VJ pioneer Peter Rubin’s collection donated to EYE, remix in Researchlabs

1 February 2018

The complete archive of VJ pioneer Peter Rubin has recently been donated to EYE. On 17 February, Amsterdam’s VjAcademy brings a new mix of original work based on the collection of Rubin, who was one of the founding fathers of the VJ scene. The event will be the sparkling culmination of this year’s edition of EYE’s Researchlabs.

On 17 February EYE puts the spotlight on a new generation of curators and artists during the annual Researchlabs. Students from eight art academies and universities will present a programme of new work, remixes of films or short historical avant-garde films from EYE’s collection. Three VJs from the VjAcademy will bring a live mix of some of Peter Rubin’s video work from the early 1990s using original video equipment. Thanks to the efforts of the VjAcademy, nearly all of Rubin’s films have now been donated and incorporated in EYE’s collection. The majority of his experimental films was previously preserved in close consultation with Rubin.

Peter Rubin is a familiar name to EYE. The American filmmaker (1941–2015) settled in Amsterdam in the 1970s, and played a major role in the Dutch cultural scene both as a curator and through his organization Holland Experimental Film (HEF). Peter Rubin, however, was more than a filmmaker and a curator. He was also a pioneer of the VJ scene in the Netherlands, Germany and Eastern Europe. From 1980 to 1989 he was Mazzo’s visual artist in residence. The celebrated club gave him full scope to experiment with AV installations using 16mm and Super-8 loops, numerous slide projectors and video projections that were mixed live. The synergy of sound, images and light made Mazzo a big name in the club scene.
In the 1990s Peter Rubin put a lot of energy into the expanding rave and techno culture in Germany and Eastern Europe. As a visual artist he performed at major international events such as Mayday, Chromopark and Love Parade. Afterwards he played in Amsterdam clubs like Escape and Panama.
Peter Rubin’s collection spans three decades and comprises his complete collection of VHS tapes, photographic slides, films, documentation, equipment, posters and many other items. His collection presents EYE with a unique opportunity to pinpoint the crossovers within multimedia art and explore the creative interface between cinema and video art. EYE has started a project to access and preserve this outstanding collection in collaboration with the VjAcademy and LIMA, two expert institutes in the field of VJ and video art.

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