Steina (born 1940 in Reykjavík) and Woody Vasulka (born 1937 in Brno) are pioneering video artists that have been producing work since the 1960s. They’ve produced an extensive series of videos, exploring the entire range of possibilities within video art and the electronic media, as well as creating electronic tools for art usage. The Vasulkas’ technological investigations into analog and digital processes and their development of electronic imaging tools place them among the primary architects of an electronic vocabulary of image-making. Applying an informal spontaneity to their formalist technical research, they chart the evolving formulation of an electronic imaging language as they hold a dialogue between artist and technology.
Although coming from different backgrounds, with Steina being a professionally trained violinist and Woody a film maker, by the 1970’s they would go on producing almost only machine-generated artworks, by experimenting with modulators, video synthesizers and sequencers, creating abstractions from electronic signals and images. Their respective individual aesthetical styles come across clearly in their work, as their upcoming exhibition at BERG Contemporary will come to demonstrate, presenting historically important video works by both individually, in addition to prints by Woody Wasulka, some never exhibited before.
They are founders of The Kitchen in New York, which has been a powerful force in shaping a cultural landscape in the US. Established in 1971, it was among the very first American institutions to embrace the emerging fields of video, performance, and cross-disciplinary explorations. Together the Vasulkas also worked to develop the Center for Media Studies at the State University of New York in Buffalo. They have received numerous honors and awards and their work has been exhibited at major museums and festivals around the world, including the Whitney Museum, the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Berlin Film Festival, The Venice Biennale, in addition to becoming Guggenheim fellows in 1976. In 2014, the Vasulka Chamber, a center of electronic and digital art in Iceland, was established at the National Gallery of Iceland. The Vasulka Chamber is a collaboration with Steina and Woody Vasulka, and includes a part of the Vasulkas’ archive.