Monday, February 14, 2011

Steina & Woody Vasulka Visiting Artists

Steina and Woody Vasulka
Visiting Artist Public Events
February 14-25, 2011

eMAD & Digital Media Studies Programs
School of Art & Art History
University of Denver

Steina Vasulka: Hamilton Visiting Artist
Woody Vasulka: Marsico Visiting Artist

Schedule of Public Events:
Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 7-8:30PM
Steina Vasulka
Logan Lecture
Denver Art Museum
Sharp Auditorium
Reservations: call 720.913.0150

Thursday, February 17, 2011, 11AM-noon
Steina and Woody Vasulka
Roundtable forum “ Keeping New Media Alive”
The Cloud, C-cubed Studios, 2nd Floor, Shwayder Art Building
University of Denver
2121 East Asbury Avenue

Monday, February 21, 2010, 7-8:30PM
Woody Vasulka
Lecture, “Image to Object”
Hypercube, C-cubed Studios, 2nd Floor, Shwayder Art Building
University of Denver
2121 East Asbury Avenue
Reception to follow

Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 7 -8:30PM
Steina Vasulka
Performance, “Violin Power”
Hypercube, C-cubed Studios, 2nd Floor, Shwayder Art Building
University of Denver
2121 East Asbury Avenue
NOTE: there is limited seating for this performance event
RSVP by 2/21/11 to tweaver2[at] for access
Reception to follow

Born in Iceland and trained as a violinist, Steinunn Briem Bjarnadottir (Steina) is a major figure, considered legendary, in the field of electronic and video art. She received a scholarship in 1959 to study at the Prague Conservatory, where she met Woody Vasulka. They married in 1964 and moved to New York in 1965, where she worked as a freelance musician. She started using video in 1969, and embraced it wholeheartedly when she discovered that, with it, she could control the movement of time. In 1971, along with Woody Vasulka and Andres Mannik, she founded The Kitchen, a performance space devoted to electronic media.

Her collaborative work with Woody in that period was remarkable for its interworking of audio and video signals. The goal of these phenomenological exercises was to explore the essence of the electronic image and sound. Steina's installations often involved electronically manipulated visual and acoustic landscapes. For example, the installation Orka, shown at Iceland's pavilion at the 1997 Venice Biennale, juxtaposed two transformative natural forces - water and fire - which, in their various manifestations (volcanic eruptions, waterfalls, glaciers), reveal the workings of time. In 1991, she undertook a series of interactive performances with a MIDI violin, which let her generate video images as she played (Violin Power). In tandem with Woody, she was awarded the 1992 Maya Deren Prize and, in 1995, the Siemens Media Art prize. In 1992. Her installations and videos have been shown throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Since 1980, the Vasulkas have been based in Santa
Fe, New Mexico.

Born in Brno, Czech Republic, Woody Vasulka studied film in Prague. He made several documentaries before relocating to the United States in 1965 with his wife Steina. He then worked as editor on a number of film projects, and experimented with electronic sound and strobe light. In 1969, dissatisfied with film, he started using video.

With Steina, he worked to explore the nature of electronic image and sound, and directed several documentaries on the New York City avant-garde, and more specifically the theatre, dance and music produced at that time. In 1974, the Vasulkas moved to Buffalo where they taught at the Center for Media Studies at the State University of New York (SUNY). In 1980, he left his teaching post and continued research into what he called "a new epistemological space."

Using new media tools, Woody Vasulka sets forth a critique of the dramatic space of traditional film and theatre, while exploring new forms of narration. Among his many prizes and awards are an honorary doctorate conferred by the San Francisco Arts Institute in 1998 to both Woody and Steina, and the National Association of Media and Culture's award to both artists honouring their exceptional contribution to the field of media arts.

More information at

Deep gratitude to the Hamilton Family Foundation and the DU Marsico Visiting Scholar Fund for their generous support of these events