A fundamental idea held by the first-generation of video artist was that in order to have a critical relationship with a televisual society, you must primarily participate televisually. Images from around the world, which had only been available in newsreel in movie houses, were now filtering the average home. This century's establish a kind of media technology pecking order, with cinema still on top, followed by television, then video, and now compute-transmitted images; all of which arguably, derive from theater, which has suffered the most from loss of audience and loss of artist to the other media.
Nam June Paik was one of the early pioneers of video artist who uses personal camcorder to capture video as mean of art expression. His early video work involves him taking footage of the Pope, shot from a cab and at that night showed the result at an artist hangout. Unlike broadcasters or other production oriented counterpart, he was not ' covering' the news of the Papal visit. It was simply a rough non-commercial product that was a personal expression to the artist. 'As collage technique replace oil paint,' he is quoted as saying 'so the cathode-ray tube will replace the canvas.
Video record and reveal instant time, whereas films had to be treated and process. Video feeds back indigenous data in the immediate present time environment. Film is contemplative and 'distanced’. It detaches the viewer from present reality makes him a spectator.
In addition to video, several early video artist engage the technology of camera and created innovative means of expression that were both used by other artists, and commonly usurped by mainstream media and advertising. Ed Emshwiller, abstract expressionist painter exploited the capabilities of video synthesizers and computer system with his own original artistic and electronic strategies. In scape-mate he utilized a form of computer animation in which resulted in an almost psychedelic dance of figurative and abstract elements.
Several artists take their cue from Paik and other video artist incorporating sophisticate technology in their critique of technology. Like painters involved with the content of their palette, these innovator probe the video medium in much the same way that abstract artist or colorist did, they were more interested in the mechanism of video as they function artistically. Video becomes an extension of artistic gesture so long associated with painting.
To many new artist, video us an intense personal medium that contains within it's power a full range of expressive possibilities. It allows artist room for experimentation of ways in conveying personal narratives. New development in video production gave access to artist to further develop their narratives producing video works that are considered high end, employing sophisticated film-like technology, occasionally mixing film and video resulting highly polished end product. What is so vibrant about video art is the fact that it embraces both high and low end budget in equal measure, at least in terms of what is shown in festivals, museums and galleys. There is a strong curatorial interest in conceptual often performative, technologically primitive work evident for well know art institutions that featured low budget video by artist who engage the camera in direct, personal way.