The music video "take on me" from AHA, I loved it when I was a child and am still fascinated by idea and technique.
A work that has always accompanied me, both visually and musically, is “Aguirre, der Zorn Gottes”, by Werner Herzog. I saw the movie when I was in secondary school and was struck by the slow rhythm of the sequences and the tremendous soundtrack that Popol Vuh produced, which play alongside the sounds from nature and the Andean world itself. I think that this was one of my primary influences for my later works.
Growing up in the Communist Poland, we did not have the access to television commercials. We only had two TV channels which mainly aired public content. Whenever there was a gap in the transmission because of one show ending sooner than expected and the other one not yet starting, the space would be filled with traditional short animations and classical music. There was one animation that I particularly remember - “Tango” by Zbig Rybczynski from 1981, awarded with an Oscar.
So many, but one above all: Godfrey Reggio's Koyaanisqatsi film with Philip Glass' scores.
Benna Gaean Maris
Peter Hutton's "Skagafjordur (2002-2004)"
Jonathan Onsuwan Johnson
I think there is actually the very first video art "Fakemet". It made it possible to open another window of opportunity. And it was already a real attempt at media collage.
Oleg Kharch Group
Neutral Milk Hotel’s In the Aeroplane Over the Sea album--the fuzzy scratchy quality and ruptures in sound remind me that there is power in imperfection.
Ecco / Aquí [Nancy Y. Kim]
Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller's installation of The Murder of Crows at the Park Ave Armory in New York some years ago was simultaneously simple and complex, utilizing the space as a huge navigable soundscape, which dissolved visually and aurally into the dark recesses of the cavernous space. I spent a lot of time in that installation, and it spent a lot of time in my head subsequently.
Ecco / Aquí [Sarah Crofts]
I recently discovered Hito Steyerl’s video work “How Not To Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File”. I was fascinated by it's mundanity and ridiculousness. The work was influential in helping me decide to make more concept driven video works.
Music for Church Cleaners by Áine O'Dwyer knocked me off my seat when I first heard it four years back. It introduced me to long-form improvisation, site-specificity, and accessing the everyday through field recording. Áine O'Dwyer's work has profoundly impacted my trajectory as a musician, and her music continues to inspire me - I'm listening to the album as I write this!
Skating at the local roller skating rink underneath the euphoric disco lights while Donna Summer's "Bad Girls" was playing.
Harry Partch, Don Cherry, George Bolling’s 1974 real-time broadcast Jupiter Flyby, all AntFarm works profoundly influenced me.
A sound that played a big role to me is the song Cross Bones Style by the singer and songwriter Cat Power, Chan Marschall, as well the videoclip of that song. I was just a teenager when I watched it for the first time on MTV, and that song with that artistic video was like a turning point to me in a sense to want to perceive for myself a life where sound, music and images would be in my profession.
After John Cage, I became interested in sounds that occur in everyday life.However, since there is no further development, the sound inside and outsideI was interested.It is also closely related to my visual work.I try to work visually rather than with my eyes, and musically with my heart, that is, with a holistic feel.Nothing is perfect but I always try to see and hear everything in my mind
Lim Jang Guin
My mom wanted to be a cocktail pianist and she played the piano for us every afternoon when we returned home from school. My life changed a decade later watching Nam June Paik's Cage Tribute and again when I saw "Unusual Semicircle" - ah, the good ole days ...
Glimpses of the U.S.A (1959) by Charles and Ray Eames
The Electronic Diaries by Lynn Hershman Leeson (1984-2019)
David Rokeby's "The Giver of Names" is not really a video work, but I was lucky to see it in person and Rokeby's work highly influenced by practise.
Gretchen Bender's "Total Recall" was a work I revisited frequently as I created this work, as well as many of her valuable insights on the intersection between art and culture.
As a child, the TV series "Round The Twist'', the animation "The Point" and documentaries about nature/wildlife in general. Later on, the work of Harmony Korine and Larry Clark as well as classic horror films and its soundtracks. For the past years, Bill Viola (specially "Chott El-Djerid - A Portrait In Light And Heat"), "Decalogue" by Krzysztof Kieślowski, Deborah Stratman, Paula Albuquerque, Bas Jan Ader, Vito Acconci, Joan Jonas and Brazilian cinema. So hard to choose just one or even make a small list!
