Falling into Unknown Space......
STEINA is one of the few women media artists who needs only one name. She came to media art from music, and has worked with her partner and collaborator Woody Vasulka, for three decades. In 1996, Steina will assume the duties of Artistic co-Director for the Dutch research center for music, STEIM. Uprooting, and going to Amsterdam to live and work is a move which she equates to "fallling into unknown space...".
Pop~TARTS met Steina at The Butterfly Effect symposium, an event called The Moment Before Discovery, where she performed her vintage interactive performance "Violin Power" and made a few observations about how it operated. In fact, she completely demystified the interactive proecess after she finished her performance by opening up the control box and telling the audience how simple it worked, sort of like a remote control for the TV....!
Her installation in the exhibition, a historical research installation made with Woody, gave some valuable insights into the development of interactive processes.
A networker from her earliest years in media, Steina is also an avid collector of videotapes, and she is well know for her eagerness to share information about emerging artists with others. In her text in the art and technology journal "Leonardo" entitled "My Love Affair with Art: Video and Installation Work" Steina Vasulka discusses some of her works and the contexts in which they have been created. Her discussion ranges from the early days of video art in New York...
When we asked her what she thought about the concept and name Pop~TARTS, she laughed and said a joyful YES, why not! Women should call themselves prostitutes! They are, it fits. And this was at breakfast, with only a few hours of sleep the night before, and departing for San Francisco, full of good humor and advice, she was prepared for the long journey to the opening of a large exhibition of VASULKA power, at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, taking place the following day.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Wired since 1988, Steina thanks Joe Ryan for bringing her into the world of electronic communication. Living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for many years, she and Woody have been continuously connected from an otherwise isolated part of the world. A self proclaimed image maker, Steina confesses that her interest in theory is not nearly as intense as WoodyŽs. In fact, she preferes to concentrate on the form. She is constantly searching for creative interfaces between the image and ideas, and seeks the best way to produce the icons, formats and structures for interactive applications. She feels that men have mostly been the ones to make these applications, while in her experience women use them. But, she hopes that in the near future, men will also want to play.
Steina combines her intense curiosity for creating images with the necessity to develop media tools and techniques in order to achieve the results she envisions.
In June 1995, Steina contributed a frame from her video to The World's Women On-Line! on the occasion of the International Womens conference in Bejing, China.
In 1996, Steina will assume the duties of Artistic co-Director for the Dutch research center for music, STEIM. Uprooting, and going to Amsterdam to live and work is a move which she equates to "fallling into unknown space...". She hopes to use the institute for her own research - realizing that "you are always behind...no matter what... with regard to the technology. She feels that it is most important to know where the technology is going, rather than to master it all.