The past year was marked by big losses among those who made films or thought hard about them. Jonas Mekas, one of the leading exponents of experimental film in America, died in January, and his passing was soon followed by the deaths of French New Wave director Agnès Varda (now the subject of a traveling retrospective), queer cinema pioneer Barbara Hammer, feminist filmmaker Carolee Schneemann, and Camille Billops, an underrated documentarian who crafted tender films about racism and her own personal traumas. All of these artists opened up inclusive spaces using a medium that has long been sidelined in favor of painting and sculpture: screens.
Thankfully, many artists have taken up their mandate, creating boundary-pushing digital and moving-image works that take their mediums in new directions. What follows is a survey of 2019’s best screen-based artworks.
Installation view of “Hito Steyerl: Power Plants,” 2019, overlaid with the AR work Power PlantsOS, at Serpentine Sackler Gallery.PHOTO: ©2019 READSREADS.INFO; ART: COURTESY THE ARTIST, ANDREW KREPS GALLERY, NEW YORK, AND ESTHER SCHIPPER GALLERY, BERLIN