Pop-Pop Video: Kojak/Wang, by Dara Birnbaum, 1980

Dara Birnbaum, Artist
Pop-Pop Video: Kojak/Wang , 1980

Single-channel video, color, stereo sound
3:00 min.
Credit Line
Courtesy of the artist and Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York. Video still courtesy of EAI

For her Pop-Pop Video series, first exhibited at the Kitchen in New York City in 1980, Dara Birnbaum edited together disparate broadcast footage into fast-paced single-channel videos that comment on the homogeneity of the televisual vocabulary. Kojak/Wang crosscuts sequences from the popular crime show Kojak with a commercial for the technology company Wang Laboratories in order to relate the violence of a rapid-fire gunfight to the onslaught of colorful rays going to and from a computer monitor. In these videos, Birnbaum selected paradigmatic television segments and used formal devices of television such as repetition, framing, intercutting, and slow motion in order to reveal a common arena of power, competition, drama, and violence.