Douglas Davis

As an artist, theorist, critic, teacher, and writer, Douglas Davis has played an active role in contemporary art since the 1960s. A pioneer of video in the 1970s, his "live" satellite performance/video pieces are seminal exercises in the use of interactive technology as a medium for art and communications. In 1977 Davis joined with Nam June Paik and Joseph Beuys for the first live international satellite telecast by artists, transmitted from Documenta 6 in Kassel, Germany.

Davis' pioneering work with interactivity has evolved with new technologies. His ongoing interactive project for the World Wide Web, entitled The World's First Collaborative Sentence, was commissioned by the Lehman College/CUNY Art Gallery and is in the collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

As an artist/performer, Davis confronts the anonymity and passivity of television production and reception, establishing an intimate, interactive dialogue with the viewer as a forum for intellectual and moral debate. Articulating his approach to video, Davis writes: "Television is usually considered a public medium, but because of the way it is experienced -- in a personal space -- it is in fact quite private. When I began to work overtly with the medium, I acted out of the same sense of intimacy, this time on the other side of the screen."

The author of several books, including Artculture: Essays on the Post-Modern (1977) and The Museum Impossible: Architecture and Culture in the Post-Pompidou Era (1990), Davis was architecture and photography critic for Newsweek magazine from 1969 to 1988.

Davis was born in 1933. He received a B.A. from American University and an M.A. from Rutgers University. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (D.A.A.D.); he has been artist-in-residence at the TV Lab at WNET/Thirteen, New York.

Davis' work has been seen in solo shows at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Metropolitan Museum, New York; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse; and The Kitchen, New York, among other institutions. His work has also been exhibited at festivals and institutions including the Venice Biennale; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Kolnischer Kunstverein, Cologne; and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York.

Davis lives in New York.

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