The recent exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Signals: How Video Transformed the World offers a critical look at the medium, spanning from the 1960s to the present. Featuring works from guerilla television collectives like Raindance to contemporary artists like Martine Syms and Tiffany Sia, MoMA’s exhibit employs a more expansive definition of video to include television broadcasting, CCTV, and moving images captured and shared on cell phones. Film Quarterly contributing editor Laurie Ouellette argues that while MoMA frames the exhibit in terms of video’s critical potential to speak against television and media infrastructures, the exhibit is limited by the lack of historical context given to the ideological and material uses of video. The exhibition points to the contradictions inherent in the media landscape, which for Ouellette, demands greater critical attention for video in television and new-media studies.

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