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Artists: Ko Nakajima


ko nakajima

Nakajima Ko began creating experimental animation in the 1960s, representative work being Seizoki (1964), produced by painting on the film during his solo exhibition at the Sogetsu Art Center, a space for avant-garde art in 1960s Tokyo. Intersections between film and video, as well as his practice of documenting "life," are explored in his Biological Life (1971-), which he made by manipulating film footage, copying it onto video and using a video synthesizer. In 1971, Nakajima established Video Earth Tokyo, a video-art collective formed by people from a wide variety of professions. With Video Earth Tokyo, Nakajima documented a performance piece using nascent technology, the portable video recorder. In Shokutaku ressha (video picnic) (1975), Nakajima and others cooked and ate a meal on the platform of a subway station. Another work investigating the technical materiality of video and photography, What is Photography? (1976), is two-channel piece with video documentation of thirty naked men with cameras shooting a naked woman on a table on one monitor, while the other monitor presents the still photographs taken by the men. and producing video art in 1971. That year he founded the collective Video Earth Tokyo and began broadcasting works on cable television, as well as participating in exhibitions and CG (computer graphics) conferences internationally. In the 1980s, Nakajima produced the personal computer Aniputer, created with the research department of the Japan Victor Company (JVC). The device allows the user to manipulate video and images on the computer.

CCJ Projects

artist talk (at community archiving workshop)

interview: 2016

An interview was conducted during a studio visit with Professor Mona Jimenez and Laurie Duke. The interview will be posted shortly. 

screening: 2015-2016

  Image: Still from Ko Nakajima,  What is Photography? , 1976. Courtesy the artist

Image: Still from Ko Nakajima, What is Photography?, 1976. Courtesy the artist

Thursday, March 3, 2016 at International House Philadelphia
Friday, September 11, 2015 at Grey Art Gallery at New York University

Video and Before  explores various contexts in which artists began using video, bringing art historical, technical, social, and biographical backgrounds forward against each artist’s discovery and experimentation of the new medium. The featured five artists were the first to use video as an artistic medium in Japan. These artists came to video from different areas: animation, experimental film, performance, and sculpture. Presented chronologically within each artist’s group of works, the selections demonstrate their wide-ranging interests in filmic expression, technology, and themes. Works are sourced from either the artist or researchers working on preservation or digitization projects and are building archival records of the artists' oeuvres. 

Ko Nakajima [Courtesy artist & Taki Kentaro, VIDEOART CENTER Tokyo]
Seizoki, 1964, 16mm, 4:10 min
Biological Life Part 1, 1971, film processed in video, 6 min / 3 min excerpt
Shokutaku ressha (Video picnic), 1975, video, 7:46min / 3:45 min excerpt
What is Photography?, 1976, video, 20 min / 4:45 min excerpt