I would definitely say the layering of ambient sounds of conversations and clamors of various dialects in traditional Palestinian markets. I strongly believe that the physical and verbal interactions of vernacular marketplaces are socio-cultural experiences that are worth reviving. It was a crucial undertaking to recapture this essence in my audio-visual reconstruction.
Zain Al Sharaf Wahbeh
While studying at university, I learned of Joseph Beuys' song Sonne statt Reagan. In the video, the artist performs together with the band singing a song written and composed specifically against the policy of the American president. The pun of the title Reagan / regen in the German language have the same sound but a different meaning, Sun instead of Reagan, Sun instead of rain.
I first heard Brian Eno’s ambient album On Land in college, while simultaneously just beginning to work with sound and video. This planted in me the sense that music/sound can be expansive and engage more with the world, while at the same time being extremely subtle. This album also deeply engages the visual senses as it brings to mind a world of images constructed from memory in dream-like ways, creating associations based on what might be real and unreal.
I was very interested in the electronic investigations of Estouhaunsen, the elaborations of Messiaen, and the kinetic art
I can’t deny the influence the modern music video has had over the years. One that changed the game for me was El Guincho - Bombay.
F for Fake by Orson Welles completely overturned my notion of a moving image. That fiction itself, the process of creating a work, can be a subject of the work really struck a nerve. I find the fact that a filmmaker doesn’t have to experience ‘outside life’ in order to create very comforting. Another work is what I consider the best visual comedy ever – Oskar Schlemmer’s Tridiadisches Ballet – combines primary colors and shapes into something that at once feels very poetic, childish and soullessly mathematical, something I want to both thoroughly analyse and laugh at or just live inside of.
Sounds that are always significant to me are soundscapes of the place I'm in at the moment. Surrounding sounds differ from place to place. For example, at home or my studio (in Bangkok) or at my father's house (Mexico City) and other places I lived before.
The film that inspired me the most was Enter de Void by director Gaspar Noè.
Kate Bush Running up that Hill. Meredith Monk’s Turtle Dreams. Steve Reich’s Desert Music.
I think playing The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time as a child had a very formative effect on me. The music, the story, and the strange three-dimensional space that it all existed in really seeped into my brain and made me want to create imaginary worlds of my own. There's also just something so beautiful and innocent about that game - it has a very pure heart.
The experimental film works of Maya Deren, or the rhythmic experimental video installations of Christian Marclay.
At the beginning of my path, when I was healing my aquaphobia through photography, I was influenced by the images of water such as those depicted in Tarkovsky's Stalker and Solaris.
Sound of waves lapping and the atmosphere of early Kurosawa films such as The Drunken Angel or The Idiot.
Classic music. (I think because my father is classic guitarist)
My first girlfriend was regularly listening to Glenn Gould's albums and Japanese folk songs.
The Wizard of Oz
"The Reflecting Pool" from Bill Viola was very significant to me because I was so mesmerized when I discovered it that it led me to create video art. Before 2010, I was both a painter and a musician but those two disciplines required too much investment to be carried out satisfactorily all at once. Bill Viola's artwork convinced me that I could find my way - working with image and sound all at once - in video art.
An important sound work for me was Hildegard Westerkamp’s ‘Kits Beach Soundwalk’ and an important visual work was Guido van der Werve’s ‘Nummer acht, everything is going to be alright’.
Stan Brakhage's Dog Star Man had a profound impact on my work early on. Brakhage opened my mind to the possibilities of the film medium and its material properties.
Max Neuhaus’s Time Square: making me hopeful for being, passing by, and existing in any impossible place or environment that I have been in.
Sip my ocean, 1996, by Pipilotti Rist.
Jéssica Pereira Gaspar
Waiting - Faith Wilding (1974) - Video art.
Two off the top: Norman McLaren "A Phantasy in Colours" and Hildergard Westerkamp's "Kits Beach Soundwalk" (1989).
I think that an important part of my visual formation or artistic influence, despite the digital nature of my work, are old movies like "Gone with the Wind" or "Lawrence of Arabia". It is fascinating to me the level of production that this kind of film implies. Today most of the work is based on CGI, then all the work was human based; so this is marvelous to me.
