The Satellite Video Exchange Society (SVES) was incorporated on July 23, 1973 as a non-profit organization under the Societies Act of British Columbia. Growing out of a broad interest in the use of new video technology for aesthetic, documentary, and activist purposes along with the publication of a Video Exchange Directory in 1971 and Matrix symposium in January 1973, its goals were to promote the non-commercial use of video technology through education and international video tape exchange. SVES was conceived from the beginning as an artist-run centre, with business decisions being made through a Management Collective. The initial functions of SVES included tape and print library services, equipment rental, workshops and screenings. In 1978 activities expanded to include a new serial publication, Video Guide (which continued through 1992), and the introduction of a video tape distribution service, Video Out Distribution, in 1979. The centre operated by SVES was the "Video Inn" at 261 Powell Street in Vancouver. In 1988 a move was made to 1102 Homer Street and a third move was made in 1993 to 1965 Main Street. Founding members were Renee Baert, Michael Goldberg, Patricia Hardman, Charles Keast, Ann McDonald, Janet Miller, Shawn Preus, Paula Wainberg, Richard Ward, and Paul Wong. The SVES operates under the name VIVO Media Arts Centre.
Geographical and cultural context
SVES is located in Vancouver. The collection is international in scope, however, 65% of the media collection was produced in B.C. and all Special Collections originated in Greater Vancouver. The collection grew out of the Canadian artist-run centre movement and reflect social justice movements that have impacted the media and Canada since 1968. We have extensive feminist and LGBTQ2S collections.
Records management and collecting policies
The Crista Dahl Media Library and Archive (CDMLA) at the VIVO Media Arts Centre houses approximately 7300 videotapes of artist and activist work dating back to 1968. It acquires work on an ongoing basis through Video Out Distribution as well as through specific donations to the society. The CDMLA also acquires, preserves and makes accessible the records of the SVES. The society was originally established as a collective to promote the non-commercial use of video technology through education and video tape exchange, and has expanded to include audio, electronics, and new media.
Total Volume: ca. 100 m of textual records, ca. 5000 photographs, ca. 600 prints: posters, 7300 video tapes, and 54 audio cassettes<br /> Inclusive Dates: 1968 to present