DMS is now EDP.

Electronic Media Arts & Design and Digital Media Studies have merged to create the Emergent Digital Practices (EDP) program.

This site is for archival purposes only.

Please visit the EDP program page to learn more about our exciting new program.

Skip navigation

Visiting Scholars and Artists

Steina and Woody Vasulka

Visiting Artist Public Events
February 14-25, 2011

eMAD & Digital Media Studies Programs
School of Art & Art History
University of Denver

Steina Vasulka: Hamilton Visiting Artist
Woody Vasulka: Marsico Visiting Artist

Schedule of Public Events:
Wednesday, February 16, 2011, 7-8:30PM
Steina Vasulka
Logan Lecture
Denver Art Museum
Sharp Auditorium
Reservations: call 720.913.0150

Thursday, February 17, 2011, 11AM-noon
Steina and Woody Vasulka
Roundtable forum “Keeping New Media Alive”
The Cloud, C-cubed Studios, 2nd Floor, Shwayder Art Building
University of Denver
2121 East Asbury Avenue

Monday, February 21, 2010, 7-8:30PM
Woody Vasulka
Lecture, “Image to Object”
Hypercube, C-cubed Studios, 2nd Floor, Shwayder Art Building
University of Denver
2121 East Asbury Avenue
Reception to follow

Wednesday, February 23, 2011, 7 -8:30PM
Steina Vasulka
Performance, “Violin Power”
Hypercube, C-cubed Studios, 2nd Floor, Shwayder Art Building
University of Denver
2121 East Asbury Avenue
NOTE: there is limited seating for this performance event
RSVP by 2/21/11 to for access
Reception to follow

Born in Iceland and trained as a violinist, Steinunn Briem Bjarnadottir (Steina) is a major figure, considered legendary, in the field of electronic and video art. She received a scholarship in 1959 to study at the Prague Conservatory, where she met Woody Vasulka. They married in 1964 and moved to New York in 1965, where she worked as a freelance musician. She started using video in 1969, and embraced it wholeheartedly when she discovered that, with it, she could control the movement of time. In 1971, along with Woody Vasulka and Andres Mannik, she founded The Kitchen, a performance space devoted to electronic media.

Her collaborative work with Woody in that period was remarkable for its interworking of audio and video signals. The goal of these phenomenological exercises was to explore the essence of the electronic image and sound. Steina's installations often involved electronically manipulated visual and acoustic landscapes. For example, the installation Orka, shown at Iceland's pavilion at the 1997 Venice Biennale, juxtaposed two transformative natural forces - water and fire - which, in their various manifestations (volcanic eruptions, waterfalls, glaciers), reveal the workings of time. In 1991, she undertook a series of interactive performances with a MIDI violin, which let her generate video images as she played (Violin Power). In tandem with Woody, she was awarded the 1992 Maya Deren Prize and, in 1995, the Siemens Media Art prize. In 1992. Her installations and videos have been shown throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. Since 1980, the Vasulkas have been based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Born in Brno, Czech Republic, Woody Vasulka studied film in Prague. He made several documentaries before relocating to the United States in 1965 with his wife Steina. He then worked as editor on a number of film projects, and experimented with electronic sound and strobe light. In 1969, dissatisfied with film, he started using video.

With Steina, he worked to explore the nature of electronic image and sound, and directed several documentaries on the New York City avant-garde, and more specifically the theatre, dance and music produced at that time. In 1974, the Vasulkas moved to Buffalo where they taught at the Center for Media Studies at the State University of New York (SUNY). In 1980, he left his teaching post and continued research into what he called "a new epistemological space."

Using new media tools, Woody Vasulka sets forth a critique of the dramatic space of traditional film and theatre, while exploring new forms of narration. Among his many prizes and awards are an honorary doctorate conferred by the San Francisco Arts Institute in 1998 to both Woody and Steina, and the National Association of Media and Culture's award to both artists honouring their exceptional contribution to the field of media arts.

