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Wednesday, May 31 • 9:30am - 10:00am
(Electronic Media) Framing the Jones Buffer: Documenting the History and Preservation of an Iconic Image-Processing Tool

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Since the early 1970s, video artist and engineer Dave Jones has garnered iconic status as one of the most important video toolmakers within the Western and Upstate New York media art communities. He is well-known for transferring concepts and techniques from analog audio synthesis--such as filtering, sequencing, and voltage control--to the realm of video synthesis and image-processing. His most prominent inventions include the Jones Synchronizer, Jones Digitizer, Jones Sequencer, Jones Colorizer, Jones Keyer, and the Jones Frame Buffer. Jones' technological innovations in the creation of analog and digital tools for image-processing and generative video graphics have been invaluable contributions to the history and development of experimental video, having influenced artists such as Gary Hill, Peer Bode, and hundreds of artists-in-residence at the Experimental Television Center over the course of its 40 year legacy. His tools have served as integral devices for the creation and exhibition of video installations, many of which have since been collected and shown in numerous cultural heritage institutions. In her essay "Preserving Machines” from The Emergence of Video Processing Tools vol.2, Mona Jimenez posits that video processing tools, such as those created by Jones, are best documented and preserved through collaboration between conservators, toolmakers, artists, and scholars. Responding to this call, this paper will present the findings and results of a week-long residency at Signal Culture alongside Dave Jones, as a case study in producing comprehensive and centralized documentation of a complex image-processing tool, addressing origin and development, technical specifications, conservation issues and recommendations, as well as the broader context of its enduring influence artists and the history of media art.


Athena Christa Holbrook

Collection Specialist, Department of Media and Performance, The Museum of Modern Art
Athena Christa Holbrook is an archivist dedicated to the history, preservation, and presentation of contemporary art. Specializing in collections management of time-based media and performance art, she has extensive experience working with artist archives, private art collections... Read More →

Wednesday May 31, 2017 9:30am - 10:00am CDT
Comiskey Concourse Level, West Tower