Archive for November, 2010

Ashleigh Buyers on Nov 16th 2010

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Ashleigh Buyers on Nov 4th 2010

This week our Artist to talk about is video artist, innovatory and promoter Bill Viola.  In the ealy 1970s viola attended Syracuse university. He was about to fail out of Marketing when he was told about the new Experimental Studios program that Professor Nelson had started.  As soon as he met the professor he knew that he “was home”  After graduating from  Syracuse University with a BFA in Experimental Studios, he went to Florance, Italy to work for one of the first video art studios in Europe called Art/tapes/22.  He starting traveling around to different places, studying and recording traditional performing arts in the Solomon Islands, Java, Bali, and Japan. One must remember that at the time this was cutting edge technology and that some of these performances had never been recorded before!

From that point on Traveling and recording became a huge aspect of his art and career. in fact, After meeting his wife and partner Kira Perove, Viola high tailed it to the Sahara desert to record mirages. They traveled for five months throughout the American Southwest 1987 photographing in  Native American rock art sites, and recording nocturnal desert landscapes with a series of specialized video cameras. More recently, at the end of 2005, they journeyed with their two sons to Dharamsala, India to record a prayer blessing with the Dalai Lama.

SO what does he do exactly? for one thing it became this assumed goal that if he was going to pursue are he had better “dame well make something that will change someone’s life and change the world.” So for for the next 35 years he has done just that by created videotapes, architectural video installations, sound environments, electronic music performances, flat panel video pieces, and works for television broadcast.

One of my favorite pieces by him is his piece entitled Room for St. John of the Cross which was made in 1983. He says that this piece was a major turning point for him because it changed his idea about the things you have to do to change the world.

what it basicaly ment to him is that you don’t have to fight directly, change the world. Bill Viola: Part 1
Excerpts from the BBC production of Bill Viola: The Eye of the heart, 2003
A film by Mark Kidel

Another thing I like about him is that he puts a of personal element into his art in his work such as his many peices involving water “reflects” the moment when he was 10 when he almost drowned. He also has pieces that reference other instances in his life such as the birth of his son and the death of his mother.

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