“Video Circle” by Danny Yung


  • ©, Danny Yung, Video Circle

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    Video Circle

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    Ellen Pau writes on Danny Yung: “At the time [1984], I frequently visited the clubhouse of experimental theater company Zuni Icosahedron to watch European New Wave cinema. There, I met the founder and artistic director Danny Yung. (…) In 1996, Danny invited me to take part in his video installation, Video Circle. The piece expanded on his concept of co-creation and collaboration, this time in providing a platform for video artists. In Zuni’s theater and workshops, Danny always created space for interaction, experimentation and brainstorming in order to cultivate collaboration. I would describe these creative processes as a dialogue, between ourselves and between us and the audience. In a similar way, dialogues are fed as inputs intoVideo Circle, the outputs of which are then visible in the black-box space of the videos. Video Circleis inspired by the I Ching. There are 32 identical monitors that are placed in a circle. The screens of the monitor face inward, so the audience is required to walk into the circle in order to view the videos. Yin and yang are present in this work; the screen is the bright “yang,” like the face of a coin. However, we don’t see all of the yang when we stand in the circle; some of the screens fall out of sight. Video Circle operates on an automatic playback platform in which each VHS player, attached to an individual monitor, plays an artist’s work in a staggered sequence, creating a loop across the 32 screens in either a clockwise or anticlockwise direction. In terms of time, two adjacent machines will have a playback lag of about five to eight seconds. The tape is played many times over the day and each work only begins after another has ended. Yet the tension of the tape, and the mechanics of the VHS players do not function perfectly. Over time, the differences between video playbacks increase.
    This platform—comprising VHS players, artists and audience—creates a different viewing experience. Video Circle brings forth not only the idea of automatic writing and reading but also comments on dualism: in machines and humans; in positives and negatives; in breathing in and breathing out. I found Video Circle fascinating, similar to John Horton Conway’s “Game of Life.” Danny presented more than six editions of Video Circle. Over 100 artists from Asia, Europe and the United States contributed. The project witnessed not only differences in artistic practices but also geographical and generational differences.” [source: artasiapacific.com/Magazine/112/EllenPauOnDannyYung]


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