Watch This! New Directions in the Art of the Moving Image (1.0)

Media - 2010.5 - SAAM-2010.5_1 - 73850

Cory Arcangel, Video Painting, 2008

The Smithsonian American Art Museum has assembled a collection of video and time-based artwork that examines the history as well as latest developments in the art of the moving image. A newly installed permanent collection gallery dedicated to media arts, located on the museum’s third floor, extends the range of contemporary art on display and allows for the presentation of the full range of media art practices. 


Watch This! New Directions in the Art of the Moving Image, the first in a series of installations, takes stock of the cutting-edge tools and materials used by video artists during the past forty years. The installation features key artworks from the history of video art as well as a new generation of artists on the cutting edge of new media art practices. The works on display range from Nam June Paik’s early, innovative experiments with video to Cory Arcangel’s reworking of Nintendo games and obsolete computer systems. The nine featured artworks are: Cory Arcangel, Video Painting (2008); Jim Campbell, Grand Central Station #2 (2009) and Reconstruction #7 (2006); Peter Campus, Three Transitions (1973); Kota Ezawa, LYAM 3D (2008); Svetlana and Igor Kopystiansky, Yellow Sound (2005); Nam June Paik, 9/23/69: Experiments with David Atwood (1969); Bill Viola, Surrender (2001); and Marina Zurkow, Elixir II (2009). John G. Hanhardt, senior curator for media arts, selected the works. The majority of the exhibited artworks are recent acquisitions, with five entering the museum’s collection in 2010. 

Dedicating a permanent collection gallery to time-based art is an important aspect of the media arts initiative at the museum, which includes acquisitions, exhibitions, educational programs, and archival research resources related to film, video, and the media arts. 

Visiting Information

December 10, 2010 March 2, 2012
Open Daily, 11:30 a.m.–7:00 p.m
Free Admission


The James F. Dicke Family Endowment generously supported Watch This! New Directions in the Art of the Moving Image.

Online Gallery

Media - 2010.5 - SAAM-2010.5_1 - 73850
Video Painting
unique VHS tape, color, silent; 120:00 minutes
Not on view
Media - 2010.22A-C - SAAM-2010.22A-C_1 - 72595
Grand Central Station #2
custom electronics, LEDs, and mounted photo-transparency
Not on view
Media - 2007.33.12 - SAAM-2007.33.12_1 - 74129
Three Transitions
single-channel video, color, sound; 04:53 minutes
Not on view
Media - 2010.23 - SAAM-2010.23_1 - 73854
digital animation, color, silent; 04:00 minutes
Not on view
Media - 2009.43 - SAAM-2009.43_1 - 73849
Yellow Sound
single-channel video, black and white, silent; 04:33 minutes
Not on view
Media - NJP.1.VID.1 - NJP.1.VID.1_1a.jpg - 74132
9/23/69: Experiment with David Atwood
single-channel video, color, sound; 80:00 minutes
Not on view
Media - 2010.24 - SAAM-2010.24_1 - 73859
Elixir II
continuous digital animation, color, silent; 05:00 minutes
Not on view


Cory Arcangel
born Buffalo, NY 1978
Jim Campbell
born Chicago, IL 1956
Peter Campus
born New York City 1937
Kota Ezawa
born Cologne, Germany 1969
Igor Kopystiansky
born Lvov, Ukraine 1954
Svetlana Kopystiansky
born Voronez, Russia 1950
Media - portrait_image_114969.jpg - 134917
Nam June Paik
born Seoul, Korea 1932-died Miami Beach, FL 2006

Nam June Paik (1932–2006), internationally recognized as the "Father of Video Art," created a large body of work including video sculptures, installations, performances, videotapes and television productions.

Bill Viola
born New York City 1951
Marina Zurkow
born New York City 1962