ETC History 2003 - 2004

History 2003-2004

The Residency Program offers self-directed creative time to mediamakers from throughout the country. Since 1971 we have assisted over 1400 artists in the creation of works using new electronic video, sonic and digital technologies. Each year about 40 artists are invited to work in the studio, in a retreat-like workshop environment, which offers access to an image processing system, intensive individualized instruction and time for exploration and personal creative growth. The image processing system is a hybrid tool set, permitting the artist to create interactive relationships between older historically important analog instruments and new digital technologies, and to explore boundaries and intersections within narrative, documentary and social issue traditions as well as more experimental forms. With grants in 2003 and 2004 from media The foundation, we were able to significantly advance the digital components of the imaging system, incorporating a second G4 computer, other sonic and control modules by Doepfer, interactive software including Max/MSP and Jitter, as well as DVD authoring and editing software.

This year's artists represent 10 states, Israel and Norway. Over one-third are artists from outside New York State. Applicants in 2003-04 included Mara Alper (Ithaca, NY); Kristin Anchor (Baltimore, MD); Sara Ayers (Albany, NY); Christopher Barker (Baltimore, MD); Bebe Beard (Boston, MA); Kjell Bjorgeengen (Norway); Peer Bode (Rochester, NY); Anney Bonney (NY, NY); Debora Brown (Tempe, AZ); Torsten Zena Burns (Brooklyn, NY); Lili Chin (Brooklyn, NY); Joe Diebes (NY, NY); Rebecca Dolan (CO); Maria Dumlao (Brooklyn, NY); Monica Duncan (Louisville, KY); Erica Eaton (Rochester, NY); Scott Fitzgerald (Brooklyn, NY); Raymond Ghirardo (Ithaca, NY); Suzanne Goldenberg (NY, NY); Alex Hahn (NY, NY); Barbara Hammer (New York, NY); Michelle Handelman (Brooklyn, NY); Pamela Hawkins (Rochester, NY); Kathy High (Averill Park, NY); Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus- LoVid (NY, NY); Sara Hornbacher (Atlanta, GA); Jecca (Santa Monica, CA); Zohar Kfir (Israel); Judge Kindel (Williamsville, NY); Meg Knowles (Buffalo, NY); Wago Kreider (Brooklyn, NY); Annie Langan (Louisville, KY); Kristin Lucas (Brooklyn, NY); Mary Magsamen and Stephen Hillerbrand (Brooklyn, NY); Darrin Martin (Alfred Station, NY); Jillian McDonald (Brooklyn, NY); Brian Milbrand (Buffalo, NY); Bianca Bob Miller (NY, NY); Monica Panzarino (NY, NY); John Phillips (Philadelphia, PA); Joanna Raczynska (Buffalo, NY); Jennifer Reeder (Chicago, IL); Joseph Reinsel (Baltimore, MD); Megan Roberts (Ithaca, NY); Ron Rocco (Brooklyn, NY); Lynne Sachs (Brooklyn, NY); Luciana Sanz and Amoeba Technology (NY, NY); Devlin Shea (NY, NY); Suzie Silver (Philadelphia, PA); Alan Sondheim (Brooklyn, NY); Jed Speare (Ayer, MA); Simon Tarr (Trumansburg, NY); Julia Tell (Brooklyn, NY); Termite TV (Buffalo, NY and Philadelphia, PA); Julius Vitali (Emmaus , PA); Josh Weinstein (Brooklyn, NY); Bart Woodstrup and Matt Biederman (Chicago, IL); Walter Wright (N. Chelmsford, MA); Jud Yalkut (Dayton, OH); Neil Zusman (Ithaca, NY).
Tapes produced at the Center were again included in exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe and on the Web. Recent exhibition venues have included the Little Theater (Rochester), White Box (NY), Harvestworks (NY), The Robert Beck Memorial Cinema (NY), Eyebeam (NY), The Kitchen, Visual Studies Workshop, Art in General, Millennium Film Workshop, Anthology Film Archives and in festivals including the New York Video Festival, the Howl Festival (NYC), Image Out Festival, Mix Festival, the Viper Festival, Dumbo Under the Bridge Annual Festival, and the New York Expo of Short Film Festival. Tapes are distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix, Filmmakers Coop, Drift Distribution, Facets, Microcinema International, Women Make Movies and many others. Artists working at the Center this year have received awards and recognition from State Arts Councils, the National Endowment for the Arts, and private foundations and won numerous awards and citations in festivals around the world.
