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EZTV | Hacking the Timeline v3.0: Digilantism and the LA Digital Art Movement (1985-2005)

Kate Johnson, Libra, 2005, digital time-based projection

Hacking the Timeline v3.0: Digilantism and the LA Digital Art Movement (1985-2005)
April 14 – June 27, 2014
Atrium Gallery
Opening Reception: Saturday, May 17, 2014, 6 – 9 pm

18th Street Arts Center is pleased to present an exhibition curated by EZTV’s Michael J. Masucci exploring the evolution of digital art in Los Angeles over two decades of recent history. EZTV, a pioneering video space founded in West Hollywood in 1979, has been part of the resident artist community at 18th Street Arts Center since 2000. The exhibition in the Atrium Gallery is a complement to the retrospective EZTV: Video Transfer on view at USC’s ONE Archives Gallery and Museum through June 1, 2014. Hacking the Timeline v3.0: Digilantism and the LA Digital Art Movement (1985-2005) includes artists Victor Acevedo, Rebecca Allen, Dave Curlender and David Goodsell, Kate Johnson, Shelley Lake, Vibeke Sorensen, and Michael Wright. Many of these digital art pioneers were associated with EZTV in the early days of the collective and the artistic medium. In an era before personal computing, these artists imagined a future of ubiquitous connectivity that we now find commonplace. They developed a visual and technical language to articulate the relationships between live action and virtual imagery, and between classical influences and new visual forms. Los Angeles has been home to much of this transformative arts movement, conceptually as well as technologically. Many of the seminal collaboration projects realized by artists and scientists in tandem through EZTV have transformed the world that we take for granted today. The role that such trans-disciplinary collaboration played at universities, governmental, and industrial sites as well as at the independent artist studio level will be investigated through examination of the work of these seven artists and one collaborating scientist.

Conceived in 1979 by John Dorr, and founded in 1983 as an ongoing space, EZTV (eztvmuseum.com) has continued to evolve under the direction of Michael J. Masucci (co-artistic director since 1986) and Kate Johnson (since 1993). EZTV was a pioneer in independent desktop video production, microcinema, self-distribution, artist-based curating, public practice, multimedia live performance and the use of video projection in exhibition settings. It created what were among the world’s first theaters dedicated to video and among the world’s first art galleries dedicated to digital art. EZTV was one of the earliest arts groups to articulate the transformative emergence of mobile communications.

From the 1980s into the mid-1990s, EZTV also operated a community-based production and post-production facility where independent media makers had low and sometimes no-cost access to technology, prior to the proliferation of DIY tools and technologies. In addition to its literally hundreds of gallery shows, site-specific performances, television and video screenings, EZTV became a major Southern California location for the online digital revolution. As of 2013, EZTV is now an online video gallery and resource to artists, historians, scholars, and anyone interested in the development and evolution of independent video and digital media.

Reception for artists in 18th Street Arts Center Main and Atrium Galleries will be held Saturday, May 17, 2014 from 6 – 9 pm.


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By David Evans Frantz


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