DARA BIRNBAUM'S TIANANMEN SQUARE: BREAK-IN TRANSMISSION: A CASE STUDY IN THE EXAMINATION, DOCUMENTATION, AND PRESERVATION OF A VIDEO-BASED INSTALLATION
1 INTRODUCTION: DARA BIRNBAUM
Throughout her career as an artist, Dara Birnbaum (b. 1946) has employed video appropriated from broadcast television in her work. Her career as a video artist began in the late 1970s, after she received academic degrees in architecture and painting. Early work, including Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman (1978–79), General Hospital/Olympic Women (1978), and Pop-Pop Video: Kojak/Wang (1980), uses broadcast video that is re-purposed by the artist to analyze the language of television. She also integrates overtly political content into her work. Canon: Taking to the Street (1990) contains amateur video of a 1987 march protesting violence against women, making larger allusions to the power of street demonstrations, including the 1968 Paris uprising (Tuer 1997). Although much of Birnbaum's work is single-channel video, she has produced several multichannel installations, including Rio Videowall (1989), a 25 monitor permanent installation, and Will-o'-the-Wisp (1992), a 3-channel installation.