The Garden Guide

Video art, concepts, gardens and landscapes

Video art comprises video +/- audio data. Like other art forms it can be representational or non-representational, concrete or abstract. It has everything in common with other arts - except that it uses software and video technology instead of brushes, paints, instruments and 3d materials. Garden designers and landscape architects, who have become interested in conceptual art, may use videos as garden or landscape components - or they may use gardens and landscapes as components to make videos.

Buddhist-inspired video art

 Buddhist philosophy rests on a view of man's place in nature. We live in a world of change; man and nature are inseparable; everything ie born and everything dies; there is no permanence; humans can act badly and earn bad karma, or they can act well and earn good karma. The themes of impermanence and change are especially suited to exploration in video art.


 Though rich in positives, traditional practice in the visual arts also has negatives. It has been commodified - and commodification tends to divorce art from its spiritual roots.  The vaults of the world's art galleries are filling up with what many taxpayers regard as useless junk. If future generations are of the same opinion, will it be photographed and burned? If so, why not just photograph it at the time of its creation - and put the images on the internet for all to see?

Video art and the Art Market

Video art is popular in galleries and, to a lesser degree, with collectors. Video art productions are sometimes sold as limited editions on 'gold' CDs. This is problematic for collectors and problematic for artists.

  • Art collectors wonder why they should pay thousands for something which is so easily and perfectly reproducible.

  • Artists produce work for the joy of creation and would prefer it to be open source and viewed by wide audiences.


Andy Goldsworthy and video art

The art establishment, which lives on the art market as flies live on carrion,  views Andy Goldsworthy through sceptical eyes. His work is site specific and therefore difficult to include in galleries and difficult to make a profit from. Many of his projects are photographed and then allowed to blow away wash away or rot. Goldsworthy has tended to use still photography but some of his work can be seen on video. Rivers and Tides (a 2001 documentary directed by Thomas Riedelsheimer about Andy Goldsworthy) showed what is possible. The movie is popular. It can be purchased on Amazon and pirate copies can be watched on Youtube. It shows ephemeral sculptures involving natural materials including trees, rocks, leaves, flowers, and ice. The artist needs an income, of course, but may also be pleased that Youtube lets many more people know and love his work. See also: Andy Goldsworthy video art Youtube playlist.

Mandala - video art

Samsara - video art