Nam June Paik. Having established these two points, one could chart an axis along which other artists could be placed.  However, as closer scrutiny of the Vasulkas' work clearly demonstrates, such a dichotomy does not hold.  In spite of the formalist implications of what they have done, they have also suggested how some of the imaging practices might be used to challenge representational conventions.  In the next article, I will discuss other artists' work in relation to the flip side of the modernist coin - expressionism.



1 David Bienstock, program notes for "A Special Videotape Show," Whitney Museum of American Art, 1971.

2 Sherry Miller, "Electronic Video lmage Processing: Notes toward a Definition," Exposure, Vol. 21, No. I (1983), p. 22.

3 Maureen Turim, "Process Video," in The Electronic Gallery,

exhibition catalogue (Binghamton, N.Y.: University Art Gallery, State University of New York, 1983).

4 Ibid., n.p.

5 Interview with the author, June 22, 1983.

6 Johanna Gill, Video: State of the Art (New York: Rockefeller Foundation, 1976), p. 46.

7 Except where otherwise noted, all quotes from Woody Vasulka are from interviews with the author, March 18, 1983.

8 Jonas Mekas, "On New Directions, On Anti-Art, On the Old and the New in Art," The Village Voice, Nov. 11, 1965; reprinted in Movie Journal (New York: Macmillan Co., 1972), p. 208.

9 Jonas Mekas, "On the Plastic Inevitables and the Strobe Light," Ibid., p. 242.

10 Marshall McLuhan, Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man (New York: Signet Books, 1964), p. 36.

11 Ibid., p. 19.

12 Jonathan Miller, Marshal McLuhan (New York: Viking Press, 1971), p. 6.

13 Raymond Williams, Television: Technology and Cultural Form (New York: Schocken Books, 1974), p. 127.

14 See, for example, Mekas's description of a piece by Gerd Stern with Jud Yalkut and Brian Peterson at the Filmmakers Cinematheque, Movie Journal, p. 215; also his description of a multi-monitor display at Global Village, Movie Journal, p. 360. 

15  Charles Hagen, "A Syntax of Binary Images: An Interview with Woody Vasulka" Afterimage, Vol. 6, Nos. 1 &2 (Summer 1978), p. 20.

16 Gill, p. 46.

17 Except where otherwise noted, all quotes from Steina Vasulka are from interviews with the author, February 1982; March 19, 1983; and Aug. 28,1983.

18 David L. Shirey, "Video Art Turns to Abstract Imagery," New York Times, July 4, 1972, p. 6.

19 Rent for the first year was covered by $8,000 the Vasulkas received from the New York State Council on the Arts.  Because by law NYSCA cannot fund artists directly, all projects are funded through non-profit organizations.  According to NYSCA records, the Vasulkas - as a part of the group Perception - were funded in 1971-72 through Howard Wise's Intermix (later called Electronic Arts Intermix).  Besides the Vasulkas, Perception originally included Eric Siegel and Vince Novak.  The following year, still under the Intermix umbrella, they formed Vasulka Video as a way of getting funding for their tool development.  Perception expanded to include Juan Downey, Frank Gillette, Beryl Korot, Andy Mann, Ira Schneider, as well as Gillette and Siegal.

20 Shirey, op. cit.

21 Among the new music composers and performers were Laurie Spiegel, Jacob Druckman, Emmanual Ghent, Phill Niblock, Frederick Rzewski, Gordon Mumma, Alvin Lucier, Tom Johnson, Charles Madden, and Charles Dodge.

22 In addition to the Vasulkas and Chatham, other "cooks in The Kitchen" - as they were initially called - were Dimitri Devyatkin, a video artist who, with George Chaiken, organized a computer video festival; Shridhar Bapat, a video artist who organized a video festival with Susan Milano and Steina in July 1972; Michael Tschudin, rock musician, composer, and founder of the Midnight Opera Company, a rock band that played on weekends.  Also involved in music programming were Jim Burton and Bob Steams, who became director of The Kitchen in the summer of 1973.

23 Gill, p. 48.

24 Hagen, p. 20.

25 "The Vasulkas," Cantrills Filmnotes, No. 13, (April 1973); quoted in the program notes for "Video Art Review," a series of I 8 programs presented by Anthology Film Archives, March I 981.