When young and stupid I heard an improvising music performance in Boston with singer Liz Tonne, thereminist James Coleman, and percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani. The atmosphere in that room held its breath for almost thirty minutes, colored by occasional floating grainy sounds that felt like individual air molecules were changing color. I have been chasing this for twenty years.
Back when I was 11, the black & white Twilight Zone. I had an old TV from the thrift store that was fittingly also black and white, and I would watch the twilight zone every night religiously.
I think it would be Chopin‘s e flat nocturne; I first heard it when I was a child and my mother listened to it as prenatal music for my unborn sister. This is the first time I felt sounds/music could transmit energy.
In terms of audiovisual works that I really like, I always have Carsten Nicolai’s works in my mind. I am a huge fan of Raster-Noton including Ryoji Ikeda and Olaf Bender (Byetone) as well.
Most works from David Lynch, David Cronenberg, Mike Kelley, or Mika Rottenberg (and a lot more! It is impossible to choose one).
Pipilotti Rist, "Selfless in the Bath of Lava," a one-inch video embedded in the floorboards at MoMA PS1.
There are countless great audiovisual works that inspire me. I like non-narrative abstract films, and René Jodoin’s short animated film “Notes on a Triangle” is one of my favorites and meaningful to me. It is a simple yet beautiful, charming and captivating masterpiece that makes me think and feel many things about creating art.
I’ve been hooked on classic Broadway musicals for a long time; for me it’s the bold singing both alone and together that moves me. Somewhat counter to that type of music (& I enjoy many types of music and sound), are the ambient and incidental sounds of both the natural and built environments. Sound artists such as Pia Palme from Vienna, and my IRL experience of Janet Cardiff and Georges Bures Millers work with sound, particularly their “Forty Part Motet”, which brought me to my knees.
It’s not exactly a video, but a movie: Mulholland Drive von David Lynch. The narration of this film is fractured because the movie was first planned a TV series, but finally the producers or Lynch himself decided to make a movie. And even the sound track is strange like in many other of David Lynchs films.
For example in my video called “Anatolia”, I examined the trails of the east through a woman figure. This is a situation that I encountered and affected me considerably. Traditional features of the east can turn into esthetic works of art along with modern features of the west in the life experience of the artist.
I have several travel, photography and design podcast programs that I routinely listen to everyday. I love listening to good story-telling audios that stimulate me visually.
Beatles music still has a great influence in my life. Photographs are a very big visual influence, since my family always had a lot of photo albums at home.
The work of Takahiko Iimura has been a huge influence for me. Iimura was one of the pioneers of butoh video art in the 1960s, and you could say that the style he developed really set the tone for butoh video, the influences of which can still be seen today. He was more preoccupied with conveying the feeling of a choreographic event than accurately documenting it. As an artist that creates body-based work for both video and live performance, this ethos of aura over documentation is something that has really stuck with me.
Anxiety attack by Matty brown and Living with depression by Kat Napiorkowska.
Commercial advertisements on the television.
Hans Richter's films impressed me a lot as well as the works of Harry Smith, Fernand Léger's "Ballet Mécanique", the films of Marcel Duchamp, Man Ray etc... and on the other hand, 60's Psychedelia for its musical and visual creativity.
Apichatpong's Cemetery of Splendor
Jonathan Seungjoon Lee
Mine is split between two very significant moving works to me and my practice. The first is The Black Tower by John Smith, due to its sense of dread from simple techniques, sound and voice over. He creates such large scope from something so still and particular. And the second is Robinson in Space by Patrick Keiller for its fictional yet factual narrative, it’s commitment to the concept and the meandering story telling from such beautiful yet normal cinematography, making spaces we all understand feel strange somehow.
When I was a child I had a set of recordings of Maurice Sendak’s works, narrated by Tammy Grimes with Mozart’s compositions as the interstitial music. It was a potent combination for my young imagination: emotionally honest stories read by a rich intelligent voice, stitched together with the creative force of Mozart. These sounds together suggested to me a wider world beyond the small southern city I grew up in, one of glamour, art, and adventure. Hearing a bit of Piano Sonata No. 11 transports me back to my childhood bedroom and the fantastical world of play I had invented for myself.
Mariah Anne Johnson
I've spent a great time inside an ICA in a hospital, and the chaotic sounds I heard there made a great impact on my audio visual production.
