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Violin Power

1970-1978 Steina Vasulka Born: Reykjavik, Iceland 1940 single-channel video, black and white, sound; 10:04 minutes Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase made possible by the Ford Motor Company © 1978, Steina Vasulka 2008.21.12 Not currently on view

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Steina Vasulka, who was trained as a classical violinist, describes this work as “a demo tape on how to play video on the violin.” Violin Power weaves the audio signal into the video image, linking sight with sound and outlining a new electronic aural-imaging “syntax.” The video ties the two senses together in a single signal and demonstrates natural assumptions about what is seen and what is simultaneously heard. As the tape progresses through three performances, audio wave forms produced by the musical instrument begin to affect the video image and eventually become the video generator itself.

Watch This!: Revelations in Media Art, 2015


Figure female - waist length

Object - musical instrument - violin

Performing arts - music - violin

media arts