Vasulka Steina & Woody

Publié le par Olivier Lussac

Steina and Woody Vasulka are major figures in video history, technical pioneers who have contributed enormously to the evolution of the medium and who continue to be major practitioners of video as art. The Vasulkas' technological investigations into analog and digital processes and their development of electronic imaging tools, which began in the early 1970s, place them among the primary architects of an expressive electronic vocabulary of image-making. Applying an informal, real-time spontaneity to their formalist, often didactic technical research, they chart the evolving formulation of a grammar and syntax of electronic imaging as they articulate a processual dialogue between artist and technology.
The Vasulkas' early collaborative efforts, produced from 1970 to 1974, include phenomenological explorations that deconstruct the materiality of the electronic signal and analyze the imaging capabilities of video tools. Central to these increasingly complex exercises are explorations of the malleability of the image, the manipulation of electronic energy, and the interrelation of sound and image.
In the mid-1970s, working with such engineer/designers as Eric Siegel, George Brown, Steve Rutt and Bill Etra, the Vasulkas developed electronic tools specifically for use by artists. With Jeffrey Schier they developed the Digital Image Articulator, a device that allows the digital processing of video imagery in real-time. Steina's training as a violinist, and Woody Vasulka's background as an engineer and filmmaker, informed their invention of electronic devices to transform sound, image, space and time -- themes that they have pursued independently in their later works. Though the Vasulkas continue to collaborate, since 1975 they have produced much of their work individually.
The Vasulkas emigrated to the United States in 1965, and began their collaborative exploration of electronic media in 1969. In 1971, they co-founded The Kitchen, a major alternative exhibition and media arts center in New York. From 1973 to 1979, the Vasulkas lived and worked in Buffalo, New York, where they were faculty members at the Center for Media Study, State University of New York. The Vasulkas have received numerous awards for their work in the media arts, including grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. In 1989, they received a United States/Japan Exchange Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Vasulkas have broadcast and exhibited their collaborative works extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan, at institutions including The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse; Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia; Albright-Knox Gallery, Buffalo; and The Museum of Modern Art, New York, among many others.

Steina and Woody Vasulka
Steina was born in Reykjavik, Iceland in 1940.
While studying violin and music theory at the music conservatory in Prague in 1959, she met and married  Woody Vasulka. They moved to New York City in 1965 where Steina  initially worked as a freelance musician. In their early collaborative work, the Vasulkas examined the electronic nature of video and sound, developing specialized imaging tools and strategies while also using the medium to  document the city's  expanding underground culture. "We were interested in certain decadent aspects of America, the phenomena of the time—underground rock and roll, homosexual theater, and the rest of the illegitimate culture. In the same way, we were curious about more puritanical concepts of art inspired by [Marshall] McLuhan and Buckminster Fuller. It seemed a strange and unified front—against the establishment." In 1971, with Andreas Mannik, the Vasulkas founded The Kitchen as a media arts theater. In the same year, Steina and Woody organized "A Special Videotape Show" at the Whitney Museum and established the first annual video festival at The Kitchen. Working with skillful and innovative engineers, the Vasulkas invented and modified video production instruments for use in performances and installations as well as single-channel tapes. They were among the first wave of artists to participate in the residency programs offered through the public television labs. Steina has explored the use of sound in creating and altering video signals (Violin Power, 1969-78) and the orchestration of video in an installation context. In 1975, while teaching at the Center for Media Study in Buffalo, NY, she began Machine Vision, a "continuing investigation of space via machine systems and electronic images."

Woody Vasulka Born in Brno, Czechoslovakia in 1937, Woody Vasulka studied metal technology and hydraulic mechanics at the School of Engineering in Brno and filmmaking at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. In 1965, he emigrated to New York City with his wife, Steina. Working as a multi-screen film editor and designer, he began experimenting with electronic sound, stroboscopic light, and video. "There are various motives for people who stumble into video. In some cases, it was pure accident; in some cases, it was hope. In my case, I had been in things I couldn't work with. I was in film, and I couldn't do anything with it. … When I first saw video feedback, I knew I had seen the cave fire. It had nothing to do with anything, just a perpetuation of some kind of energy…" Moving to Buffalo, New York in 1974, he taught at the Center for Media Study at the State University, and continued his investigation of the machinery behind the electronic signal. After working with the Rutt/Etra Scan Processor, Vasulka collaborated with Don MacArthur and Jeffrey Schier in 1976 to build a computer controlled personal imaging facility called The Digital Image Articulator. Vasulka wrote articles about video's particular electronic vocabulary that were published in Afterimage.

http://www.artscilab.org

Steina and Woody Vasulka Steina and Woody Vasulka are pioneers who have contributed to the evolution of video art. The Vasulkas' investigations into analog and digital processes and their development of electronic imaging tools, which began in the early 1970s, place them among the primary architects of an expressive electronic vocabulary of image-making. They chart the evolving formulation of a syntax of electronic imaging as they articulate a processual dialogue between artist and technology.

Participation  1969-1971, 62:30 min, b&w, sound
Sketches  1970, 24:23 min, b&w, sound
Red Roses  1970, b&w
Let it be  1970, b&w
The Kiss  1970, b&w
Charles' Story  1970, b&w
Alfons  1970, b&w
Thierry  1970, b&w
Gundance  1970, b&w
Studies  1970-71, 21:53 min, b&w and color, sound
Interface
Discs
Calligrams
Tissues
Descends
Decay I
Decay II
Golden Voyage  1973, 27:37 min, color, sound
Home  1973, 16:47 min, color, sound
Steina and Woody Vasulka: Selected Works I  1974, 30:30 min, color, sound
Solo for 3  4:15 min, color, sound
Reminiscence  1974, 4:48 min, color, sound
Soundgated Images  9:22 min, color,sound
Noisefields  12:05 min, color, sound
Steina and Woody Vasulka: Selected Works II  1974, 21:57 min, color, sound
Heraldic view 1974, 4:21 min, color, sound
1-2-3-4  7:46 min, color, sound
Soundsize  4:40 min, color, sound
Telc  1974, 5:10 min, color, sound
Vasulka Video  1978, 173 min, b&w and color, sound
Transformations  1978, 28:50 min, b&w and color, sound
Vocabulary  1978, 28:50 min, b&w and color, sound
Matrix  1978, 28:50 min, b&w and color, sound
Steina  1978, 28:50 min, b&w and color, sound
Objects  1978, 28:50 min, b&w and color, sound
Digital Images  1978, 28:50 min, b&w and color, sound
In Search of the Castle...  1981, 9:29 min, color, sound
Progeny  1981, 18:28 min, color, sound
In the Land of the Elevator Girls  1989, 4 min, color, sound
Binary Lives, 1997, 43 min, color, sound

http://www.vasulka.org
http://www.artscilab.org/VasulkaArchive.html
http://www.fondation-langlois.org/e/collection/vasulka/archives/index.html

Publié dans Biographies

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