November 16, 2003: 7 pm
About the artists and their work:
Beck, Stephen. "Video Weavings," 1976.
Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.
Video Weavings, Stephen Beck, 1976, 9min, video
A pioneer in video technology and image processing, artist and engineer Stephen Beck developed one of the first video synthesizers - the Beck Direct Video Synthesizer. Designed in 1969, this device electronically fused moving color imagery with recorded visual material in real time. Video Weavings has a straightforward resemblance to a traditional textile, resulting from the scanning nature of CRT video, which moves first horizontally, then vertically - just like the warp and weft of the traditional loom. A 1973 edition of Variety magazine reported that "Beck's video weavings, video images that look like originally designed rugs, have caught the attention of an Italian rug company, which is hoping to link Beck's synthesizer to a loom for actual rug production."
Veil, Joan Jonas/Richard Serra, 1971, 6min, video
Joan Jonas is an acclaimed multi-media performance artist and a major figure in video art. Made in collaboration with Richard Serra and inspired by Kenneth Anger's 1949 film Puce Moment, Veil is a performance work in which Jonas refers to the cinematic device of the "wipe." Jonas suggests this effect not with technology, but through her performance action; she uses notions of masking and costume to achieve formal resonance.
Textiles and Ornamental Arts of India, Charles and Ray Eames, 1955, 11min, video
The husband and wife design team of Charles and Ray Eames are famous for low-cost furniture designs. The most celebrated of their forms is the "DAX" armchair (1948), one of a group of shell chairs that could be attached to a variety of bases; the chair won second place in MoMA's 1948 "Low-Cost Furniture Design" competition. Their film Textiles and Ornamental Arts of India uses displays from an exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1955 to explore the texture of hand-woven Indian garments.
Kusama's Self-Obliteration, Yayoi Kusama / Jud Yalkut, 1967, 24min, 16 mm
Jud Yalkut participated in seminal moments of underground film and video art. In 1965 he became a resident filmmaker for USCO, a countercultural collective. In the 1960's and 70's, he collaborated with Nam June Paik on a series of video-film pieces in which he used the medium of film to document performances, and, through editing and juxtaposition, to create conversations between film and video. Kusama's Self-Obliteration is a film exploration of the work and aesthetic concepts of Yayoi Kusama; painter, sculptor, and environmentalist. According to Yalkut, Kusama's Self-Obliteration was conceived and edited as "a portrait of the artist and her work of two decades, and a progressively involving and engrossing experience that could possibly project the viewer into the screen."
Scotch Tape, Jack Smith, 1959/62, 3min, 16 mm
Jack Smith was a playwright, filmmaker, photographer, performer, and one of the original members of the New American Cinema group of the early 1960s. Scotch Tape was Smith's first released film, and was named after the piece of tape that was caught in the camera. The film was shot in 1959, during a shooting session organized for Ken Jacobs's film Star Spangled to Death. Jacobs had brought Smith, Jerry Sims and Reese Haire to a building site where Lincoln Center now stands, and Smith borrowed Jacobs's camera to film him and the others dancing among the rubble.
Nicolson, Annabel. "Slides," 1971.
Courtesy the Lux Centre, London
Slides, Annabel Nicholson, 1971, 14min, 16 mm
Annabel Nicolson is a British filmmaker and one of the first women to become involved in the London Filmmakers Co-op. Her performance based, hand altered films exemplify the British craft-based tradition of art-making. "Slides was made while I was still a student at St.Martins. By that time I was immersed in film and I always seemed to have bits of film around in my room, on the table, everywhere, always little fragments. I had slides of my paintings and I cut up the slides and made them into a strip. Imagine a 16mm strip of celluloid with sprocket holes: Instead of that what I had was a strip - just slightly narrower - without the sprocket holes and the slides were just cut into bits, just little fragments and stuck in with other film as well, and also sewing. There are bits sewn with thread and some bits with holes punched in." (Annabel Nicolson, interview with Mark Webber, 2002)
Concept: Sabrina Gschwandtner
Thanks to Ocularis, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), Joan Jonas, Richard Serra, Joel Schlemowitz, and the Eames office for their kind support in making this program possible.