A pioneer in video art, Vâelez, together with Gary Hill and Bill
Viola, was at the forefront of the generation that established video as an
art form in the 1970s.
Educated at the University of Puerto Rico, where he
was influenced by Marshal McLuhan, Vâelez subsequently moved to New York
where he studied at Global Village. Vâelez has been credited with the
development of "a new transequential language of representation," in which
multiple scenes are superimposed and juxtaposed within the frame. In this
respect, Vâelez's production notes on his video pieces provide a unique
and invaluable resource on how he was able to make these advances using
analog formats -- nearly a decade before digital formats made layered
imagery a standard practice in video production. In his numerous videos,
Vâelez has explored other cultures -- from the Cuna Indians of Panama to
the Butoh dancers of Japan -- using his unique video aesthetic and
language to explore intercultural dialogue and self-reflexive ethnography.
Above all, Vâelez's videos attest to the impossibility of a one-to-one
translation across cultural boundaries. (Extracted from notes by Chon
Noriega, Dept. of Film and Television, UCLA)
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