebration for Video Data Bank.