Stephen Beck

A pioneer in video technology and image processing, artist and engineer Stephen Beck developed one of the first video synthesizers — the Beck Direct Video Synthesizer. Designed in 1969, this device electronically fused moving color imagery with recorded visual material in real time. Beck used his synthesizer to merge music and image in performance collaborations with musicians such as Warner Jepson and Jordan Belson. In 1974, he designed the Video Weaver, a digital video computer with "warps" and "wefts" based on traditional textile looms. Fusing art and technology, Beck's pure abstractions of moving light and color form a link between the kinetic and Op art movements and the electronic medium of video.

Beck was born in 1950. He studied music and electronic engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana, and the University of California at Berkeley. Beck has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation and the American Film Institute. He was an artist-in-residence at the National Center for Experiments in Television (NCET), San Francisco, 1970-73. He is president of Electron Video Creations, which is affiliated with Beck-Tech, an electronic design and consulting company he formed in 1978. He lives in Berkeley.