Charles Atlas, Merce Cunningham. Merce by Merce by Paik Part One: Blue Studio: Five Segments. 1975-1976

Charles Atlas, Merce Cunningham Merce by Merce by Paik Part One: Blue Studio: Five Segments 1975-1976

  • Not on view

Produced at WNET, New York City's public television station, Blue Studio is a new form of moving image art called "videodance," developed by Merce Cunningham specifically for the two–dimensional video monitor and realized in 1976 by Cunningham's filmmaker–in–residence at the time, Charles Atlas. The title of the piece comes from the technique known as "chroma key," in which any kind of background imagery imaginable can be superimposed upon the blue area of a video screen. Through this technology, as well as other video devices, Cunningham is transported into a varied series of outdoor landscapes while never actually leaving the confines of his studio. A disjunctive sound collage using the voices of John Cage and Jasper Johns completes the illusion. In its creation of an impossible yet magically fluid dance space, Blue Studio recalls Maya Deren's Study in Choreography for Camera (1945).

Publication excerpt from In Still Moving: The Film and Media Collections of the Museum of Modern Art by Steven Higgins, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 2006 , p. 269.
Video (color, sound)
15:38 min.
Acquired through the generosity of Barbara Pine
Object number
© 2020 Estate of Merce Cunningham. Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York
Media and Performance

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].