Yoko Ono

This exhibition takes its name from a 1973 record album by Yoko Ono, and her 1966 piece Sky TV is included here as a historical precedent for many of the works included in this exhibition. One of the first video installations ever made, Sky TV transmits views of the sky into the gallery via a live feed camera. Unlike film, video offers the possibility of a closed circuit of camera and monitor, a loop in which the production of the image occurs simultaneously with its transmission. Sky TV was created just after the appearance of the Sony Portapak, the first portable video camera, at a time when the television industry controlled the transmission and distribution of all televisual images—and decades before surveillance camera technology became ubiquitous, as it is today. Ono trains the camera not at people, but at the sky, where we might observe passing clouds, formations of birds—perhaps even UFOs. Framing the expansive sky on a small screen, treating the television monitor as a window, Ono’s playful evocation of the cosmos suggests that awareness comes not from looking inward, but from considering the infinite universe beyond the self.