Woody & Steina Vasukla
Calligrams (1974)
Duration 00:04:00

Calligrams is one of the Vasulkas' earliest experiments with altering the analog video image. An image is rescanned from the monitor "to capture and preserve the violated state of the standard television signal." The "violations" include deliberately re-adjusting the horizontal hold of the monitor, and then slowly advancing the reel-to-reel tape manually. The repetition of the horizontally drifting video image not only functions as visual rhythm, but is key to the conceptualization of the video image as unrestricted by the concrete frame, as in film. Their commitment to foregrounding a new electronic image vocabulary and working with other artist/engineers to develop new video instrumentation led to work that reveals the process of its making.