There never would have been a CyberSpace Gallery without the creation and success of Vertical Blanking. Their efforts solidified the connection between the computer art community and EZTV.
Vertical Blanking was a music and video art duo, comprised of Michael J. Masucci and ia Kamandalu ( aka Kim McKillip). The duo was known for creating complex DIY works, with higher production values than their budhtes might suggest. They created every aspect of their work ( writing, music, photography, editing, set/lighting, costume) themselves.
The collaboration began in 1986, when the two artists created “Lemuria” a 20 minute visual music project. the resulting video became one of EZTV’s most iconic works. It was screened numerous times on West Hollywood’s local TV channel and became EZTV’s most successful home VHS offering. Vertical Blanking continued to produce video, music and live performance events together until the death of EZTV founder John Dorr in 1993. At that point Michael J. Masucci had to put his entire focus into saving EZTV, soon ending Vertical Blanking as an art making group.
ia Kamandalu continued with her music and went on to record CDs and work with a number of music and performance art groups.
They were among the earliest artists to produce true ‘desktop video’ combining analog video tape decks with desktop computers, in hot-rodded rigs which they engineered and system-designed.
In 1989, they created “Theater of Dream(I thought this is what you wanted)” based on a poem written by Kamandalu . This, as with Lemuria, instantly became of of EZTV’s most recognized works, premiering at the American Film Institute’s video festival and going on to be included in a number of groups shows, including the seminal exhibition “Trancesex”, which an exhibition at the Mondrian Hotel which also included artists Andy Warhol, Paul Mccarthy, and others
“Deposition” (1991) premiered at the CyberArts International Conferences and the following year, for the third and final CyberArts Conference, they, in collaboration with choreographer Zina Bethune, they produced and performed a live multimedia production as part of the closing evening to the conference.
Without question, Masucci and ia Kamandalu were the strongest advocates within EZTV’s core group, for an adoption of computer-based production. Without their combined efforts, it is likely that EZTV would never have survived even a few months beyond the death of John Dorr in 1993. The duo’s combined efforts as staff editors and videographers became the core of EZTV’s day-to-day revenue, these two together, accounted for about 70% of all the income which EZTV acquired by the late 1980′s.
Michael J. Masucci