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Steina and Woody Vasulka

Black Sunrise, 1971

Steina and Woody Vasulka, Black Sunrise, 1971
In another segment of Matrix I, Black Sunrise, the sound again comes solely from the video signal, which has been interfaced with a sound synthesizer. Together, "image" and "sound" are the structural expressions of video noise, which I consider a matrix phenomenon in the broader sense of media discourse. My argument is, first of all, based on the assumption that in all video the raw material is "noise" - a term borrowed from audio. Noise is the electronic energy of video signals from which any form of expression arises. Noise is video's potential: its information being an unstructured, formless matrix. (1)

Yvonne Spielmann © 2004 FDL

(1) In his essay for the catalog of the exhibition Video / Sonority: Video Born of Noise, held at the National Gallery of Canada (Ottawa, Canada) in 1994, Jean Gagnon states that the "formless entity known as noise" is the "raw material" for video artists and signifies a new media condition that video shares with music, but not with other visual media. "For the first time in art history, visual forms were being created by methods closer to those employed in music than in painting, sculpture, or even cinema. From this point on, technology would have the capacity to generate visual forms, bringing about a relationship between image and image-maker characterized by instrumentation and the directness of instrumental creation." Jean Gagnon, Video / Sonority: Video Born of Noise (Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada,1994) p.4 forward.