More information at

Deep gratitude to the Hamilton Family Foundation and the DU Marsico Visiting Scholar Fund for their generous support of these events

ADAPT Series

A:D:A:P:T is devoted to advancing digital arts, performance, and theory. WIth the generous support of the Marsico Initiative and the Digital Media Studies Program, A:D:A:P:T offers the DU community opportunities to explore a unique thread of contemporary digital culture throughout a given academic year. A:D:A:P:T provides a sequence of encounters with visiting scholars and artists that offer critical, technical, and artistic frameworks for digital experience. Each iteration of the series will be built around a different theme.

Our pilot series of the 2005-2006 academic year has focused on the theme of live digital cinema, with programming including lectures and special seminar sessions with DU undergraduates, graduates, and faculty. The series also hosts visiting artists to perform and conduct software demos as well as extended media programming workshops.

On tap for Fall 2005 was Gene Youngblood, whose contributions established a foundation of historical and critical content around the evolution of the moving image in new media. With a pair of 2hr+ public lectures and visits to five different classes in DMS and eMAD, Gene Youngblood established the critical foundation for the series. He presented the history of expanded cinema, an expansive term that embraces video, personal cinema, performance films and live cinema, and computer-based cinema. He then tracked this phenomena into contemporary experiences of personal media, web commerce, the media democracy movement, and more. Gene screened samples of numerous artists' work, and provided us with an extensive bibliography and media list for further study. Gene’s second talk focused exclusively on the media democracy movement, again providing historical and autobiographical accounts as well as a survey of contemporary practice in forms such as Free Speech TV.

More on Gene Youngblood:

Next, A:D:A:P:T teamed up with the Lunar Lodge crew to host Safety Scissors and Ben Nevile for a night of live music and VJ sets. Before their evening performance, these artists introduced Cycling `74’s media programming environment, “Max/MSP/Jitter.” Both work in this environment as performers and composers of digital music, while also programming software for Cycling `74. Their presentation approached their work with this software from both angles, and it suggested some new digital career-models for DMS and eMAD students. As the second stage of this year's A:D:A:P:T programme, these artists exemplify many of the issues and contexts touched on by Gene. Students engaged the implications of software companies underwriting modes of creative expression. The performance itself situated live cinema practice within the context of DJ/VJ performance culture, a mixing-ground taking shape in clubs, at raves, as part of programming for media art festivals and galleries, and increasingly, over broadband Internet services.

We cap off the fall/winter cycle by hosting Sara Kolster and Derek Holzer from Holland to perform their original live cinema piece, “resonanCity.” ‘ResonanCITY’ has been performed in Holland, Brasil, the Baltic States and at the Transmediale 05 in Berlin. ‘resonanCITY’ also took the Second Prize at the 11th International WRO Media Art Biennale in Wroclaw, Poland in May 2005.

Over the course of February 14-23, Sara and Derek will also conduct their intensive, four-session workshop in live cinema production. This workshop will provide instruction in media programming in the Pure Data environment. Also, by working in an open source platform, the workshop will also raise questions about contrasting models to software ownership, intellectual property, authorship, and personal media.


Spring curriculum continuing the discussions and production models explored throughout this year's A:D:A:P:T series include Trace Reddell's "Digital Cinema Theory and Practice" and Timothy Weaver's "Introduction to Interactive Art & Design."

The A:D:A:P:T series will conclude this year with the announcement of a new DMS research group devoted to digital cinema, as well as a contest for best new video production. The winner will get their own Resolume VJ package!

Held on May 15, 2003, the A:D:A:P:T Festival was Denver's first annual digital media festival, graciously hosted at the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art. The event featured several hours of live audio and visual performances, as well as installations and computer kiosks. Around the theme, "Music and Media for Ruins", the digital exhiibit featured new interactive pieces from students of Trace Reddell's "Advanced Digital Audio Production" class, as well as more than twenty web-based works from artists working in Canada, Norway, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Germany, Italy, France, Portugal, Brazil, the UK, and the US.

Direct Edit