Steina and Woody Vasulka, Participation.

Steina and Woody Vasulka, Manipulating Video Media since the 1960s

Steina Vasulka, Bad, 2:04 minutes.

Woody Vasulka, The Commission.

Woody Vasulka, The Commission.

Woody Vasulka, The Commission.

 

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
4525 Oak Street
816-751-1278
Kansas City
Atkins Auditorium
Electromediascope Fall 2009
Selected Works
of Steina and Woody Vasulka

September 11-September 25, 2009
September 11, 18 and 25
All programs begin at 7 p.m.

The art scene in New York City during the mid-1960s and early 1970s was one of social fermentation where dialogs between artists of all kinds were breaking down barriers between disciplines, and new audiences for many forms of contemporary art and culture were emerging.

During this time the Vasulkas began experimenting with real time video image manipulation including audio modulations of the live video signal. Since then their work has continued to be innovative in terms of the history of video art, but more importantly, the body of work they have produced collaboratively and as individual artists has played a significant role in the development of what is now being charted as the broader field of electronic (new) media.

Steina’s many video works are beautiful examples of her sustained experimentation over many years with analog and digital signal processing and aspects of machine vision. Her videos take many forms including single-channel and multiple monitor works, projection environments, non-narrative database sequencing and the use of electromechanical-kinetic optical apparatus.

Woody Vasulka’s early studies of signal processing explored unique ways of encoding displacement functions in relation to video raster topologies of the human face. Through the use of electronics, optics, engineering and computer programming he has produced new forms of media constructions including hybrid automata and electromechanical systems that explore cultural and psychological aspects of human interaction with advanced military technology and the subjectivity of war machines.

Electromediascope is co-curated by Patrick Clancy, professor and chair, Photography and Digital Filmmaking, at the Kansas City Art Institute, and artist Gwen Widmer. They were honored recently by the KC FilmFest with an award for the series, which began in 1993. At the Nelson-Atkins, they work with Jan Schall, the Sanders Sosland Curator, Modern & Contemporary Art, and Leesa Fanning, Associate Curator, Modern & Contemporary Art.

The artists are respected as important creators of contemporary art. “Steina’s many video works are beautiful examples of her sustained experimentation over many years with analog and digital signal processing and aspects of machine vision,” Clancy said. “Woody Vasulka’s early studies of signal processing explored unique ways of encoding displacement functions in relation to video raster topologies of the human face. This led to the development of syntax for signal modification that supported psychological aspects of electronic images.”

September 11 – Videos by Steina and Woody Vasulka. Two works will be shown: Participation by the Vasulkas, which is an assemblage of short videos shot with an early Portapak that documents the wildly creative downtown New York art and music scenes in the late 1960s and early 70s, and The Commission, by Woody Vasulka, a hybrid video with camera, non-camera, processed and computer generated images shown on DVD.

September 18 – Videos by Steina. Ten, short works; the shortest, Bad, is 2:04 minutes and the longest, Orbital Obsessions, is 24:10 minutes.

September 25 – An Evening with Steina and Woody Vasulka. Two works will be shown: Studies for Brotherhood by the Vasulkas, which is a 1980s and 90s video documentation of narrative experiments shown on DVD, and Brotherhood – 6 Media Constructions, by Woody Vasulka, which is a 1990s and ongoing video documentation of narrative experiments shown on DVD. The Vasulkas will be available for commentary and interchange with the audience.

Steina Vasulka, Orbital Obsessions, 24:10 minutes.