VISUAL MEDIA BIO
Stephan Koplowitz has been working in media since 1979 when he completed his Honors Thesis at Wesleyan University entitled Music and the Visual/Media Arts. He created works that ranged from traditional film scores to new music composed on videotape (called music/video one year before the onset of MTV) and interactive media performance works involving instrumentalists, dancers, and live sound design. In 1983, as part of his MFA thesis at the University of Utah, he created an original video work of dance, theater, and site-specific performance. These works set the stage and fueled his interest in many future works in media, site, and interactive performance. In 1986-1987, he started to exhibit original photographic works utilizing photo-both machines, xeroxography and early use of screen capture from video sources. His work was selected as part of the first formal exhibition of photo-booth art at the Pyramid Art Center, NY (http://www.photobooth.net). His interest in photography continued with the creation of Revealed, which incorporated a portable camera obscura large enough to accommodate 25-30 people. The camera serves as an interactive work of public art, a portal to view an installation performance event, and a camera to generate exhibit quality photographic works. The camera was installed in Battery Park City, Mass MoCA and the Mead Museum at Amherst College between 2006 and 2007. In 2013, Koplowitz was awarded with design partners KBAS a $203K public art commission from the Salt Lake City Art Council to create Light Camera Action, a permanent public art installation involving three-camera obsucras tethered to digital media. In 2012, as part of an exhibition of works by artist Jason Trucco, Koplowitz’s photographs were exhibited in Los Angeles at Annie Wharton gallery.
In 1997, when the internet was still in its formative stage, Koplowitz created one of the first crowdsourced performance events on what was known then as the “world wide web” in the Webbed Feats project which was a site-specific project enabled by the creation of a website that was inspired by the design and history of Bryant Park in New York City. Webbed Feats (webbedfeats.org) invited web users to solve creative problems inspired by the park and provide creative material that created a seven-hour performance event featuring theater, dance, poetry, and performance art. The work was groundbreaking and, to this day, has not been replicated.
Starting in 2001, Koplowitz began to write and direct original short films, having his site-inspired films screened at the Hampton International Film Festival, Dance Camera West and ScreenDance Miami to name a few. In the 1990s, Koplowitz began to incorporate media in both his stage and site work, beginning with the production of War with the Newts, a theatrical adaptation of the novel which featured a series of digitally projected set designs, to his site-specific work Babel Index for the British Library incorporating projections of several holdings of the library’s collection, projected into the spaces occupied by performers. His interest in visual media continued with site projects in Chattanooga, TN, at the Bates Dance Festival, with his TaskForce site touring company, at Gustavus College, MN, the Northshore Historic Water Tower in Milwaukee, WI, Sullivant Travels, at The Ohio State University and for Mill Town at the Bates Dance Festival, The Northfield Experience in Northfield, MN and Passage Home at The Wooden Floor, Santa Ana, CA (2021).