Circa 1971: Early Video & Film from the EAI Archive

Dia Art Foundation presents exhibition of early video and film from the collection of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) at Dia:Beacon on the occasion of EAI's fortieth anniversary.


Sept. 17, 2011 - Dec. 31, 2012

Riggio Galleries
3 Beekman Street
Beacon, NY 12508

General Admission: $ 10.00
Students/Seniors: $ 7.00
Free for Dia Members

EAI is pleased to announce Circa 1971: Early Video & Film from the EAI Archive at Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries from September 17, 2011–December 31, 2012. Bringing together 20 moving-image pieces from EAI's collection of over 3,500 media artworks, Circa 1971 initiates provocative exchanges with the art from the same time period that is in Dia's collection and on view at Dia:Beacon. Celebrating EAI's 40th anniversary, the exhibition was organized by guest curator Lori Zippay, Executive Director of EAI.

Circa 1971 includes pieces by Vito Acconci, Eleanor Antin, Ant Farm, John Baldessari, Lynda Benglis, Shirley Clarke, Dan Graham, Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson, Joan Jonas, Gordon Matta-Clark, Nam June Paik, Raindance, Anthony Ramos, Carolee Schneemann, TVTV, and Steina and Woody Vasulka, among others. Their pioneering single-channel video and film works will be shown continuously on CRT monitors and as projections at Dia:Beacon.

Taking the year of EAI's founding as its point of departure, the exhibition sets in dialogue a series of diverse works created in and around 1971, which are linked by alternative artistic and activist impulses. Circa 1971 exposes the generative encounters among these artists and influences and initiates unexpected correspondences between seemingly disparate works.

The selections in Circa 1971 reflect artists' engagements with the conceptual, political, formal, and cultural implications of video and moving image media. Therein, the works themselves are remarkably eclectic: while many engage with the prevailing discourses of contemporary art at the time—including body art, performance, Process art, Minimalism, and Conceptual art—others take the form of guerrilla television documentaries or experiments in electronic imaging and the metaphorical potential of the medium, often in oppositional relation to television. Several key threads emerge, including political activism; inquiries into the production, reception, and circulation of mass media information; and explorations of identity, gender, and self.

Focusing on a specific window of time, 1970–72, Circa 1971 presents a snapshot of a cultural moment—or, more accurately, a countercultural moment—and the fertile political and artistic landscape from which these works emerged. Forty years ago, EAI was created as an alternative paradigm to support a burgeoning art form that was neither supported by the commercial art market nor the commercial television system. In this respect, its founding parallels Dia's own. Taken from the Greek prefix meaning "conduit" or "through," Dia was launched to enable artists to create projects that due to their scale or scope could not be accommodated by traditional galleries or museums.

Many of the themes introduced in their nascent form in Circa 1971 have been reactivated by subsequent generations of artists and refracted through digital culture in current moving-image art. This anniversary exhibition offers a framework for reconsidering the multiple histories, artistic investigations, and cultural contexts that have informed moving-image art for more than four decades.


Dia Art Foundation

A nonprofit institution founded in 1974, Dia Art Foundation is renowned for initiating, supporting, presenting, and preserving art projects. Dia:Beacon, Riggio Galleries opened in May 2003 as the home for Dia's distinguished collection of art from the 1960s to the present, and features major installations of works by artists including Joseph Beuys, Louise Bourgeois, John Chamberlain, Walter De Maria, Dan Flavin, Michael Heizer, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Imi Knoebel, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Bruce Nauman, Gerhard Richter, Robert Ryman, Fred Sandback, Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, and Lawrence Weiner. Alongside the collection, special exhibitions, commissions, and diverse public and education programs take place at Dia:Beacon throughout the year. Dia also maintains long-term, site-specific projects across New York State, in New Mexico, and in Utah, and is developing a new space for programs in Manhattan's West Chelsea neighborhood. For additional public information, visit


EAI: Celebrating 40 Years

Founded in 1971, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is one of the world's leading nonprofit resources for video art. A pioneering advocate for media art and artists, EAI fosters the creation, exhibition, distribution, and preservation of video art and digital art. EAI's core program is the distribution and preservation of a major collection of over 3,500 new and historical media works by artists. EAI's activities include viewing access, educational services, extensive online resources, and public programs such as artists' talks, exhibitions and panels. The Online Catalogue is a comprehensive resource on the artists and works in the EAI collection, and also features extensive materials on exhibiting, collecting and preserving media art:

Electronic Arts Intermix   535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor   New York, NY 10011   t (212) 337-0680   f (212) 337-0679


For additional information or materials contact:

image: Nam June Paik and Jud Yalkut, with Charlotte Moorman, TV Cello Premiere, 1971.

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