2016 marks both the 50th anniversary of the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative (LFMC) and the 40th anniversary of London Video Arts (LVA) – two predecessor organisations of LUX, the London-based arts agency for the support and promotion of artists’ moving image practice and discourse. To celebrate 50 years of artists’ moving image practice in the UK, LUX has organised a year-long, multi-venue programme of screenings, talks, workshops, publications and other events – from the ‘LFMC50’ screening series at BFI Southbank, to the ‘Co-op Dialogues 1966–2016’ screenings and artists’ conversations at Tate Britain.
LUX has invited the first-year students of Central Saint Martin’s MRes Art: Moving Image course to contribute to this programme by curating and designing an online exhibition in response to the joint LFMC and LVA anniversary year; this website is the outcome of this collaboration. While many of the anniversary events have focused on the historical activity and legacy of the LFMC, less attention has been afforded to LVA. Accordingly, our exhibition acts as a small yet enthusiastic counterpoint to the core programme by drawing from the wealth of LVA tapes in LUX’s video archive.
London Video Arts formed in 1976 as a co-operative for the production, distribution and exhibition of video art following, on from the 1975 ‘Video Show’ at the Serpentine Gallery. While late reinvented as London Video Access in 1989 and London Electronic Arts (LEA) in 1994, LVA paved the way for artists to engage with video technologies and electronic media throughout the UK.
In 1999, LEA and the LFMC merged in 1999 to form The Lux Centre, which would be reborn as LUX in 2002. Since then, their extensive combined catalogue of video tapes, discs and films have continued to be internationally distributed. However, due to the rapidity of technological developments, many of the former LVA tapes have remained in their original formats within the LUX archive, with digitisation often only occurring in response to distribution and exhibition needs. We have used the occasion of this online exhibition to provoke the digitisation of a number of works previously unavailable for online viewing (including a number of works not shown in this final exhibition).
Our selection has been informed by archival research at the British Artists’ Film and Video Study Collection, Central Saint Martins, and has been made possible by the financial support of LUX and The Postgraduate Community Student Communities Fund, University of the Arts London.
The LVA 40 exhibition is curated by Clara Boulard, Charlotte Hunt, Jack Jeans, Nana Maiolini, Zaira Perina, Cathryn Quail and Marianne Templeton, and is accompanied by a newly commissioned essay by Central Saint Martins PhD student Colin Perry.
The website is designed by CSM Graphic Design student Alexis Poles, and developed by Mat Martin.
With thanks to the artists, LUX staff, Lucy Reynolds, Steven Ball and The Postgraduate Community Student Communities Fund.