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Workshops with Yvonne Spielmann

The experimental video work of the Vasulkas in light of media developments in the 70's, 80's and in the present time

Workshops with Yvonne Spielmann
Electronic art pioneers, Steina and Woody Vasulka have played a vital role in developing a formal vocabulary specific to electronic and digital images. Their work extends over three decades - from their early experiments with analog image processing in the seventies to the exploration of digital coding at the end of this decade and later on in the eighties and nineties. In their work, the role of video as technology marked the emergence of so-called new media, namely interactive, immersive and hybrid media.

The aim of these workshops is to explain the role played by the Vasulkas in the history of video to students who are interested in media arts and media theories, but are not necessarily knowledgeable about the importance of the Vasulkas. The workshops consist in three lecture-format presentations, surveying the theoretical and aesthetical issues related to the Vasulkas' work respectively in the 70s, 80s and 90s.

The Vasulkas' approaches to video are discussed as an exploration of new technology and a new medium in the broader framework of previous and parallel developments in media arts. Their video work is addressed in the context of other media (in particular, music, performance, film, and television), providing an understanding of the different approaches suggested by the use of video. Focusing on the contributions made by the Vasulkas in defining the aesthetic aspects of video, the workshops also include an analysis of similar strategies as showcased in the work of various video practitioners (for instance Nam June Paik and David Larcher). Excerpts from videotapes, images of installations by the Vasulkas and related artists, as well as documentation retrieved from the collection of the Center for Research and Documentation, are presented in conjunction with the presentations and discussions.

Yvonne Spielmann © 2005 FDL