Taiwan Video Club

Lana Lin

1999, 14:00 minutes, colour, English


"And when I went to borrow, rent, I keep a record. I record them. Ok, so you know, when I copy, I give it to, exchange with people. "
Taiwan Video Club focuses on my mother's participation in a self-organized community of Asian women who trade videotapes recorded off Taiwanese broadcast television. This benignly illegal exchange unites my mother to other immigrants who share her native culture and a common past. These cost-cutting senior citizens ship bulk videotape overseas to friends and family who copy the daily epics, among them adaptations of literary classics and Taiwanese folk opera. Their internal distribution of pirate copies marks a turning point in the history of consumer video in which stories that were once passed on from mouth to mouth are now passed on from VCR to VCR. Taiwan Video Club exploits video as a medium meant to be copied. The visuals are duplicated from the low grade tape my mother studiously views. Degenerated and heavily inscribed with text, the material is an invitation and challenge to work through one's own process of translation while watching the tape.

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Critical Writing

Television, Outmoded Technologies, and the Work of Lana Lin
by Maeve Connolly. Moving Image Review & Art Journal (MIRAJ), 2013, v. 2, no. 2.