Bruce and Norman Yonemoto

Related EAI Public Programs

Broadcasting: Book Launch and Screening
Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) 264 Canal Street #3W
New York, NY 10013

September 26th, 2022
7:00 pm ET

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is pleased to present an evening of video and television works celebrating the publication launch of Broadcasting: EAI at ICA. This free screening features selections from the 2018 exhibition of the same name, and reflects on artist responses to themes of media saturation, commercialization, duration, and public engagement. Copies of the catalog will be for sale.

Free to attend. RSVP here.

Following the mass adoption of cable TV and home video recording technology in the early ‘80s, many artists had access to a new arsenal of strategies for intervening directly with televised media. Public broadcast carved out a space for experimentation, a sensibility showcased in such series as Jaime Davidovich’s The Live! Show (1979-84) and Robert Beck’s The Space Program (1985-86), both aired on the Manhattan Cable Network. The advent of specialized networks also presented new opportunities to mingle artists’ media with “normal” televised content: MTV, with their hip youth audience in mind, invited a number of artists to create culture-jamming interstitials in between music videos including video art pioneer Dara Birnbaum, and initiatives such as TRANS-VOICES commissioned artists including Birnbaum, Bruce and Norman Yonemoto, Philip Mallory Jones, and Tom Kalin to produce 60-second spots for American and French broadcast. As the choices on the TV remote became more vast, so too did an overwhelming sense of content glut and advertising onslaught. New consumer video formats like VHS and Betamax gave a new generation of artists the license to remix and deconstruct these images, a practice exemplified by works such as Cable Xcess (1996), a faux-infomercial by Kristin Lucas that warns of the long-term consequences of exposure to electromagnetic fields, and No Sell Out... or i wnt 2 b th ultimate commodity/ machine (Malcolm X Pt. 2) (1995), a stunning MTV-style indictment of consumerism and racial capitalism by “art-band” X-PRZ.

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)’s venue is located at 264 Canal Street, 3W, near several Canal Street subway stations. Our floor is accessible by elevator (63" × 60" car, 31" door) and stairway. Due to the age and other characteristics of the building, our bathrooms are not ADA-accessible, though several such bathrooms are located nearby. If you have questions about access, please contact in advance of the event.

Masks are strongly encouraged. If you are experiencing a fever, cough, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, or other symptoms that could be related to COVID-19, we ask that you please stay home.
The Work of Bruce & Norman Yonemoto
Anthology Film Archives 32 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003

March 17 through March 24, 2022

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is pleased to partner with Anthology Film Archives to host artist Bruce Yonemoto for a retrospective of the video work he and his brother Norman Yonemoto have created, both together and separately, since the mid-1970s. Working largely collaboratively until Norman’s death in 2014, the Yonemotos hold a unique place in the history of avant-garde cinema and video art. Their work can be viewed through many different prisms: proudly Queer and committed to conveying the perspective and history of Asian-American (specifically, Japanese-American) culture, their films, videos, and installations also reflect a distinctively West Coast mentality, steeped in the radiance (and the shadows) of Hollywood’s glamorous myths, illusions, and ideologies.

Raised in Santa Clara, California, in the immediate postwar years, with their mother’s experience in the Japanese-American concentration camps informing their upbringing, the brothers both embraced careers in visual culture early on: Norman attended film school at UCLA and the American Film Institute, while Bruce studied art at UC Berkeley, the Sokei Bijitsu Gakkō in Tokyo, and the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. Despite these initially separate paths – and after Norman cut his filmmaking teeth making both agit-prop shorts and the adult film Brothers – they almost immediately embarked on a collaborative career, beginning with the X-rated feature Garage Sale (1976). Soon after, they began a trilogy of video works known as the “Soap Opera Series” – a title that reflected their ongoing preoccupation with the conventions of television soap opera in particular and the codes and forms of mass media in general.

The Yonemotos’ extraordinary video works of the 1980s and 90s are irreverent, ironic, gleefully stylized, and yet closely attuned to the ways in which the grammar and iconography of television and industrial cinema shape modern life. Collaborating with a gloriously eclectic array of artists and performers including Mike Kelley, Tony Oursler, Spalding Gray, Jeffrey Vallance, Patricia Arquette, Ron Vawter, Mary Woronov, and Michael Smith, their body of work represents a fascinating nexus of figures, themes, and ideas.

Following Norman’s death in 2014, Bruce continued making single-channel video pieces, in addition to his photographs, installations, and sculptural works. This comprehensive retrospective will encompass almost all of the Yonemotos’ collaborative works, as well as Norman’s Second Campaign and Brothers, and a selection of the solo works Bruce has created since the turn of the millennium.

