Movie Mural, 1965 - 1968

Basel 2017
The Box
Installation
16mm film transferred to video, 35mm slide projections
Stan VanDerBeek’s iconic Movie Mural is an immersive multimedia installation, comprised of various projections of collaged newsreels, found films, slides, and the artist’s stop-motion collage and computer-based films. VanDerBeek was revolutionary in his thinking about the power of imagery and technology in his ambitious installations from the 1960s and 1970s. He was compelled to explore how the multitude of existing images surrounding contemporary humankind – film, advertisements, artworks, photographs – could be used to create a new universal visual language. His belief in the computer as an extension of the mind kept him pursuing technology as a means of expressing and engaging human consciousness. VanDerBeek was experimenting with projections of newsreels and his own films onto multiple screens as early as 1958. In the early 1960s, he made films of Happenings as well as of performances by Merce Cunningham and Carolee Schneemann. In 1965, he contributed a Movie Mural to Cunningham’s Variations V, transforming the dance backdrop into a moving image; Movie Mural became the term used to describe his mobile, multi-screen environments made for viewers and performers alike.