1972 - 75
The first video works are realised, and the first information regarding the art form is made available.
The lecture by Gábor Bódy entitled Infinite Mirror-Tube is presented
at the Tihany Semiotics Congress. This lecture is connected to the last
part of his 35 mm film entitled Four Bagatelles, which can also be
considered as the first Hungarian video piece. (Bódy presents a more
detailed version of this lecture, Infinite Image and Reflection. Total
Expanded Cinema, in Edinburgh in 1978.)
Numerous artists employ television an object in installations or
actions, or as a base of serial works, such as Károly Halász's series,
Modulated TV. (Copies are made of this in Géza Perneczky's Important
Business, and in 1977 this is also presented at the exhibition, Serial
Artworks at the István Király Múzeum in Székesfehérvár.)
The first articles concerning international video developments are
published: Bálint Szombathy's article, Video Art in the Mid-Seventies,
Symposion, No.128, 1975; a short excerpt from an interview with Nam June
Paik, reproduced from an article in L'Art Vivant, in Múvészet, July,
1976 - 77
Equipment becomes relatively more accessible, as several cultural
houses, universities, and later the Béla Balázs Studio acquire such
equipment as: B/W open reel tape and 1/2 inch Sony or Akai recorders.
In 1976 the first Hungarian computer film is produced, Gábor Bódy's Psychocosmoses (also on 35 mm film).
In 1977 the first international video art program is presented by
Peter Weibel in Budapest at the Ganz Cultural House. A publication is
produced for this occasion, which includes texts by László Beke, Tibor
Hajas, László Najmányi and Dóra Maurer. (The texts are republished in
1988 by the Kossuth Cinema entitled, Video Art.)
An independent art course is conducted by Miklós Erdély and Dóra
Maurer, also at the Ganz Cultural House, in which the participants have
access to video.
1977 - 79
Several works and projects are realised and planned directly
involving video, of which the majority, however fragmentary, remain
today, such as tapes of Tibor Hajas's The Guest, The Jewels os Darkness,
and several works by László Najmányi and Gergely Molnár (Ezra Pound,
Flammarion Kamill, David Bowie in Budapest).
At the same time, Gábor Bódy's two television plays are realised
(Soldiers and Chalk Circle, both 1978), in which he develops the
potential of electronic image and sound, a first for the Hungarian
A number of more comprehensive essays are published in this field
such as György Somogyi's Video-Visions (Múvészet, 1977 Yearbook). A
"video team" commences operation within the Balázs Béla Studio.
1980 - 81
The plan is drafted for INFERMENTAL (the first international video
magazine), the first issue realised by Gábor Bódy in 1982. To date there
are 10 issues of INFERMENTAL, excluding the special issues.
Artists receive access to video equipment for individual projects (only a small number of these works remain).
Newspaper articles and reports are published describing the emergence
and recognition, in the early eighties, of the Hungarian video-cassette
'black market'. Thus the broader public becomes 'familiar' with video.
The article Creative Thinking Device by Gábor Bódy is published in
the Filmvilág. INFERMENTAL I is released. In addition to several
non-professional film clubs, the Társulás Studio handles video.
The first comprehensive collection of translated articles covering
the field of video, The World of Video, is published, providing
information about the international developments of almost twenty years
of video art and video theory.
The 1st Hungarian Video Festival and Symposium is organized in
Nyiregyháza, and this national convention has been held several times
INFERMENTAL III, edited by László Beke and Péter Forgács, is released.
At the end of the year the MAFILM and the Béla Balázs Studio acquire
professional video equipment, which essentially allows the initiation of
professional Hungarian video work.
The European Media Art Network is presented simultaneously in eight
European cities; the program includes an anthology-like compilation,
with a one-hour episode devoted to each city. Gábor Bódy compiles the
Budapest component within the framework of the Társulás Studio.
Bódy finishes several works (abroad) and commences a number of works
in Hungary which, owing to his sudden death, have not been completed.
In Autumn, Hungarian material, realised within the Béla Balázs Studio
framework, is presented at the Stockholm Video Festival. László Beke
presents a lecture encompassing Hungarian developments in video. This is
the first survey, published in Hungarian in 1987 in the volume Video
In addition to the experimental establishment of a video course at
the Hungarian Academy of Applied Arts, a post-graduate video department
is established at the Loránd Eötvös University of Sciences. The earlier
video courses are supplemented by university level video education.
Axis, a video/book by Gábor Bódy and Veruschka Bódy, is published by DuMont.
Several attempts are made at establishing video magazines in printed
or cassette form, such as the Alternative Video Anthology edited by
Miklós Miltényi in Budapest (only four editions), whose analogue, p'Art,
is edited in Paris, and which has released eight issues up until
The nine works made by Bódy abroad between 1982 and 1985 are
presented in a retrospective exhibition, within an installation realised
by Gábor Bachman, and are shown for the first time in Hungary.
The Hungarian Television premieres the program Video World, which at
the beginning includes thematic programs dealing with video, and
gradually covers the developments of Hungarian and international video
István Dárday and Györgyi Szalay realise the work Video on Video.
Numerous cinemas present videos; and video screening rooms within cinemas are established.
With the introduction of satellite in Hungary and with the spread of
satellite dishes, the video-clip culture virtually booms in Hungary. The
mass-production of video-clips in Hungary begins.
The Academy of Appplied Arts graduates its first class in video.
Hungarian video works, complied by the Béla Balázs Studio, are
presented at several Western and Eastern European festivals.
Additionally, international video works are now more regularly screened
The activity of the Black Box is unequivocally the most significant
video venture, due to its political approach which fosters popularity,
in the same way as does the most important media event of the year, the
televised Romanian Revolution.
Private Hungary, a video by Péter Forgács, is awarded the Grand Prize
of the Worldwide Video Festival, The Hague, and a significant prize is
also awarded to András Wahorn's work, Eastern European Living Animals,
at the Sydney Video Festival.
The installation exhibition Distance is held at the Hungarian Academy
of Fine Arts, presenting works by Tamás Komoróczky, Csaba Nemes, Attila
Szúcs and Zsolt Veress.
The Intermedia Department at the Hungarian Academy of Fine Arts starts its activity.
The experimental film and video program, In the Middle of Europe,
representing Austria, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia, is organised by the
Center of Contemporary Art, Warsaw. The Fukui Video Festival, Japan,
presents a Hungarian video program compiled by László Beke.
SVB VOCE - Contemporary Hungarian Video Installation, the first
comprehensive exhibition, is presented in Budapest at the Mücsarnok,
organised by the Soros Foundation Fine Art Documentation Center, 1991 An
international symposium entitled Problem Video is also organised by the
same institution on the occasion of the Hungarian exhibition, which is
presented together with the IMAGO - Fin de Siècle in Dutch Contemporary