Bruce Yonemoto will appear in person for the majority of the screenings, with other special guests to be announced.

For a full list of showtimes, please see the Anthology Film Archives website.
At Home with Mike Kelley: Kappa
Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts

August 11, 5 pm PDT / 8 pm EDT

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts are pleased to co-present At Home with Mike Kelley, a series of online screenings and conversations about the artist's moving-image work. Next Tuesday, we present an online screening of Mike Kelley and Bruce & Norman Yonemoto's Kappa (1986) followed by a conversation with Bruce Yonemoto and curator Andrea Lissoni. The event will be accessible at at 5 pm PDT / 8 pm EDT on Tuesday, July 28th. No RSVP or pre-registration is required. View the conversation here:

Deconstructing the myth of Oedipus within the framework of an ancient Japanese folk story, the Yonemotos craft a highly charged discourse of loss and desire. Quoting from Buñuel, Freud, pop media and art, they place the symbology of Western psychosexual analytical theory into a cross-cultural context, juxtaposing the Oedipal and Kappa myths in a delirious collusion of form and content. The Kappa, a malevolent Japanese water imp, is played with eerie intensity by Kelley; actress Mary Woronov plays Jocasta as a vamp from a Hollywood exploitation film. Steeped in perversions and violent longings, both the Kappa and Oedipus legends are presented in highly stylized, purposefully "degraded" forms, reflecting their media-exploitative cultural contexts. In this ironic yet oddly poignant essay of psychosexual compulsion and catharsis, the Yonemotos and Kelley demonstrate that even in debased forms, cultural archetypes hold the power to move and manipulate.

Bruce Yonemoto is a Japanese-American multimedia artist. His photographs, installations, sculptures, and films appropriate familiar narrative forms and then circumvent convention through direct, over-eager adoption of heavily clichéd dialogue, music, gestures, and scenes that click in the viewer’s memory without being identifiable. Working in collaboration with his brother, Norman Yonemoto, since 1975, Bruce Yonemoto has set out to divulge a body of work at the crossroads of television, art, commerce, and the museum/gallery world. His work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Film Institute, The Rockefeller Foundation, the Maya Deren Award for Experimental Film and Video, and a mid-career survey show at the Japanese American National Museum.

Andrea Lissoni is the Artistic Director of Haus der Kunst, Munich. He was previously the Senior Curator of International Art (Film) at Tate Modern, London, where he he launched an annual Cinema Programme conceived as an exhibition unfolding throughout the year. In 2012, he co-founded Vdrome, an online cinema for artists and filmmakers. Previously, he was curator at HangarBicocca, Milan (2009-13) and co-director of the international festival Netmage, Bologna (both Italy).
Migrating Forms at Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Avenue
New York, NY 10003

Monday, May 17, 2010, 7 pm

EAI collaborated with Migrating Forms, the new incarnation of the New York Underground Film Festival, on a special screening devoted to the video works of Los Angeles-based artists Bruce and Norman Yonemoto, brothers who produced a body of collaborative video works beginning in 1976. The program included two works, the feature-length video Made In Hollywood (1990, 56:12 min) and the classic short video Vault (1984, 11:45 min). Bruce Yonemoto will be present to introduce the screening and participate in a conversation with Josh Kline of EAI.
MULTIPLEX 2 at Smack Mellon
Smack Mellon 92 Plymouth Street, DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Opening Reception: Friday, October 14, 2005, 7-9 PM
Exhibition runs from October 14-November 27, 2005

EAI curated the second manifestation of Smack Mellon's multi-screen video exhibition. MULTIPLEX 2 featured new and classic video works from the EAI collection, and was the inaugural exhibition of Smack Mellon's new gallery space.
Monkeytown 58 North 3rd Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Thursday, October 6, 13, 20, & 27, 2005, 7:30 & 10 pm

Videos by artists who explore the strange phenomena that can arise from living closely with melodrama and television, including Dara Birnbaum, Shana Moulton, Michael Smith, Bruce and Norman Yonemoto.
Museum of Modern Art New York City

February 26 - April 30, 2002

As the keystone of EAI's 30th anniversary events, Museum of Modern Art presented First Decade: Video from the EAI Archives, a major retrospective that looked at the early days of video through EAI's historical collection. Featuring 60 works, the twelve-part program explored themes and issues ranging from performance and the body; narrative; cultural essays; activism, and poetics.