DOMENICA 01 OTTOBRE ORE 17.00 MuSA di Pietrasanta

Nam June Paik and John Godfrey, Global Groove, 1973, 28:30 min, color, sound
“This is a glimpse of the video landscape of tomorrow, when you will be able to switch to any TV station on the earth, and TV Guide will be as fat as the Manhattan telephone book.” So begins Global Groove, a seminal work in the history of video art. This radical manifesto on global communications in a media-saturated world is rendered as an electronic collage, a sound and image pastiche that subverts the language of television. With surreal visual wit and an antic neo-Dada sensibility, Paik brings together cross-cultural elements, artworld figures and Pop iconography. Pepsi commercials appropriated from Japanese television are juxtaposed with performances by avant-garde artists John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Allen Ginsberg and the Living Theatre; dancers moving in a synthesized, colorized space to Mitch Ryder’s Devil with a Blue Dress On are intercut with traditional Korean dancers. Charlotte Moorman, her image wildly synthesized, plays the TV Cello; Paik and Moorman play the TV Bra for Living Sculpture; Richard Nixon’s face is distorted by a magnetically altered television. In an ironic form of interactive television, Paik presents “Participation TV,” in which he instructs viewers to open or close their eyes. Paik subjects this transcultural, intertextual content to an exuberant, stream-of-consciousness onslaught of disruptive
editing and technological devices, including audio and video synthesis, colorization, ironic
juxtapositions, temporal shifts and layering — a controlled chaos that suggests a hallucinatory romp through the channels of a global TV. With its postmodern content, form and conceptual strategies, Global Groove stands as a seminal statement on video, television and contemporary art.
Director: Merrily Mossman. Narrator: Russell Connor. Film Footage: Jud Yalkut, Robert Breer. Produced by the TV Lab at WNET/Thirteen. Courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York

Gary Hill, Mirror Road, 1975-76, 6:26 min, color, silent
Hill’s early formalist works explore the manipulation of electronic color and image density. Of these works, Hill has written that “much of the subject matter and the expressionistic method of working underline and in some sense parody the traditional medium of painting.” In the silent Mirror Road, Hill creates an increasingly abstracted harmony of landscapes in layered compositions of movement. Courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York

Woody Vasulka, Art of Memory, 1987, 36 min, color, sound
Art of Memory is a major work, an original and mature articulation of Vasulka’s inquiry into the meaning of recorded images. Constructing a haunted theater of memory from a spectacle of filmic and electronic images, Vasulka collapses and transforms collective memory and history in an enigmatic space and time. The monumental landscape of the American Southwest is the mythic site onto which he inscribes newsreel footage of war — ghostly images that become malleable, sculptural forms through constant electronic transmutations. In this metaphorical vision, the recorded image becomes a monument to the past; history becomes cultural memory through photography and cinema. Vasulka locates the trauma of 20th-century history in filmic images of violent events, including the Spanish Civil War, the Russian Revolution, World War II and the advent of the nuclear bomb. Presided over by a winged creature of conscience, history and memory are seen to be manipulated by the history and memory of images. In a breathtaking conjoinment of the apparatuses of war, history and the media, Vasulka achieves a poignant, ultimately tragic memory theater.
With: Daniel Nagrin, Klein. Voices: Doris Cross. Videotools: Rutt/Etra, Jeffrey Schier.
Collaboration: Bradford Smith, Penelope Place, Steina, David Aubrey. COURTESY: BERG Contemporary and the estate of Woody Vasulka.

Bill Viola, Migration for Jack Nelson, 1976, 7 min, color, mono sound

Migration is an analysis of an image, a metaphorical exercise in perception and representation, illusion and reality, microcosm and macrocosm, nature and consciousness. Viola writes that this work is “a slow continuous journey through changes in scale, punctuated by the sounding of a gong. [The piece] concerns the nature of the detail of an image. In visual terms, this is known as ‘acuity’ and is related to the number of photoreceptors on a given surface area of the retina. In television terms, detail is referred to as ‘resolution,’ and is a measure of the number of picture elements in a given horizontal or vertical direction of the video frame. Reality, unlike the image on the retina or on the television tube, is infinitely resolvable — ‘resolution’ and ‘acuity’ are properties only of
images. The piece evolves into an exploration of the optical properties of a drop of water, revealing in it an image of the individual and a suggestion of the transient nature of the world he possesses within.”
Produced in association with Synapse Video Center, Syracuse University. The photo is by Kira Perov © Bill Viola Studio