All the videos I saw at the academy of fine arts in the new media course were important. Before that I didn't know there was anyone who used video as an art form. Among all, those who had the greatest impact were Bill Viola, Marina Abramovich, Matthew Barney.
Philip Glass’s Koyaanisqatsi.
Lorin Chow Roser
As a 1990s-born person, TV was one of the most important playmates in my childhood. It also brought me my initial interest in videos.
This is an impossible question. There's was this beautiful untitled improvised work performed at Phill Niblock's loft in New York by Olivia Block, Sandra Gibson, and Luis Recoder for two 16mm projectors and electronic sound that stays with me. And then there was a performance of Jonathan Chen's 19 situations for 6 improvisers: a system for hearing at Heaven Gallery in Chicago that I think about from time to time. But I do also find myself returning to Alvin Lucier's I am sitting in a room, whose work I encountered early on in my musical career and whose ideas remain resonant across my practice.
alejandro t. acierto
I created this video art piece in a college course with filmmaker Elisabeth Subrin. The assignment was to make an assemblage of found materials, so I scoured local Goodwills for VHS tapes, plus sent for educational promo videos for random services and facilities. (This was before streaming, or even DVDs!) Creating a work from patchworked elements was a totally new experience and flipped my perception upside down, inspiring me to remix and reconstruct on a more primitive level, which I eventually adapted in my glitch art practice.
Performance of the Russian singer Linda in the program The Morning Star (show of talented teenagers). It was hyper weird because she was like a black witch among stupid children's faces. And one hundred percent of me was influenced by only one film – "Dancing in the Dark" by Lars von Trier. I was about 13-14 years old then. It was a complete break in the head.
There are three of them: «Pieta» by Kim Ki Duk, «In the Mood for Love» by Wong Kar wai, and "Funny Game" by Michael Haneke. These films have passed through all my senses.
Jean Luc Ponty Individual Choice
When MTV was new, this was the most amazing music video I saw.
It influenced me profoundly and I bought a synth and started that journey of synth programming. Later I started making videos and performing live improvised movies.
Works by Meredith Monk, Heiner Goebbels, Philip Glass or productions by Robert Wilson had deeply impressed me.
The different and various experiences of conjugating a sound and visual universe, whether individual or within artistic collectives, and, mainly in a place of unique characteristics, have been one of the most significant experiences I have experienced in terms of expression with sound and image. Even more, when associated with the "place" - with all its singular and multiple layers.
Another and perhaps the most significant experience in this universe has been the fantastic possibility of dialogues between different artists - each with its own universe, imaginary, references and expression - resulting in the realization of new "objectualities" and enriching learning.
Definitely punk music which has been a major visual influence on my early videos and equipment. Visually, everything was very direct and loud with me. The sound itself is always subtle and mysterious and should invite you to decode. The linguistic expression or different languages and typefaces were/are actually always very important in my video works. Sound and acoustics are based on the everyday sounds that surround me and my protagonists: This is language on the one hand and ambient sounds on the other, I like to examine these for re- and dissonances, translate and arrange sounds into individual compositions via mathematical sound grids. For example, the translation of the body's own sound of a movement into sound or the translation of body temperatures that arise during a movement into individual and collective soundscapes.
La Lupe, chanteuse / performance artist extraordinaire, on prime-time television in Puerto Rico in the 60's.
I think I've had inspirations in every age, throughout experimental art, video, cinema, visual arts, performance, and they were all significant to show me what a fantasy landscape could be. Now, I believe my new inspiration is coming from video and film works by Marlon Riggs (as in Tongues Untied), Jorge Furtado (as in This Is Not Your Life), and Roy Andersson (as in Songs From The Second Floor). All of these three artists have showed me new facets of screenwriting, editing, and storytelling in 2022.
When I was sixteen I attended a weekly Film screening at my local art college. The first week they showed Eraserhead. The second week they showed Koyaanisqatsi. That was when I realised that there was a Director that could have a particular style and themes. I also discovered the cerebral and visceral power of images and sound.
