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Sounding Images #2: Steina – Early Video Harmonics at Acud / Tuesday, 30.08.2016

The series SOUNDING IMAGES focuses on different approaches to documenting and visualizing musical performances, scenes and movements as well as close collaborations between filmmakers and composers, including soundtracks.

The aim of it is to open up a wide range of perspectives on the interrelation of music, experimental filmmaking, and video art, including issues regarding race, class, sexuality and gender. Invited guests will discuss selected works and a short introduction to each screening will provide background information, sometimes a Q&A will follow. For SOUNDING IMAGES 02, Alena J. Williams, art historian and curator, has selected early video works by Steina dedicated to the use of sound.


In 1965, STEINA, an Icelandic musician formally trained as a violinist, emigrated to the United States, landing in New York City with her husband Woody Vasulka, a Czechoslavakian filmmaker. After purchasing their first Portapak camera and attending Howard Wise Gallery’s seminal TV as a Creative Medium exhibition in 1969, the Vasulkas shot scores of footage in public spaces, taping live events and musical performances in concert halls, drag clubs, and Washington Square Park.

They began working with sound and images, manipulating the video apparatus with the Rutt/Etra Scan Processor, phase shifters, and modulators. Introducing static, error, delay, and noise into the field of representation, the Vasulkas sought to open up video to unstable states, reflecting both technical exploration and a radical aesthetic critique.


Sharing their tapes with friends, along with Nam June Paik and Ira Schneider, in their loft on 14th Street, these sessions served as an informal open studio, which developed into The Kitchen—an experimental electronic media space that opened in 1971 in the kitchen of the Mercer Arts Center’s abandoned and re-outfitted hotel space—where works in progress were shared and live performances took place.

Steina now lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her work has been shown at the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; The Jonson Gallery, University of New Mexico Art Museum, Albuquerque; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. This screening curated by Alena J. Williams will focus on Steina’s work in sound within the context of the Vasulkas’ larger project of sound and image processing.

Sounding Images #2: Steina – Early Video Harmonics

Tuesday, 30th August 2016 | 19:30 CET
Acud Macht Neu! | Veteranenstr. 21 | 10119 Berlin/Mitte



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