The Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive (CDMLA) at VIVO Media Arts Centre houses Western Canada’s foremost repository of videotapes by artists and independent producers. Spanning over 40 years of production, its 8000 video titles reflect the rich history of video art in Canada and abroad. The collection also includes related books, periodicals, directories, photographs, audio tapes, Special Collections, extensive equipment archive, Media Artists & Activists (MAAD) documentation, and the records of the Satellite Video Exchange Society (legal name) since our 1973 incorporation. While the primary focus is on Canadian artists, international artists and video centres are well represented.
In January 1973, 160 international alternative video producers came to Vancouver to take part in the Matrix International Video Conference. The idea of a video exchange library was born there and made a reality a few months later with the incorporation of the Satellite Video Exchange Society (SVES). Known publicly as the Video Inn, it opened at 261 Powell Street in Vancouver. 76 videotapes that had been brought to Matrix by the attending delegates made up its original collection.
Over the years the Video Inn would evolve to provide the community with affordable equipment access, production and post-production facilities, public exhibitions and distribution services for artists and is now known as VIVO Media Arts Centre. The Library’s contemporary incarnation – the Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive – remains the heart of the organization.
VIVO Media Arts Centre
VIVO’s mandate is to directly support artists and independent community-based producers to develop, exchange, and disseminate their skills in a supportive environment through accessible services and programs. Our vision is a robust, diverse, and vibrant media arts sector: a catalyst for critical and innovative engagement with the material forms and cultural meanings of media and technology.