Data Toward the Study of the History of Hungarian Video Art

(Source: Miklós Peternák: Data Toward the Study of the History of Hungarian Video Art. SVB VOCE, Budapest, Soros Foundation/Soros Center for Contemporary Arts (SCCA) - Mûcsarnok/Kunsthalle, 1991.)

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 35mm 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.)

Gábor Bódy: Infinite Image and Reflection

Gábor Bódy: Infinite Picture and Reflection

Numerous artists employ television as object, in installations or actions, or as a base of serial works, such as Károly Halász s series, Modulated TV. (Reproductions 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.)

Károly Halász: Modulated TV, photo-action, 1972

Károly Halász: Modulated TV, photo-action, 1972"

The first articles concerning international video developments are published: Bálint Szombathy's article, Video Art in the Mid-Seventies (Új Symposion, No.128, 1975); a short excerpt from an interview with Nam June Paik, translated from an article in L'Art Vivant, in Mûvészet (July,1975.)


Équipment 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 35mm 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.


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 of 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 (Mûvészet, 1977 Yearbook). A "video team" commences operation within the Balázs Béla Studio.


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.

Gábor Bódy institutes the MAFILM K* (experimental) Section, which organises a large-scale "hair and make-up festival" the following year.

 Gyula Pauer: Creative Make-up

Gyula Pauer: "Creative Make-up"