9/24/20: Virtual Talks with Video Activists: Nancy Buchanan

Nancy Buchanan is a conceptual artist working in many forms, including videos, installations, drawings, and mixed media work.

Watch the screening and discussion with Nancy Buchanan

Video continues to be a force in generating social change and exposing the realities of life in America. That’s why Media Burn Archive is presenting a series of screenings and discussions with pioneers of video art and activism.

This edition features Nancy Buchanan. She is a conceptual artist working in many forms; her performance work began in 1972, when she was a member of the infamous F Space Gallery in Santa Ana, CA (where Chris Burden performed “Shoot”); her earliest videotapes were recorded on open-reel Portapacks; and she has produced installations, drawings, and mixed-media work.

A still from “The Work of Art in the Age of Electronic Reproduction” (1985-86)

Buchanan co-owned a “portable” video system with artists Paul McCarthy and John Duncan, which she often used alongside other artists. She assisted activist Michael Zinzun with his cable access program “Message to the Grassroots” from 1988 to 1998. Buchanan also traveled to Namibia and documented that country’s independence from South Africa. Buchanan was honored to visit Media Burn in 2019 to screen some of Michael’s programs in Chicago. She enjoys learning technology and had two residencies at the Experimental Television Center established by Ralph Hocking in upstate New York. There she used a color synthesizer developed by Nam June Paik and Shuye Abe, and several other image-processing tools. She taught video at CalArts from 1988 until her retirement in 2012.

Buchanan’s work has been included in exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, the New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, the Centre Pompidou, and the Getty Research Institute (where her papers and video works are archived).

Buchanan screened five of her works, ranging in era from 1979 to 2008. Each one was accompanied by an introduction and discussion. Check out more of her works at mediaburn.org.



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