In keeping with our educational objectives, we hosted the 9th Annual International Residency, a 10 day intensive residency available for academic credit to 18media makers. The workshop is co-taught by Pamela Susan Hawkins and Hank Rudolph. Several projects which will be developed in the coming year including strengthening the collaborative strategies components and developing effective methods of instruction in Jitter and other complex software for moving image making. We also participate in online salons hosted by NAMAC, empyre and other arts, information and advocacy groups. Through the Media Arts Technical Assistance Program we work with organizations from all regions of New York State to develop the media arts field.
The Center serves as a sponsoring organization for artists' projects in the electronic and film arts, providing support services, assistance with development and fiscal and administrative management services. We sponsor about 20 projects each year. In the last 6 years, with requests totaling over one million dollars, artists have received over $400,000. Completed projects have received worldwide exhibition and distribution, and have been supported by the National Endowment for the Arts, the NYS Council on the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, ITVS, Astraea Foundation, Soros Documentary Fund, Chase Manhattan and many others.
Recent participants include Irit Batsry, winner of the prestigious Bucksbaum Award for Neither There Nor Here, with a world premiere at the International Film Festival, Rotterdam and inclusion in the Whitney Biennial 2002; Alan Berliner for The Sweetest Sound, featured on POV; David Blair for The Telepathic Motion Picture of the Lost Tribe; Slawomir Grunberg for the Emmy-award winning documentary School Prayer: A Community Divided; Barbara Hammer for Culture Doctor, The Female Closet, and her new work Resisting Paradise; Ken Jacobs for NY Ghetto Fishmarket, 1903; and Kristin Lucas for Supervision. Recent projects have been supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, Creative Capital, New York Foundation for the Arts, The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University, the Jerome Foundation, and National Geographic.
For 2003-2004 the following artists have received awards:
Mara Alper from National Video Resources for distribubtion of Forgiving the Unforgiveable; Alan Berliner from NYSCA for Wide Awake, a 60-minute, experimental documentary film exploring the frustrations, the struggles and the exasperations of insomnia; Norman Cowie from the Funding Exchange through the Paul Robeson Fund for The Dimension in Which It Reigns Supreme, an experimental documentary; Nick Economos from NYSCA for Book Tick, a new media installation using robotics and open source software; Megan Roberts and Raymond Ghirardo from NYSCA for Rain/Fall an installation using sculptural elements and computer animation; Leah Gilliam from NYSCA for Agenda, which deconstructs NASA's implementation of the Sojourner Truth mythos and the human propensity to anthropomorphize mechanical objects; Barbara Hammer from NYSCA for Sisters/Resisters/Lovers/Others, a 60-minute documentary telling the story of Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore; Amy Jenkins from NYSCA for We, Precarious, a multiple channel video installation which describes the circular continuum of life from before birth to death and back again; and Shawn Onsgard from NYSCA for Ghost in the Oat Bin, a hybrid long-wire audio installation and electro-acoustic instrument ensemble that investigates the musical potential of architectural narratives.
Other sources of support for these current projects has come from ETC Finishing Funds 2004, Women In Film, Wexner Center for the Arts, Longwood Cyber Residency Program, Bard College Faculty Research Grant, Huddersfield Media Center (UK), FACT (UK), the Center for Contemporary Art (Prague), Yosemite Renaissance, Marywood University, ITVS and the NEA.
As works-in-progress, the projects have been exhibited at Pacific Film Archive, University of California, Powering Up/Powering Down (CA), Tapies Foundation (Barcelona, Spain), Columbia University Visiting Artist Lecture Series, Center for Contemporary Art (Prague), Consolidated Works Gallery (Seattle, WA), Marywood University (Scranton, PA), and the Mooste Kulalisstuudio (Estonia).
Since 1989 the Film and Electronic Arts Grants Program, has awarded over $850,000 to individual artists and arts organizations in the State.
For 15 years, Finishing Funds has provided over $200,000 to New York State artists, to assist with the completion of diverse and innovative projects, and works for the Internet and new media. This year we had a record number of applicants with requests totaling over $400,000. The awards went to artists in four different counties throughout the State, including the upstate communities of Troy and Alfred. Finishing Funds is supported in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts. With an award in 2004 from mediaThe foundation, Finishing Funds is supporting three special awards for new media and intermedia performance; the awards went to Darrin Martin, John Roach and Jonathan Zalban. The other Finishing Funds 2004 recipients are Amy and Donna Bassin, Zoe Beloff, Dallas Brennan, Ghen Zando Dennis, Tirtza Even, Kathleen Foster, Roberto Guerra, Barbara Hammer, Lee Krist, Jeffrey Lerer, Cynthia Madansky, Mitch McCabe, Rohi Mirza, Richard Pell, Sanjna Singh and Pia Sawhney, Samuael Topiary, and Gabrielle Weiss.
