Single-channel Video

Single-channel video artworks are created using technologies that were originally designed to be ephemeral. The video signal itself, of course, began its technological life as television, a medium designed for the live transmission of images, not their permanent retention. Videotape, introduced in 1956, was developed specifically to record live television programs for rebroadcast in later time zones; tapes generally didn't need to survive longer than a few hours. DVDs, though often touted as permanent, have stability problems that are only beginning to become apparent. In recent years, changing display technology has complicated the problem: many video works were created with the specific qualities of the cathode ray tube (CRT) in mind. CRTs are rapidly becoming obsolete, and soon will be commercially unavailable. Yet basic preservation actions-and thoughtful long-term planning-can insure that video artworks survive for generations to come. This section will explore the issues related to the preservation of video materials-information that will also be of use for many computer-based or installation works as well.