Titles with or about Steina Steina

A So Desu Ka

1994, 9:40 min, color, sound

In this piece, Steina, a pioneer of electronic signal manipulation, applies digital technology to alter our sense of video space and time. Through computer effects, a montage of seemingly arbitrary shots of Japanese religious sites and natural settings becomes a hypnotic vortex. Speech and text are absent, replaced by a bombardment of electronic noise. Steina creates a tension between the "original" scenes, which index notions of tradition, tranquility and prayer, and the actual video product, which depends on ideas of technology and the future. The discrepancies raise questions about the work of art in the age of digital reproduction, and the status of "traditional" non-Western cultural symbols when freed of contextualizing anthropological discourse.

Dancers: Saburo Teshigawara and his ensemble.