Vin Grabill Vin Grabill
video artist
Otto Piene Sky Art Sky Kiss Sun Valley Neon Rainbow Sun Valley Neon Rainbow 2

These videos represent my ongoing association with the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at M.I.T. I collaborated on a number of projects with poet and CAVS research Fellow Elizabeth Goldring (earlier page), and I also produced several videos documenting events produced by former CAVS director Otto Piene and associated artists including Charlotte Moorman and Nam June Paik.

For the past 40 years, Otto Piene has pioneered a kind of environmental art he terms Sky Art. "Otto Piene's Sky Art" surveys several of Otto's well known Sky Art works, ranging from his "Olympic Rainbow", made for the Munich Olympiad in 1972, to "Sky Kiss" with Charlotte Moorman at the Sky Art Conference in Linz, Austria. Otto adds commentary, along with former Dean of the MIT School of Architecture, Bill Mitchell. This video was commissioned by the deCordova Museum, Lincoln, MA, to accompany an exhibit of Otto's work in January 2010.

Otto Piene brought Charlotte Moorman to the Sky Art Conference/Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria to perform "Sky Kiss". With the assistance of many volunteers, an array of helium-filled tubes was gathered together, and Charlotte and her cello were lifted off the ground. The video begins with an interview I made of Charlotte on the roof top of her New York studio in 1982, just prior to the performance in Austria.

"Otto Piene's Sun Valley Neon Rainbow" documents Otto's 1985 large-scale environmental art event in Sun Valley, Idaho - an attempt to install a temporary inflatable sculpture into the picturesque landscape of the Sun Valley hills. Once the inflatable "rainbow" form is prepared and moved into position with the help of a large crew of volunteers, hundreds of tri-color neon tubes are hung from the central tube, preparing the rainbow is ready for nighttime viewing.
I shot and edited this video documentary in 1985. This is a 10-minute version that I recently edited from the original 48-minute version.

©2012 Vin Grabill