This year's awards recognize work which is very diverse, encompassing a collaborative video project made in part by young teens in the Arctic, new media and web projects, performances, site specific installations and interactive DVD works, and includes experimental documentary and narrative, hand-processed film, a stereoscopic DVD installation and interactive sonic art. The works address such issues as the place of women in contemporary Turkish society, racial profiling, artists in the French Resistance of WWII, Emma Goldman, binocular vision and binaural hearing, American families of Muslim heritage, African American farmers and the USDA, and the historical legacy of the World Trade Center. The works in progress have received recognition and support from other organizations including the Individual Artists Program of the New York State Council on the Arts, the Guggenheim Foundation, Harvestworks, Downtown Community TV Center, Eastman Fund, San Francisco Foundation, Battle Creek Foundation, Niagara Council on the Arts, Funding Exchange, and Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto. This year's peer review panel was composed of Kathy Brew and Joanna Raczynska.
Presentation Funds provides support to New York State organizations for in-person appearances by film and media artists. The program brings innovative cinema programming, including independent film and media art, as well as audio installation works to new audiences and to underserved communities in all regions of the State. In addition, the program assists organizations which serve special constituencies and encourages the development of new presentation venues throughout the State.
The program supported in-person appearances before about 120,000 people, with cable and web audiences conservatively estimated at an additional 150,000. In 2004 we provided assistance to 60 sponsoring organizations in 16 counties across New York State. These organizations contributed almost $800,000 toward these media projects. This year's recipients included Abrons Art Center Henry Street Settlement, African Film Festival, Institute for Electronic Arts at Alfred University, Anthology Film Archive, Apexart, Art in General, Art Mission, Bard College, Burchfield-Penny Art Center, Carnegie Art Center, CEPA, Chelsea Art Museum, Children's Media Project, Collaborative Concepts, Cornell Cinema, Dance Films Association, Dansology Inc., Downtown Community TV Center, Dramatic Risks, Dumbo Arts Center, Electronic Arts Intermix, Experimental Intermedia Foundation, Film Society of Lincoln Center, Filmmakers Cooperative, Flux Factory, free103point9, George Eastman House, Hallwalls, Harvestworks, Here Arts Center, HT Dance Co, Ice House, Intelligent Agent, International Film Seminars, Ithaca College, Loisaida Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Mix The NY Lesbian and Gay Experimental Film/Video Festival, Not Still Art, NYS Summer School for the Arts, Ocularis at Galapagos Art Space, Phoenix Action Network, Robert Beck Memorial Cinema, Roulette, Saratoga Film Forum, Saratoga Springs Public Library, Sculpture Center, Sephardic House, Socrates Sculpture Park, Springville Center for the Arts, Squeaky Wheel, The Kitchen, The Thing, Theater for the New City, Time and Space Limited, Trans and Upper Catskill Community Council of the Arts.
Founded in 1999 The Media Arts Technical Assistance Fund is designed to help non-profit media arts programs in New York State stabilize, strengthen or restructure their media arts organizational capacity, services and activities. The mission is to help organizations to address systemic issues within institutions and within the field. Through direct assistance the program supports organizational development, and the building of critical skills within the organization which will assure its vitality and longevity. In addition to direct assistance, another important component of the Technical Assistance Program encourages the media arts community to meet and discuss issues which have bearing on the field's vitality and longevity. Media Arts Breakfast Meetings and other gatherings Upstate are held on a regular basis to meet and share visions and concerns. Following extensive preparations during the 2003-04 program year, in the Summer of 2004 we will support Strengthening the Media Arts in New York State - A Statewide Media Arts Convening and NAMAC Regional Meeting, to be held in partnership with WAMC and the Electronic Media and Film Program of the New York State Council on the Arts. About 30 media arts and advocacy groups from around the State will be invited for one day of discussion surrounding issues of critical interest to the communities, and a second day devoted to one of 4 NAMAC think tank meetings held across the country each year.
