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Curator and writer Barbara London, artists Martha Rosler and Tony Cokes, and scholar Helen Koh join together to discuss how artists have championed video as an agent of social change for more than fifty years. The speakers will consider video’s prominence as presented in MoMA’s groundbreaking exhibition, “Signals: How Video Transformed the World.”

The evening program looks at how changes in video and media art have accelerated through access to better and better tools, as well as with faster access to impressive amounts of information, coupled with the speedier flow of shared ideas through social media. The interdisciplinary artists with work featured in “Signals” have raised important questions about the impact that electronic media have had on such issues as identity politics and technological power. One might wonder, why aren’t there readily categorical movements in the perpetually evolving young field of media and digital art? Perhaps it’s due to the fact that neat narratives don’t fit our fragmented and technologically mediated lives.



Martha Rosler has been making videos since the early 1970s. Her work in that medium, as well as in photography, photomontage, and writing, centers on the public sphere and landscapes of everyday life, especially as they affect women. From gender roles to housing and architecture, to cities and systems of transportation, to war and the national security climate, she has investigated and challenged the way power is normalized through images and discourses. Her work in video largely follows the forms generated by the parent industry, television, subjecting it to parody, fragmentation, interruption, or multiplication of sound and images, but always skewing it toward criticality. Her work has been widely seen and exhibited. Rosler, a graduate of Brooklyn College, was born in Brooklyn, where she currently lives and works.


Tony Cokes lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island, where he serves as Professor in the Department of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University. In 2022, he was the subject of a major survey jointly organized by the Haus der Kunst and Kunstverein in Munich. Other recent solo exhibitions include De Balie, Amsterdam (2022); Greene Naftali, New York (2022, 2018); Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, Rochester (2021); MACRO Contemporary Art Museum, Rome (2021); CIRCA, London (2021); Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona (2020); ARGOS centre for audiovisual arts, Brussels (2020); Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts (2020); BAK – basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, Netherlands (2020); Luma Westbau, Zurich (2019); Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, London (2019); The Shed, New York (2019); Kunsthall Bergen, Norway (2018); and REDCAT, Los Angeles (2012). His work is in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Centre Pompidou, Paris; FRAC Lorraine, Metz; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Kunsthallen, Copenhagen; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; Wexner Center for the Visual Arts, Columbus; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among others.


Barbara London is a curator and writer who founded the video and media exhibition and collection programs at The Museum of Modern Art, where she worked between 1973 and 2013. She organized one-person shows with such media mavericks as Laurie Anderson, Peter Campus, Teiji Furuhashi, Gary Hill, Joan Jonas, Shigeko Kubota, Nam June Paik, Song Dong, Steina Vasulka, Bill Viola, and Zhang Peili. Currently she is producing Season 2 of her podcast series, Barbara London Calling https://www.barbaralondon.net/. Her book, Video/Art, the First Fifty Years, was published by Phaidon in January 2020. She curated the exhibition “Seeing Sound” (Independent Curators International), 2021-2026. She lives in Manhattan.


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