Marina Koldobskaya and Maria Korosteleva, Kirsi Vakiparta, Lars Bang Larsen
“Electric Visions” is the first major project presenting contemporary video art from Russia and countries of Northern Europe. This program contains the best video works of the past several years, made by Russian (25 works), Finnish (16 works), Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish (23 works) artists. Among them there are young but already well-known artists, the participants and prize-winners of Venice Biennial and other prestigious international art forums. After its premiere in St. Petersburg the program is to be shown in many cities of Russia as well as in the biggest European museums and centers of contemporary art.

“Electric Visions” is the result of collaboration of three institutions: The Nordic Council of Ministers, The Distribution Center for Finnish Media Art AV-ARRKI (Helsinki) and The National Сenter for Contemporary Art (St. Petersburg). There are three programs in this festival:

Video art from Russia (curators – Marina Koldobskaya and Maria Korosteleva, The National Center for Contemporary Art, St. Petersburg). The broad geography of the project (from capitals to country-sides) includes videos from St. Petersburg, Moscow, Kaliningrad, Novosibirsk, Ekaterinburg, Barnaul. Among the participants there are artists, who have recently represented Russian art on major international exhibitions: The Blue Noses (Alexandr Shaburov and Vyacheslav Mizin), Oleg Kulik, Ludmila Gorlova, Viktor Alimpiev, whose works were shown on Venice Biennial, and the Escape program as well with their video Quartett, which critics called the best project of the Contemporary art 2003 and was given a prize “Studios of Art-Moscow”. The program also contains video works by artist of new generation.

Video art from Finland (curator – Kirsi Vakiparta, The Distribution Center for Finnish Media Art AV-ARRKI, Helsinki). Among the artists presented in the program there is Liisa Lounilla, prize-winner of Venice Biennial. She is one of the world famous female artists, who made a special pinhole film camera, which exposes simultaneously hundreds of frames. The program includes her video work Play >>, shot with this camera. Besides, there are some videos featuring experimental electronic music, the interest toward which has been an important trend in the Finnish video.

Video art from Iceland, Denmark, Norway and Sweden (curator – Lars Bang Larsen, Copenhagen). The program shows the later tendencies and ideas, which has been important for video art of Northern European countries. Video artists study the drama of individual existence in the world full of stereotypes and clichés.

Video art is a broad notion, which includes digital animation, documentaries and staged video and also footage showing happenings and performances. The main thing here is that these are all the works of contemporary art, done by artists with the help of video camera, which distinguishes video art from experimental and short-footage films.

The history of Russian video art is a bit more than 10 years. At the turn of the 1990s, when Finnish video art had already reached its zenith, Russian artist were just beginning to work with video camera. Since that time Russian video art has already come into existence, while in Northern European countries a new generation of video artists has come up.