Since I came up just at the beginning of video, independent film was more of an influence for me; yet, while in grad school, I was introduced to Shigeko Kubota’s 'Nude Descending a Staircase’. That work in addition to Michael Snow’s 'Wavelength" and Chantal Ackerman’s "Jean Dielman 23 quad du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles'’ were also pivotal works as I began to work with film and later installation
And, for an early ‘sound’work that influenced me: Duchamp’s ‘With Hidden Noise’ and John Cage’s ’Silence 4:33", both of which require some imagination and/or patience to ‘hear’.
i imagine it’s probably every art student's typical response; The Way Things Go (1987) Peter Fischli and David Weiss, but it did have a huge impact and have held that as one of my favourite works, however, also, i never make a presentation without referencing Carolee Schneemann’s documentation and video work of Upto and Including Her Limits; or Janet Cardiff’s collection of walking sound works was HUGE in the shaping of my ambition to make good work.
Michael Snow’s “La Region Centrale”. How he built his own robotic "tripod" in order to create the camera movements he wanted really had an impact on the way I approached art making - like anything is possible, you just have to make the right situation. It's a great example of modifying technology and making something that “breaks” the dominant usage of it in order to really push the boundaries of perception.
Andrea Fraser ‘Official Welcome’
I first encountered Janet Cardiff’s 40-Part Motet at PS1 MoMA. Walking into the mostly empty space was like throwing myself into a tidal wave of sound. I remember walking around and briefly making eye contact with strangers before quickly looking away because the empathy was so strong, it was such an intimate and sacred experience. After that I was sold on sound art.
For sound that would be Laborintus II by Luciano Berio, I heard it on the radio when I was about 17 years old and it opened my ears to a whole new world in which voice and instruments where used in a free playful fashion in an atmosphere that seemed surreal. It made me want to compose and create my own sounds and musical reality.
As video is concerned I am in doubt whether to choose between the music video from David Bowie’s Ashes to ashes or Hans Richter’s Rythmus ’21. The first had a spell on me when I was a kid watching the charts, I was really blown away, puzzled and frightful, because of the colors, distorted images and absurd roleplaying. The latter I saw years ago in the Kunstmuseum in The Hague, which has a whole section on Mondriaan and the group “De stijl” that he was a part of and there was this picture, abstract sheer beauty completely handcrafted. The precision of movement and composition in an era with hardly any technical means has been an inspiration from then on.
Sally’s Beauty Spot (1990) made by Helen Lee. This experimental video introduced me to Asian-American voices present in moving images. It showed me the path I should walk through as Korean-American artist.
Sae Yong Lee
'The Snowman' by Raymond Briggs is an animated film that is etched in my memory, both visual and aural. The magical nature of the film, which is expressed in animation, has made a great impression, and who knows, it may have even led me to work with animation myself.
The video is titled "First Mother". In the video, the cry of a baby brings the connection between human life and the divine presence. The cry of a baby also symbolises the point of our existence on this earth which is a significant part of our life. Due to the fast pace of our life, we have lost it.
New sounds and video work constantly inspire me, but the ending of the movie "Lady Bird" particularly remains in my heart. The struggles of naivety and the subsequent growth of the character, Christine, were similar to mine, and the ending scene of leaving a message to her mom shined aesthetically which reflected my background and appreciate my life now.
"Cows cows & cows" by Ciryak on Youtube was probably be of the first YouTube videos I have ever seen. It was fun, grotesque, catchy, creative, and totally weird… I believe YouTube videos like these shaped my humor and my interests.
The video “revés” by café tacvba (1999) had a great impact on me because at the age of 13 I had never seen anything like it.
Long Gone by Philipsz
I’m Not The Girl Who Misses Much, Pipilotti Rist, 1986
Stan Brakhage’s Preludes (1996), and his body of work in general, absolutely took the lid off of how I thought about video. Like many of Brakhage’s films, these were produced without the use of a camera, by painting and scratching fast-moving, vividly coloured abstractions directly onto the celluloid. The result is the most immediate, intimate and deeply involving work I’ve seen, even though the preludes are all completely silent.
Magazinist [Andy Zuliani]
I was very fascinated when I first saw Nutka (1996) by Stan Douglas, which motivated me to explore how sound and video work can communicate messages from different dimensions.
The Nantes Triptych by Bill Viola. It asks all the questions about life, death and spirituality without attempting glib answers. It helped me through the death of my father and the birth of my first son a few months later. A mind blowing work in the best of senses.