Dia:Beacon is a sanctuary. Driving to the museum through the New York countryside this Saturday felt like an odyssey, culminating in a factory's worth of works by Sol LeWitt, Donald Judd, and Dan Flavin, among others.
Currently on exhibit is "Circa 1971: Early Video & Film from the EAI Archive," which documents the first years of single-channel video and film works from Electronic Arts Intermix, the non-profit that has been working to promote and preserve moving images since its inception in 1971. The show celebrates the organization's fortieth anniversary, chronicling the first instances of video as a malleable medium, whether used for artistic, political, or social purposes.
Throughout the exhibition's videos, the subjects and artists become increasingly accustomed to a medium they are not entirely familar with. For a viewer coming from an era where video predominates – with double rainbows, honey badgers, vogueing and other countless home videos – this attitude seems hard to understand. In Ant Farm's Dirty Dishes, a short film in the exhibition by the collective Ant Farm, the subject says of video, "this is the new art." He was right.