A timeline with the history of Hungarian video art, by Miklos Peternak.

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, 1975

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 television.

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 since then.


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 Alfa.


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 January,1990.

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 art.

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 in Hungary.

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.

Published in:
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 Art exhibition.

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