"Vital Signals: Early Japanese Video Art" Launch Party

Electronic Arts Intermix

poster for "Vital Signals: Early Japanese Video Art" Launch Party

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Vital Signals is a survey of the vibrant, interdisciplinary video art scene in Japan in the 1960s and '70s. While early video art from the U.S. and Europe is internationally recognized, the parallel activities of artists working in Japan—the birthplace of the camcorder and other technological innovations—are not widely known. The Vital Signals DVD anthology features video works by fifteen Japanese artists, including key figures such as Takahiko Iimura, Mako Idemitsu, Toshio Matsumoto and Kohei Ando.

The DVD anthology is accompanied by a 100-page bilingual (English and Japanese) catalogue. Essays by Barbara London, Glenn Phillips, and Hirofumi Sakamoto draw out the unique art historical and cultural contexts of early Japanese video art, and its relation to film and other visual art forms.

Vital Signals is organized in three parts: The Language of Technology, Open Television, and Body Acts. In technical experiments, activist statements, and conceptual performances, Japanese artists of the 1960s and '70s transformed the intangible—time, gesture, the electronic signal—into rich art-making material. Vital Signals illuminates this fertile period of creative engagement and experimentation in Japan.


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