Early Video Art and Experimental Films Networks. French-speaking Switzerland in 1974: A Case for “Minor History”
The Video Aesthetic in Book Form
A large-format black, white and silver volume with a flexcover exploring the video art scene in French-speaking Switzerland in 1974 finds an effective approach to a medium that is difficult to deal with in a book. Rather than focusing on technical characteristics or details of content, the design allows readers to engage playfully with the aesthetic of the images. The stills, most of them relatively large, exhibit varying colourations – black and white; silver and white; black and silver; black, silver and white – thus accentuating different image compositions. In an introductory section, two to ten stills per double page are arranged into graphic compositions in a text-free grid layout. The scholarly articles that follow are set in four columns on a double page, with the first being used for the copious footnotes. Each article is followed by a series of reference images and text documents, mostly placed alone or in pairs on a page with explanations. Strong contrasts unify the look of image and text, so that the video aesthetic pervades the book’s entire appearance; yet at the same time it is not overdesigned.