Video ergo cogito
Video is a minor art. Historically and aesthetically wedged between cinema and digital art, it can thus play the role of a bridge between the two, and more than that. In a long work offering a fine panorama of the question, Philippe Dubois never tackles his subject from the unique perspective of the image. Whilst video is certainly a question of the image, it is not only that. It is also a device. It is a whole, an ensemble, a state which thinks and makes one think about the world and the image in general. It provokes and jostles the all-powerful cinema, television and art in general.
Dissociating aesthetics and technology
In journeying over the books 340 pages, one rapidly realises that it will not have offered a positive definition of video, but rather a series of questions which ask us to think through its condition. It can be defined from a technological point of view, certainly, but there is not just that, and Philippe Dubois takes pains to avoid this angle of attack. Technology is an evolution, a reality, an objective framework, a tool which offers possibilities and imposes constraints, but it doesn’t influence, or only a little, the artistic steps taken, the conceptualisation of art, and the aesthetic. Thus, straight from the beginning, liberating himself from technology, the thinker can cultivate the anachronism. There is no question of imposing a teleological and evolutionary vision of art. Affirming that the art of the image evolves and progresses towards a more and more perfect production or creation of the image is to bind oneself to the technological viewpoint. But the interest lies elsewhere, and it is to be found in transversality.
(1) Philippe Dubois, La Question Vidéo, entre cinéma et art contemporain, Ed. Yellow Now, coll. Côté cinéma, 2011