26 Gill, p. 47.

27 Ibid.

28 An example of this influence is found in a NYSCA grant proposal by Perception after the Vasulkas formed Vasulka Video.  Describing the group's multi-channel projects, it said: "Through the application of sybernetic [sic] principles, multi-channel systems demonstrate in microcosm, the future posture of global communication."

29 From a talk given at the Museum of Modern Art in the "Video Viewpoints" series, 1978.

30 Woody Vasulka and Scott Nygren, "Didactic Video: Organizational Models of the Electronic Image," Afterimage, Vol. 3, No. 4 (October 1975), p. 9.

31 Gill, p. 49.

32 Ibid., p. 50.

33 Hagen, p.23.

34 Quoted in program notes for "Video Art Review," Anthology Film Archives, March 1981.

35 From program notes for exhibition at The Kitchen, 1978-79.

36 Unpublished paper by Robert Haller.

37 At the Experimental Television Center, then in Binghamton, N.Y., Ralph Hocking and Sherry Miller began to discuss the possibility with MacArthur and Wright in 1975.  The original plan was for the Center and the Vasulkas to get the same computer and develop compatible software.  This proved to be less realistic than originally thought, and the Center opted for a less software dependent system.

38 Hagen, p. 21.

39 Christian Metz, "Some Points on the Semiotics of the Cinema," from Film Language; reprinted in Film Theory and Criticism, edited by Gerald Mast and Marshall Cohen (New York: Oxford University Press, 1974), p. 103.

40 Ibid., p. 106.

41 Hagen, p. 21.



Steina and Woody Vasulka

Sketches (1970) 27 min., black and white.

Calligrams (1970) 12 min., black and white.

Sexmachine (1970) 6 min., black and white.

Tissues (1970) 6 min., black and white.

Jackie Curtis First Television Special (1970) 45 min., black and white.

Don Cherry (1970) 12 min., color.  Co-produced with Elaine Milosh.

Decay # 1 (1970) 7 min., color.

Decay #2 (1970) 7 min., color.

Evolution (1970) 16 min., black and white.

Discs (1971) 6 min., black and white.

Shapes (1971) 13 min., black and white.

Black Sunrise (1971) 21 min., color.

Keysnow (1971) 12 min., color.

Elements (1971) 9 min., color.

Spaces 1 (1972) 15 min., black and white.

Distant Activities (1972) 6 min., color.

Spaces 2 (1972) 15 min., black and white.

Soundprints (1972) endless loops, color.

Home (1973) 17 min., color.

Golden Voyage (1973) 29 min., color.

Vocabulary (1973) 6 min., color.

Noisefields (1974) 13 min., color.

1-2-3-4 (1974) 8 min., color.

Solo for 3 (1974) 5 min., color.

Heraldic View (1974) 5 min., color.

Telc (1974) 5 min., color.

Soundgated Images (1974) 1 0 min., color.

Soundsize (1974) 5 min., color.

Update (1977) 30 min., color.

Update (1978) 30 min., color.

Six Programs for Television (1979): Matrix, Vocabulary, Transformations, Objects, Steina, Digital Images, each 29 min., color.

In Search of the Castle (1981) 12 min., color.

Progeny (1981), with Bradford Smith, 19 min., color.

Steina Vasulka

From Cheektowaga to Tonawanda (1975) 36 min., color.

Signifying Nothing (1975) 15 min., black and white.

Sound and Fury (1975) 15 min., black and white.

Switch!  Monitor!  Drift! (1976) 50 min., black and white.

Snowed Tapes (1977) 15 min., black and white.

Land of Timoteus (1976) 15 min., color.

Flux (1977) 15 min., color.

Violin Power (1978) 10 min., color.

Cantaloup (1980) 28 min., color.

Urban Episodes (1980) 9 min., color.

Selected Treecuts (1980) 10 min., color.

ExOr (1980) 4 min., color.

Summer Salt (1982) 18 min., color.

Woody Vasulka

Explanation (1974) 12 min., color.

Reminiscence (1974) 5 min., color.

C-Trend (1974) 10 min., color.

The Matter (1974) 4 min., color.

Artifacts (1980) 22 min., color.

The Commission (1983) 45min., color.


Steina and Woody Vasulka

Tissues (1970) two channels, black and white.

Soundprints (1971) two channels, black and white.

The West # 1 (1972) three channels, black and white.

The West #2 (1983) two channels, color.

Steina Vasulka

Machine Vision (variations, 1975-83).

Switch!  Monitor!  Drift! (1976).

Frames from The Commission (1983), by Woody Vasulka.