Video has commanded a place within the domain of the visual arts since 1965 and has now grown into one of the most widely used forms of art. After the successful introduction of the medium in the United States, Europe followed suit with the Netherlands playing a pioneering role. The video-art circuit in the Netherlands evolved thanks to a unique cross-fertilization of local and international tendencies, and to the provision of workshop facilities by institutions like Het Lijnbaanscentrum, Jan van Eijck Akademie, Monte Video and De Appel. From the early 1970s to the mid-80s, the new medium rapidly achieved maturity, with artists discovering its creative possibilities and documentary expressiveness–but continuously needing to defend its validity. The gradual integration of simpler and cheaper montage techniques in the production process marked a turning point for video art, clearing the way for its assimilation into the art world in the 90s. Recognizing that there are multiple ways to explain and record the development of video art, The Magnetic Era offers a variety of perspectives and themes, as communicated via a range of writers, rather than a strict chronology.