Early Video Art and Experimental Films Networks

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.

François Bovier, Lausanne et al.
ECAL / François Bovier, Lausanne
EUROSTANDARD - Pierrick Brégeon + Clément Rouzaud, Lausanne
Musumeci S.p.A., Quart
François Bovier / ECAL, Renens
231 × 308 mm