First Person: Using Video to Amplify Artists’ Voices

Video Crit

Thursday, April 04, 2019: 2:00pm - 3:30pm - Grand Ballroom

Rebecca Friday, Hudson Media, United States

So many museum visitation experiences involve observing artwork in a neutral environment, stripped of the circumstances of its creation. Interpretive text can open up paths of inquiry and gesture towards an artist’s intention, but such texts are mediated by institutional perspectives. Videos of artists, available in a gallery context or outside the museum, allow visitors to hear directly from artists about their practices, inspiration, and ideas, inviting visitors to build empathy and develop personal connections with works of art. This how-to session will present two perspectives on using video to allow artists to tell their own stories, and to invite viewers to encounter artists within their own spaces. It will outline the educational goals of artist videos, guide attendees through the video production process, and troubleshoot common issues.

Ginia Sweeney, now of the Art Institute of Chicago, previously worked at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, where she led the development of the Collection Video series. These short videos, each two minutes or less in length, seek to help visitors connect with works of contemporary art. Each video features an artist speaking about one of their own works of art in the High’s permanent collection. The videos foreground the experience of the artist and help viewers discover non-intuitive aspects of the work.

Rebecca Friday is a founder of Hudson Media, which specializes in content production and storytelling. They create video, digital, and written content for a wide range of creative individuals, cultural institutions, and museum exhibitions. Creating short profile stories of artists is a genre they feel particularly passionate about.

The juxtaposition of these two speakers will provide a more impactful and holistic session and explanation of how video can be used within the artist/museum context: one speaker comes from a museum background while the other speaker owns a production company that works with museums and indi