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Lanterna Magika

Lanterna Magika 2002
Lanterna magika : new technologies in Czech art of the 20th century. — Paris : Espace Electra, 2002. — 261 p. — ISBN 8086217361.

Catalogue published for the exhibition Lanterna Magika: New Technologies in Czech Art of the 20th Century, Espace Electra, Paris, France, October 26, 2002 to January 19, 2003, organized by Camille Morineau and Vit Havránek as part of the event Bohemia Magica, une saison tchèque en France.

For this group show, organizers Camille Morineau and Vit Havránek brought together samples of work by groundbreaking Czech artists (Zdenek Pešánek, Frank Malina, Zdenek Sykora, Josef Svoboda, Woody Vasulka) who have relied heavily on analog technological components. The work by these pioneers was juxtaposed with projects by members of a new generation (Michael Bielicky, Federico Diaz, Petra Vargová, Floex) who are exploring the potential of new digital media.

The publication includes texts by the organizers; an essay by Ségolène Le Men on the magic lantern invented in the 17th century that inspired Zdenek Pešánek and Josef Svoboda; a timeline on media arts in the Czech Republic since 1920; and contributions by writers on the career path and approach of each participating artist (Jiri Zemánek on Zdenek Pešánek; Frank Popper on Frank J. Malina; Vit Havránek on Zdenek Sykora and Josef Svoboda; Jan Grossmann on Josef Svoboda; Milòs Vojtechovsky on Woody Vasulka; Marta Smoliková on Michael Bielicky; Camille Morineau and Vit Havránek on Federico Diaz; Camille Morineau on Petra Vargová; and Vit Havránek on Floex). The articles on the pioneering artists stress their contribution to defining new means of displaying moving images and their involvement in such 20th-century trends as kinetic sculpture and light art. For example, one article looks at Josef Svoboda's multi-screen film environments and interactive projection devices presented at the world's fairs in Brussels (1958) and Montreal (1967). Another article examines the video essays produced by Woody Vasulka since the seventies that have explored the formal characteristics of electronic images. The articles on the new generation of Czech artists define their work in the wake of media arts emerging in the eighties and nineties such as interactive video installations, Web art and network art. The publication also includes interviews and republished texts by the artists, along with biographical notes, lists of events, and bibliographies.

Vincent Bonin © 2003 FDL