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Video art is a type of artistic representation of video and/or audio data. It is not to be confused with film or theatrical movies. Originating in the 1960s or 1970s, the term derives from the use of video tape (such as VHS) in documentary-style recording. Actors, dialogue and plot are not necessarily present. According to one source,

Video art is often said to have begun when Nam June Paik used his new Sony Portapak to shoot footage of Pope Paul VI's procession through New York City in the autumn of 1965. That same day, across town in a Greenwich Village cafe, Paik played the tapes and video art was born.

Andy Warhol is also credited with being an early participant. Other examples of usage include "low-tech tricks," such as combining two video signals to create a "distorted and radically dissonant image." The use of multiple monitor screens was also an early example. Today, there are two recognized varieties of video art: Single-channel and installation.

Single-channel works are much closer to the conventional idea of television: a video is screened, projected or shown as a single image, Installation works involve either an environment, several distinct pieces of video presented separately, or any combination of video with traditional media such as sculpture. Installation video is the most common form of video art today.