Earlier this summer, MTV flipped their old VH1 Classic station to a more freshly minted nostalgia channel, MTV Classic, which does what people have been asking MTV to do for two decades now: It plays music videos. And with it all, there’s a Sunday night slot for its legendary “alternative” 120 Minutes programming which, more than most outlets even during its day, showed off the line where for one clove cigarette-smelling moment, the music video form really did brush up against art. Or at least, art school.
Throughout the summer, International House’s “This Is Now: Film & Video After The Punk” series has been showing music video material from the same era. Though it’s with a decidedly stronger lean towards honest-to-goodness visual art, as opposed the video’s louder DNA as icky music business promo tool. Freshly restored from the British Film Institute, “This Is Now”’s contents have featured works by video artists like John Maybury, Sophie Muller, Cerith Wyn Evans and more up against (and sometimes with) the likes of the Human League and Echo & The Bunnymen.
Which is where Friday night’s final program of the series will leave it, with two consecutive programs, entitled “Video Killed The Radio Star,” and “Entering The Dream Space,” which together illustrate how in the most unlikely fashion, commerce led to art, once upon a time.
Tickets and program info here.