Steve Beck - Video Creations

Steve Beck Profile

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Steve Beck Profile

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Additional Information

Smithsonian Institute American Art Museum Interview
(By John Hanhardt Video Curator with Greg Zinman 2014)

National Center for Experiments in Television
(Designed and Administered by Don Hallock of Hawaii - Mahalo Don!)

NTT Hive Video Interview with Steve Beck
(Video interview at Casa Beck Studio with Japanese and English Languages)

Electronic "polymediast" Stephen Beck has been sculpting video and multimedia works with electrons since the pre-digital era in 1967. Beck's video works have been broadcast on PBS-TV and on international television networks, and are in collections of major art museums worldwide.

His video performances, compositions, and sculptures have been acquired by both private collectors as well as major art museums worldwide. Commissions for Beck's prolific range of artistic creations have led to presentations at renowned art events, including ARTEC in Nagoya, Japan, Documenta, Kassel, German, 10e Biennale de Paris, the Kwang Ju Biennale in Korea, and Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria, as well as in exhibits ranging from the Museum of Contemporary Art, in Zagreb, Croatia, to the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, The Getty Center "California Video: A History" the Smithsonian Hirshhorn "Visual Music", MCASD, and others.

In 2016 The Smithsonian American Art Museum acquired two of Beck’s classic video film fusion works, UNION and CYCLES, for its permanent collection of The Moving Image. (CYCLES was a collaboration between Jordan Belson and Beck.)

Beck's work has been recognized with artist's grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, The Rockefeller Foundation, and the American Film Institute. The artist was invited to present his work at the series, "Conversations with Contemporary Artists," at the Museum of Modern Art New York. Earlier in his career, from 1970 to 1974, Beck was an electronic video artist in residence at the Public Television System's National Center for Experiments in Television at KQED-TV in San Francisco.

Beck’s films and videos have been honored with awards including the Prix Italia, the CINE Gold Eagle, commissions from HIH Prince Tomohito of Mikasa, Japan, and HRH Crown Prince Toupoutoa, Kingdom of Tonga, The Rockefeller Foundation, The American Film Institute (AFI), and The National Endowment for the Arts, among others.

The artist holds degrees in electronic engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, and studied electronic music and composition with composer John Cage at the University of Illinois, Urbana. He was a founding member of the Chicago chapter of EAT (Experiments in Art and Technology) in 1968.

Mr. Beck served on the faculty of the College of Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, from 2005-2013 in various appointed positions; Visiting Fellow (a Jolly Good One!) in EECS, Appointed Lecturer and Executive in Residence, Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology, CITRIS Technology Artist in Residence, Guest Lecturer, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), mentor to students in engineering and other fields of study. His Art and Technology classes (IEOR 190F) served hundreds of students the years he was teaching them.


Filmography / Videography (partial listing of classic works – others remain unpublished):

  • Prextaphia (1969)
  • Point of Inflection (1970)
  • Conception (1971)
  • Cosmic Portal (1972)
  • Methods (1972)
  • Videospace Electronic Notebooks (1973 – National Television Broadcasts on PBS Network USA)
  • Illuminated Music Series (1972-1973)
  • Anima (1973)
  • Dance of Shiva (1972 – Live performance at The Electric Concert, Dallas, Texas)
  • Video Weavings (1974)
  • CYCLES (1974 – co-directed with Jordan Belson)
  • Video Visionaries (1976 – National Broadcast on PBS Network USA)
  • UNION (1976 – National Endowment for the Arts)
  • Voodoo Chile (1982 – Jimi Hendrix Music Video)
  • The Lone Breaker (1984 – SIGGRAPH Art Show Award)
  • Solaris Series Videons (1994-2012)
  • NOOR (Light) Series Preamble (2008) NOOR (Light) Part 1 of a Trilogy (2011)


Where to view Steve Beck Video:


Now Available for Streaming

View full versions of Beck's work through Vimeo's Video On Demand service. Trailers for available works can be seen below.

2007 - Exhibitions and Activities

2018 The Exploratorium San Francisco After Dark Cinema Series

Thursday, April 19th, 7:00 PM
Videons: Visions Through Time, 1968–2018 With Steve Beck In Person

2017 Berkeley Art Museum / Pacific Film Archives

Tuesday, February 7th at Jordan Belson Show 7:30 PM
CYCLES new 16mm print showing with Steve Beck In Person

2016 Smithsonian American Art Museum Acquires Steve Beck Works

For addition to their permanent collection of The Art of the Moving Image

2016 ANIMA Music by Jordan Belson

Autoharp solo music composed and performed by Jordan Belson

2016 Bay Area Video Coalition (BAVC) Celebrates 40 Years!

Honors Steve Beck and Howard Klein at their Big 4-OH Party

2016 Los Angeles In Person Appearance and Showings October 5

Dedicated to Steve Beck's mother Lorraine L.M.M. Beck, who will be celebrating her 89th birthday in Chicago-land on the day of the show.

2015 Smithsonian American Art Museum

The Nam June Paik Archive

The Steve Beck Interview

2012 "In The Beginning was the Electron"

X-TRA feature

2011 Leonardo Conference Istanbul

Video Weavings

2010 “Radical Light” Berkeley Art Museum

University of California, Berkeley

Colour Fields with Video Weavings

November 2008
The Tate Modern London

California Video

March 15 - June 8, 2008
The Getty Center, Los Angeles, California
(Click on Watch then Browse by Artist)

Soundwaves with Video Weavings

September 23, 2007 - May 30, 2008
Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego at La Jolla

Recent Exhibitions

Visual Music: 1905-2005

with "Illuminated Music 2" by Stephen Beck

Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art
February 13 - May 22, 2005 ( press release )

Smithsonian Institution Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
June 23 - September 11, 2005 ( press release )

Sons & Lumiéres

with "Illuminated Music 2" by Stephen Beck

Center Georges Pompidou, Paris
September - December, 2004

All Exhibitions