Steina’s “love affair” with art began at a young age but developed more through her teenage years; by this time she was consumed in art, Steina said, “I lived by it”. . She would attend every concert, opera or gallery show and said, “nothing else in life made any sense to me” (Malloy, 2003). Steina met a man named Woody Vasulka in the early 1960’s in Prague. Woody was a film-maker and then became interested in video in 1969 and then introduced video to Steina. Steina said “as soon as I had a camera in my hand – as soon as I had that majestic flow of time in my control – I knew I had my medium” (Malloy, 2003).
Woody and Steina took their portable video equipment out into New York, WBAI Free Music Store, Judson Church, Automation House, Max’s Kansas City, these are known to them as “cultural playgrounds” (Mallloy, 2003).
Steina had a love for gizmo’s; mechanical toys, optical gadgets and state-of-the-art electronics. She would then utilise these gizmo’s to create monitors and embed them into the floor where they would sometimes stretch out from wall to wall in the gallery. She would also build other environments for different installations (Malloy, 2003).
Steina, 1986. Geomania. Two-channel sound and video environment.
Geomania (1986) is stacked in a pyramid form. Steina was given an exhibition site, she then had to improvise and conduct an installation work relevant and suitable for this site. This work combines site-recorded imagery and layers of sound which have been taken from natural landscapes, and this work also includes electronically generated texture and colour (Malloy, 2003).
Steina talks about her ideas of an ideal exhibition space; this includes the experience of her works to be viewed in a dark space. This is not always the case as various sites are known to be well lit or prepared for exhibitions for other types of art other than video. She says, “I want the viewers to be so absorbed by the work that they experience another level of mind” – and continues to say, “I expect them to share the kind of strong feeling I have for the material, and to my amazement, they sometimes do” (Malloy, 2003).
This is an extraction taken from the reference below . . .
Malloy, J. (2003). Women, Art an Technology. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Printed and bound in the United States of America.