Vital Signs: Early Japanese Video Art

When 19 May 2010
6:00PM - 8:00PM
Where Electronic Arts Intermix
535 W22nd St, 5/F
NY, NY 10011
United States
Enquiry (212) 337-0680

‘Oh My Mother!’, Kohei Ando, 1969. Film still, 14 min, color, sound, 16 mm film on video
‘Camera, Monitor, Frame’, Takahito Iimura, 1976. Screen shot, 17:15 min, b&w, sound
Courtesy of the artists and EAI New York

May 19 2010, 6-8pm

Press Release:

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.

Artists and collaborators include CTG, Kohei Ando, Takahiko Iimura, Keigo Yamamoto, Toshio Matsumoto, Video Earth Tokyo, Mako Idemitsu, Nobuhiro Kawanaka, Katsuhiro Yamaguchi, Norio Imai, Hakudo Kobayashi, Tatsuo Kawaguchi, Saburo Muraoka, Keiji Uematsu, and Morihiro Wada.

For more information regarding screenings, available DVDs and catalogues, please visit