Sleppa leiğarkerfi.

Steina Vasulka

Steina, together with husband and collaborator, Woody Vasulka, is a key artist in the development of video technology and its use in the creation of moving image artworks. Steina is one of the most distinguished video artists working in the world today. Born in Iceland, she is a classically trained violinist who played with the Iceland National Orchestra.

Steina was born as Steinunn Briem Bjarnadottir in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1940. She studied violin and music theory. In 1959 she received a scholarship from the Czechoslovak Ministry of Culture to attend the music conservatory in Prague.There she met Woody Vasulka. They married a few years later and moved to New York. Steina worked as a freelance musician and Woody as a multiscreen film editor, experimenting with electronic sounds, stroboscopic lights, and, by 1969, with video. In 1971 they founded, in cooperation with Andreas Mannik, The Kitchen, a media arts theater. The same year, Steina and Woody established the first annual video festival at The Kitchen. Later they organized a special - and one of the first - videotape show at the Whitney Museum.


In these early years, Steina and Woody collaborated extensively on investigations into the nature of electronic video and sound, and produced documentaries about theater, dance, and music, with a special fascination for the New York underground scene. In 1974, the Vasulkas moved to Buffalo, where they joined the faculty of the Center for Media Study at the State University of New York. At this point, their interest diverged: Woody turned his attention to the Rutt/Etra Scan Processor, while Steina experimented with the camera as an autonomous imaging instrument in what would become the Machine Vision series. In 1976, working first with Don MacArthur and then Jeffrey Schier, Woody began to build the Digital Image Articulator. This device introduced him to the principles of digital imaging.

Steina Vasulka
Orka, 1997

A projected video environment

 #4 [August 2005]


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Since 1980, the Vasulkas have lived and worked in Santa Fe, New Mexico (USA), where Steina has continued her work in video, media performance, and video installation. Woody has continued to produce work in video, three-dimensional computer graphics, and media constructions. In 1992, the Vasulkas organized Eigenwelt der Apparate-Welt: Pioneers of Electronic Art, an exhibition of early electronic tools for Ars Electronica, Linz, Austria.

Individually and collectively, they have received funding from several international councils and institutions; just this summer Steina received an award from CIA.IS - Center for Icelandic Art. For the Venice Biennial in 1997 where she represented Iceland she developed the audiovisual environment "Orka".

The website of the Vasulkas is an impressing and profound database of their work and their lives.





See: Interview with Steina in this issue
and the artist's website:

Steina Vasulka
Bent Scans, 2002

Life interactive environment









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