In exploring the emerging video technology of the early eighties, I created a twenty-one-minute video entitled ever/Becoming (1984). Ever/Becoming was created by recording the feedback of a camera pointed at a TV set which was playing back pre-recorded video footage of a performance I had recorded earlier of my friend Rick Sacks.

The visual elements of ‘ever/becoming’ distort over time, that is, the electronic signal affecting the colour, hue, brightness and vertical hold are manipulated in real time through the manipulations of the camera and video player’s dials.

Reflecting back on ever/Becoming, I’m somewhat amused and yet disturbed to realize that I had turned my friend Rick into something of a freakish entity, a sort of technological chimera, one who was continuously morphing between a possible human representation of himself and some distorted, abstracted and ethereal electronic signal.

In creating this work, I became acutely aware of technology’s transformative power and the implications, its intervention could have on my own life.

Ironically, Apple released a promotional video during the 1984 Super Bowl football game, referencing George Orwell’s novel 1984. The clip ends with “On January 24, Apple Computer will introduce Macintosh, and you’ll see why 1984 won’t be like ‘1984’ “

Video (excerpt): ever/Becoming, John Naccarato, Beta analogue video format, 21’15, 1984.

Performer: Rick Sacks

Music: composed using one of the first B/W Macintosh computer (1984), by Rick Sacks.

Other Time-Based and Performance Works