STEIM Radio #10: The Guest Artistic Directors

STEIM Radio #10 features a mix of music by the Guest Artistic Directors of STEIM. The show will be broadcasted at on May 16, 2012 at 23:00 and streamed afterwards at this location. (UPDATE) The full program is now streaming also on mixcloud and can be downloaded. Below is the text written for the broadcast.

When Michael asked me to be Artistic Co-Director in 2007, I was overwhelmed with excitement but at the same time felt an enormous pressure knowing the legacy and controversy that came with the Guest Artistic Directors of STEIM.

The position was introduced when STEIM moved to its current location in 1986, utilizing the fact that it now had a guesthouse for artists to stay for an extended period of time. Artists and researchers who excelled in a specific area or who represented a scene were invited to strengthen STEIM’s position in these fields and build new networks. When Michel Waisvisz became Director in 1985, his first task was to shift the focus of the institution from analog electronic instruments to digital computer-based instruments. George Lewis and Joel Ryan who were at IRCAM at that time were invited to help make this transition, and later Clarence Barlow came from Köln. Ryan and Barlow settled in the Netherlands for more than 20 years afterwards, and Ryan has kept an active advisory and inspirational role ever since.

Nic Collins was the first to be heavily involved in the organization, actively curating weekly concerts, inviting the New York Downtown scene, and organizing a festival. He was also the first to pass a “memo” around STEIM, which supposedly was a cultural shock for the staff. Steina Vasulka elevated STEIM’s status as the most innovated place for live video with the software she developed with Tom Demeyer called Image/ine. Sally-Jane Norman was the first theorist to take the position helping STEIM define it’s Touch manifesto and organize a large scale symposium.

One of the most controversial directors was Netochka Nezvanova – a mysterious and fierce persona who by this time had many enemies in the community. Daniel Schorno was there to make sure that things didn’t go astray, and continues to advise projects at STEIM today. Jan St. Werner was equally controversial as he represented a more dance and pop-minded community which made some older STEIM followers uncomfortable. Mazen Kerbaj and Tarek Atoui were a new generation of global artists that freely crossed the boundaries of nations and genres. Atau Tanaka and Tina Blaine represented a new community of artists / academics who lead educational institutions and international conferences.

My role has been similar role to Collins, being the “embedded” Guest Director, taking care of daily operations like project management, research groups, curation and production, and also just generally being around.

The position always started with a friendship and trust between Michel, but often built up tension due to different working styles, cultural backgrounds and strong personalities. However, I believe that this tension is what kept the institution relevant and healthy over the years. It broke STEIM out of its comfort zone and pushed it where it needed to be. I am proud to be part of that tradition.

STEIM Guest Artistic Directors:
1985 – 86 George Lewis / US & Joel Ryan / US
1986 – 87 Clarence Barlow / UK
1992 – 94 Nicolas Collins / US
1995 – 96 Steina Vasulka / IS
1998 Sally-Jane Norman / NZ
2000 – 02 Netochka Nezvanova (Rebekah Wilson / NZ) & Daniel Schorno / CH
2003 – 04 Daniel Schorno / CH
2005 – 06 Jan St. Werner (Mouse on Mars, Lithops, Microstoria) / DE
2007 Mazen Kerbaj / LB, Atau Tanaka / US, Takuro Mizuta Lippit (dj sniff) / JP
2008 Tarek Atoui / LB, Tina Blaine (Bean) / US, Takuro Mizuta Lippit (dj sniff) / JP
2009 – 12 Takuro Mizuta Lippit (dj sniff) / JP

Track List:
1. It was dark and stormy night / Nicolas Collins (1992)
2. Oran / Joel Ryan (2004)
3. Broken Light II – Torelli / Nicolas Collins (1992)
4. Voyager duo 2 / George Lewis (1993)
5. Relationships for melody instruments / Clarence Barlow (1987)
6. The Commission (excerpt) / Woody Vasulka (1987)
7. Hyena Days / Steina Vasulka & Michael Saup (1992)
8. Uni Umit / Lithops (1998)
9. Bari-tone / Daniel Schorno (2001)
10. Spring: Still unfurled live in Moscow / Netochka Nezvanova & Ayelet Harpaz (2002)
11. Untitled 3 / Tarek Atoui (2008)
12. Textural Swing / A Trio (Mazen Kerbaj, Sharif Sehnaoui, Raed Yassin) (2012)
13. Or beat / dj sniff (2011)
14. Alias To The Nexttime / Atau Tanaka (2000)
15. Solo concert at STEIM / Bean (2008)
16. Shaker mix / Joel Ryan (2004)
17. Touch Symposium / Sally-Jane Norman (1998)

Text, selection and mix by Takuro Mizuta Lippit (dj sniff)

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