Steina: Machine Vision (1978–)

21 November 2020, dusan

An electro-opto-mechanical environment by Steina, with instrumentation by Josef Krames, Woody Vasulka, and Bruce Hamilton. First shown at the Vasulkas exhibition at Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, NY, 1978.

“When a human being operates the camera, the assumption is that the camera is an extension of the eye. You move the camera the way you move the head and the body. In video, unlike photography or film, the viewfinder is not necessarily an integral part of the camera apparatus. … In the late 1970s, I began a series of environments titled Machine Vision and Allvision, with a mirrored sphere. Another variation has a motorized moving mirror in front of the camera so that depending on the horizontal or vertical positioning of the mirror, the video monitor displays a continuous pan or tilt either back/forth or up/down. A third variation is a continuous rotation through a turning prism, while still another has a zoom lens in continuing motion, in/out. These automatic motions simulate all possible camera movements freeing the human eye from being the central point of the universe.” (Steina)

Recorded at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, 1994/1995

Artist statement and documentation (artist’s website archive with restored videos)

WEBM (42 MB)

Chris Robé: Breaking the Spell: A History of Anarchist Filmmakers, Videotape Guerrillas, and Digital Ninjas (2017)

18 November 2020, dusan

Breaking the Spell offers the first full-length study that charts the historical trajectory of anarchist-inflected video activism from the late 1960s to the present. Two predominant trends emerge from this social movement-based video activism: 1) anarchist-inflected processes increasingly structure its production, distribution, and exhibition practices; and 2) video does not simply represent collective actions and events, but also serves as a form of activist practice in and of itself from the moment of recording to its later distribution and exhibition. Video plays an increasingly important role among activists in the growing global resistance against neoliberal capitalism. As various radical theorists have pointed out, subjectivity itself becomes a key terrain of struggle as capitalism increasingly structures and mines it through social media sites, cell phone technology, and new “flexible” work and living patterns. As a result, alternative media production becomes a central location where new collective forms of subjectivity can be created to challenge aspects of neoliberalism.

Chris Robé’s book fills in historical gaps by bringing to light unexplored video activist groups like the Cascadia Forest Defenders, eco-video activists from Eugene, Oregon; Mobile Voices, Latino day laborers harnessing cell phone technology to combat racism and police harassment in Los Angeles; and Outta Your Backpack Media, indigenous youth from the Southwest who use video to celebrate their culture and fight against marginalization. This groundbreaking study also deepens our understanding of more well-researched movements like AIDS video activism, Paper Tiger Television, and Indymedia by situating them within a longer history and wider context of radical video activism.”

Publisher PM Press, Oakland, CA, 2017
ISBN 9781629632339, 1629632333
x+469 pages

Interview with author: The New Architects (video, 2017, 43 min).
Reviews: Beth Geglia (Interface, 2017), Franklin Lopez (Fifth Estate, 2017), Patricia R. Zimmerman (Jump Cut, 2018), Allan Atliff (Anarchist Studies, 2017).

Author
Publisher
WorldCat

PDF (16 MB)
Academia.edu (author)

Vasulka Kitchen Cooking Reader (2020) [Czech]

28 October 2020, dusan

“This collection of texts is being published either relatively early, or perhaps a bit late: about one year after the colloquium Art Works from the Digital Era in Galleries and Museums. Since then, unexpected events have altered our course, reframing our thinking about the overlap between art, time, entropy, duration and disappearance, and perhaps adding a greater sense of urgency than it had one year ago.

The colloquium was organized to celebrate the the first anniversary of the opening of the Vašulka Kitchen Brno: Center for New Media. The organizers discussed topics with colleagues from the Brno House of Arts and the National Film Archive in Prague, hoping to promote thinking about the state and fate of art works of an “unstable“ nature, especially within the context of Czech collections, galleries, and museums. The objective was to establish contact, and to potentially cooperate with similar initiatives in Central Europe. During the two‑day meeting, the contributions mostly touched on the orientation of artistic and expert initiatives and institutions which were already focused on this issue, or were planning to turn their attention to it. In addition to contributions from Czechia, Vasulka Kitchen also welcomed contributors from the Netherlands, Germany, France, Norway, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland and the United States, who shared their experiences of and opinions on the topic.

This publication is dedicated to the memory of Woody Bohuslav Vašulka.”

With English introduction and abstracts.

With contributions by Flóra Barkóczi, Dušan Barok, Martin Blažíček, Vannevar Bush, Lenka Dolanová, Kateřina Drajsajtlová, Jakub Frank, Joey Heinen, Jana Horáková, Erkki Huhtamo, Vít Janeček, Michal Klodner, Barbora Kundračíková, Štěpán Miklánek, Gustav Metzger, Anna Olszewska, Kryštof Pešek, Miklós Peternák, Pavel Sikora, Matěj Strnad, Barbora Šedivá, Miloš Vojtěchovský, Peter Weibel, Gaby Wijers, and Gene Youngblood.

Edited and with an Introduction by Miloš Vojtěchovský
Publisher Vašulka Kitchen Brno, Brno, October 2020
Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 4.0 License
ISBN 9788090776333
253 pages

Review: Lukáš Pilka (Flash Art CZ/SK, 2021, CZ).

Colloquium
Publisher

PDF (77 MB, updated on 2020-11-28)