Vital Signals: Early Japanese Video Art
Vital Signals is a survey of the vibrant, interdisciplinary video art scene in Japan in the 1960s and ’70s. Produced by EAI, the DVD anthology features sixteen works by fifteen Japanese artists, among them key figures such as Takahiko Iimura, Mako Idemitsu and Toshio Matsumoto. The DVD is accompanied by a 100-page, bilingual (English and Japanese) illustrated catalogue publication. 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. The Vital Signals DVD 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. The Vital Signals DVD anthology and catalogue publication illuminate this fertile period of creative engagement in Japan.