Swedish painter and
photographer Ture Sjolander found the communicative breadth and fluidity of
video imagery immensely appealing. Working with Bror Wikstrom, he created
Time, shown on National Swedish Television in 1966. Time was a half-hour
program of "electronically manipulated paintings." According to Chris
Meigh-Andrews, author of History of Video Art, Sjolander "worked with TV
broadcast engineer Bengt Modin to construct a temporary video image synthesizer
which was used to distort and transform video line-scan rasters by applying
tones from waveform generators."
What is more, Sjolander and Wikstrom seem to be the
first artists to have done so. When Nam June Paik visited Sjolander in July and
August of 1966, he saw images from Time that almost certainly spurred him
onward in his own image-processing experiments. Further linking the relationship
between video and painting, the images in Time were also produced as
limited-edition, signed and numbered works silk-screened on canvas.
Sjolander's work the next year, Monument, was
done in collaboration with Lars Weck and featured image-processed
"portraits"--via distorting signals and electronic filters--of the Mona Lisa,
Charlie Chaplin, Hitler, Picasso, and the Beatles. Broadcast in five European
nations, the program, backed by a reverberant sci-fi soundtrack of vibraphones
and organ washes, was seen by more than 150 million people. These electronic
paintings were also made into a variety of still images including tapestries, LP
art, paintings on canvas, and posters.
Sjolander, Wikstrom, and Sven Hoglund's 1969 Space
in the Brain extended Frank Malina, Jordan Belson, and other moving-image
artists' fascination with inner and outer spaces. The artists manipulated still
images of the Apollo 11 mission--given to them by the American government--into
full-color abstractions to produce a "space opera" set to searing acid rock by
Hansson & Karlsson.
The piece makes use of close-ups of an eyeball, much
in the manner of Kubrick's "Stargate" sequence in 2001: A Space Odyssey,
before layering in shifting, rotating washes of hot pink, searing yellow, and
electric blue forms, concluding with the overlaying of those video shapes on top
of still images of deep space.
'I do not want to be associated with anyone or anything,
SJOLANDER Me - My own