SANTA FE, NM.-EVO Gallery presents two installations by the pioneering video artist Steina. Born in Iceland, Steina immigrated to New York in 1965, and currently resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Trained as a concert violinist who performed with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, Steina weaves the language of musical composition with both digital and analog media. Her minimalist imagery, built up from audio-video signals and waveforms, emphasize the qualities of the electronic media employed, exploring the phenomenology of video. Chance, experimentation, and performance are also central to her creative practice.
The centerpiece of the show, ...Of the North (2001) is comprised of a grid stack of nine Sony Trinitron monitors, with each screen projecting variations of a computer- generated sphere. The images evoke macro and microscopic crystalline forms, steep canyons, ocean surf, or clouds on a planet's surface. With constant kinetic permutations, the orbs appear to variously rotate on axes, turn inside out, or spin slowly in space. The imagery is paradoxically digital and organic, yet clearly referencing natural phenomena. As Richard Tobin noted,
For all the visual draw of these stunning images, the result is more than mesmerizing. Steina succeeds in transforming the electronic moving image into video metaphor. It is almost immaterial whether viewers' thoughts turn to global warming, the Kyoto Accords, or the first time they peered through a telescope. What is material is the act of thinking: the movement from passive response to active reflection. ( see http://www.vasulka.org )
"Trevor" (1999-2000), a single-screen video, focuses on the head of a singer in a recording studio. His abstract vocals mesh with the expressive alteration of his visage, which takes on a highly distorted, Francis
Steina has exhibited globally for twenty-five years including at the Icelandic Pavilion of the 1997 Venice Biennale. She collaborated for many years with Woody Vasulka, with whom she co-founded The Kitchen in New York in 1971.
EVO Gallery is located across the street from SITE Santa Fe in the Railyard District.