This chapter charts the history of video installation. By the mid-1960s, the viewing public was already fluent in the representational language and spectatorial codes of television when artists engaged with and re-cast television as installation art. This chapter begins with an overview of video installation's television roots as well as the history of video before turning to a discussion of the mirroring effect of video that distinguished the medium from film. It then considers the capacity of video to parallel real time, to run alongside our own passage through life, in synch with what David Hall called the “real-time continuum.” It also examines the congruence between the artist's studio and the gallery space, along with the strategy of precipitating technological malfunctions, with the audience as accomplice. Finally, it analyzes the BBC documentary Family History (2006) and the way it interrogates the role broadcast media plays in shaping the beliefs we hold about the world beyond the membrane of our homes.
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