Open Digital Archive & Live Audience Test Laboratory
13. 12. 2023 – 4. 2. 2024
House of the Lords of Kunštát
Professional cooperation: Lenka Dolanová, Jennifer Helia DeFelice, Jana Horáková, Marika Svobodová, Tomáš Ruller
The exhibition will present extensive physical and digital material donated to the Vašulka Kitchen Brno by the pioneers of electronic art, Steina and Bohuslav "Woody" Vašulka. The curatorial team, together with selected artists, will create subjective experimental interpretations of this collection and of the ever-present themes and questions that the Vašulkas' work and artistic approach still opens up today. The diverse audiovisual material, which has been systematically inventoried by the association over the past years, will be presented in the exhibition in the form of a structured database and also as an interactive installation of the interdisciplinary Vasulka Live Archive project.
The archival collection of Vasulka Kitchen Brno currently includes physical and digital artworks, multimedia installations, digital and analogue data, media and an extensive personal collection consisting of various documents, photographs and personal correspondence. The collection also includes websites that the Vasulka's have archived in their computer, software, manuals, documentation of artworks, events and other very diverse material, such as the complete contents of Woody's computer or various analogue technical devices and players.
The core of the VCB collection consists of several works by Woody and Steina Vasulka that are owned or on long-term loan to the Society. These include prints from the Lucifer's Commission series (1977-2003), a computer study from the Triads series (2003), and the spatial installation Light Revisited - Noisefields (2001), a transformation of the original 1974 single-channel video Noisefields.
In the archive files of VKB there are 868 GB of already partially inventoried digital data and a considerable amount of Hi8 tapes, VHS tapes, MiniDV and DVD media or several boxes of unique catalogues. In digital and digitized form, it is a collection of master tapes and their variations donated to the VKB members directly by the Vasulkas, including works by other artists from the MindFrames exhibition at ZKM (2006) prepared by the Vasulkas and Peter Weibel. Other artists represented here include Tony Conrad, Hollis Frampton, James Blue, Paul Sharits, Peter Weibel, and Gerald O'Grady. Most of the material dates from the period of the legendary New York space The Kitchen, which Woody and Steina Vasulka co-founded and were instrumental in producing and dramaturging from 1971-1973.
Part of the digital collection and the personal collection being processed are also materials donated by curator and art historian Lenka Dolanová, who received them from the Vasulka family during her stay in Santa Fe. These include texts by the Vasulkas and other authors (scholarly studies, grant applications, concepts, catalogue scans, posters, video screenshots, short audiovisual studies, and a photographic archive of the Vasulkas and their collaborators). This material has been inventoried over the years by members of the association and invited experts and practitioners and will be made available to the public in the form of a structured and professionally compiled database. It will enable those interested to better orient themselves and help in further processing and reflection on the work of the Vasulka family and other artists in the fields of video art and new media in Central Europe. The database of the Vasulka Kitchen Brno archive is also a distinctive contribution to the current discussion on the issue of archiving audiovisual works and the moving image, its professional categorisation and the appropriate form of communication to the professional and lay public.
VASULKA LIVE ARCHIVE
The Open Digital Archive in the House of Lords of Kunštát will also present an interactive presentation of the Vasulka Live Archive project by curator and educator Jana Horáková, which focuses on the use of artificial intelligence in the form of machine learning artificial neural networks in the analysis of audiovisual works by Steina and Woody Vasulka. She also focuses on the development of interfaces for the interactive mediation of the content of the archive of their work in online and offline environments.
CHRIS HILL (US) – media curator, artist – Hill is currently on the faculty at CalArts where she served for six years as Associate Dean in the Film/Video School. She received an MFA from SUNY Buffalo, and was video curator for ten years at Hallwalls, a multidisciplinary artists-run space in Buffalo. She published interviews with artists involved with the Czech parallel culture before 1989 (Walking Trips in Czech Lands, 1997), and curated Surveying the First Decade: Video Art and Alternative Media in the U.S. (1996). She taught at Antioch College where she co-curated Documentary Institutes (1997–2001) including surveys on Latin America and East Central Europe. Her research and publications have investigated contemporary artists’ work that re-embodies experimental film and grassroots video projects of the early 1970s, the U.S. incarceration crisis, tactical media initiatives in response to an educational community emergency, and beekeeping. In 2019 she was an artist-in-residence at the Agosto Foundation in Prague.
MSHR (US) is an art collective that builds and explores sculptural electronic systems. Their practice is a self-transforming entity with its outputs patched into its inputs, expressing its form through interactive installations, virtual environments and live improvisations. MSHR was established in 2011 in Portland, Oregon by Brenna Murphy and Birch Cooper. Their name is a modular acronym, designed to hold varied ideas over time.
JENNIFER HELIA DEFELICE (CZ/USA) - artist, musician, curator and educator - Born in New York, Jennifer received her Bachelor of Arts from SUNY Empire State College in New Media Development. She moved to Brno in 1993 where she finished her Ph.D. on Performative Meditation and Interpretation / Between Manual and Documentation, Between Script and Record in 2018. She is currently an assistant professor at FaVU in the Visiting Artist's Studio. She is a founding member of Vasulka Kitchen Brno where she is active as a program director while also curating for the Brno House of Arts.
TOMÁŠ RULLER (CZ) – artist and teacher – Founder of the Center for New Media Art - Vašulka Kitchen Brno z.s., founder of the Video-Multimedia-Performance program and the Media Archive at the Faculty of Fine Arts in Brno, curator of Vašulka exhibitions, performance and new media artist.
MICHAL KINDERNAY – artist and curator – Studied at the Faculty of Arts in Brno and the Centre for Audiovisual Studies at FAMU. His audiovisual installations connect the fields and tools of art, technology and science. He often deals with ecological topics and reflects on contemporary environmental issues by relating to nature through technological approaches. His work includes video performances and interactive installations, intermedial and documentary projects, as well as musical and sound compositions.
House of the Lords of Kunštát
Kam v Brně
Turistické informační centrum města Brna
Statutární město Brno