Steina and Woody Vasulka

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Steina (right) and Woody Vasulka

Steina Vasulka (born Steinunn Briem Bjarnadottir in 1940)[1] and Woody Vasulka (born 1937) are early adopters of video art, having practiced in the genre since its early days in the late 1960s.[2]

Steina was born in Reykjavík, Iceland and trained as a classical musician before receiving a scholarship at the Prague Conservatory in 1959. Woody was born in Brno, now in the Czech Republic and trained as an engineer before studying television and film production at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. The couple met in the early 1960s and moved to New York City in 1965, where they pioneered the showing of video art at the Whitney Museum and founded The Kitchen in 1971. Since 1980 they have been based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

While pursuing his studies in the fifties, Woody Vasulka wrote poetry and produced short films. After arriving in the United States, he began making independent documentaries and also edited industrial films at Harvey Lloyd Productions in New York City. The following year, at the request of architects Woods and Ramirez, he collaborated on developing films designed for a multi-screen environment to be shown in the American Pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal. In 1968, Woody Vasulka conducted his first experiments with images made with electronics and put aside cinematographic form in favour of video.

In 2006, a publication Vasulka Lab 1969-2005 was commissioned by Birmingham-based arts organisation VIVID. Fully illustrated Vasulka Lab is an essential document of the Vasulkas' extensive and varied practice. Featuring the Vasulkas in conversation with Don Foresta, essays by Chris Meigh-Andrews and Yasmeen Baig-Clifford, Curator of Vasulka Lab and director of VIVID.

They have collaborated with Harald Bode (posthumously).[3] In 2014 the Vasulkas take part at exhibition 'The Invisible Force Behind.' at Imai – inter media art institute[4] within Quadriennale Dusseldorf.[5]

On the 16th of October 2014, the Vasulka Chamber was opened in the National Gallery of Iceland in collaboration with Steina and Woody Vasulka, where some of their archive will be kept and their videos are on display. see more on www.listasafn.is

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