In addition to direct support, Technical Assistance helps organizations to attend professional conferences, seminars and festivals including the Lake Placid Film Festival, Arts Leadership Institute offered at Columbia University through the Arts and Business Council., NAMAC's East Coast Think Tank, the International Film Seminar's 50th Flaherty Film Seminar 2004, and the Association of Moving Image Archivists Annual Conference. This year's total request to Technical Assistance was over $ 95,000. The program provided about $47,000 in support of 45 organizations in 13 counties including the Association of Independent Video and Filmmakers, Anthology Film Archive, Art in General, Asia Society, Carnegie Art Center, Center for International Media Action, Central NY Programmers Group, Children's Media Project, Crandall Public Library, Dumbo Arts Center, Electronic Arts Intermix, Everson Museum of Art, Fales Library at NYU, free103point9, Film Fleadh, Hallwalls, Guggenheim Museum, Harvestworks, Independent Feature Project, IMAP, Ithaca College, Jewish Museum, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, Museum of Modern Art, New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York Media, Pelham Picture House Preservation, Inc., POV, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and iEAR Studios, Rhizome, Saratoga Film Forum, Squeaky Wheel, Third World Newsreel, Visual Studies Workshop, WAMC and Woodstock Film Festival.
The Center is committed to the early history of media art and its preservation. Housed at the Center is a collection of over 1000 videotapes which chronicle work produced here over the last 30 years. We are a founding member of Independent Media Arts Preservation. We are past participants of the Regional Cataloging Initiative and the National Moving Image Database project of the American Film Institute, and will participate in the Pilot Union Catalog project in NYS.
Begun in 1994, the Video History Project is an online research initiative which reflects the complex evolution of the media arts field, the multiple and interrelated histories of the media arts field, and encourages a collective voice in the crafting of our histories.
The goals of the Video History Project are to provide a dynamic vehicle for the creation and dissemination of an inclusive media history, crafted by those who are shaping it; to help establish bridges for intellectual access to information regarding the history of the field and efforts to preserve its artifacts; to position independent media arts activities within a broader cultural context by cultivating research and public programming of these materials by those in the arts, humanities and sciences; to encourage alliances among collecting institutions and educational and curatorial programs for the preservation of critically endangered works, instruments and documents; and to increase public awareness of and appreciation for media history throughout the State and nationally. Goals are realized in an interrelated set of activities combining research and scholarship, realized on the web and as collaborative projects supporting issues in electronic moving image preservation through the hosting of conferences and seminars.
The first conference, Video History: Making Connections, (1998) brought together over 250 pioneering practitioners and contemporary artists working in new media and interactive technologies.
In June 2002, the Center invited over 60 media arts professionals, conservators, technical experts, and artists to gather at the historic firehouse home of Downtown Community TV Center in New York for Looking Back/Looking Forward, a two-day working symposium on moving image preservation. The symposium was organized by the Experimental Television Center, in association with Independent Media Arts Preservation (IMAP) and Bay Area Video Coalition. Focused on the physical preservation of independent electronic media works and related issues concerning tools and ephemera, Looking Back/Looking Forward facilitated an honest and sometimes disturbing evaluation of our progress as a field and informed discussion about necessary and realistic initiatives and partnerships.
The edited proceedings and reports are posted on the Experimental Television Center's Video History site. Looking Back/Looking Forward was also documented on videotape by Bay Area Video Coalition.
Research and scholarship is an important aspect of our program. We contributed to Playback: Preserving Analog Video, a DVD produced by BAVC (2003) with major support from the National Endowment for the Arts. We provided research into the early commercial video recorders relying on original manuscripts, technical data, and product literature, as well as photo and video documentation of the early equipment.
The Preservation area of the Video History website contains two commissioned texts. Video Preservation: The Basics (2000, 2002) by Sherry Miller Hocking and Mona Jimenez, and Reel to Real: A Case Study of BAVC's Remastering Facility (2002) written by Luke Hones, and edited by Sherry Miller Hocking and Mona Jimenez. The Preservation resource area also contains a selection of historically important texts concerning early efforts at media preservation.
In 2003 we produced a CD Early Media Instruments featuring a database of significant imaging devices which played a critical role in the historical development of independent media art. The database contains photographs of the devices, examples of product literature, as well as texts and manuscripts describing the tools. The devices include video, audio and computer-based tools, both commercially available and designed by artists and engineers. The CD was featured in a three month long exhibition "Origins" at ArtsInteractive Gallery, curated by Mary Ann Kearns for the Cyberfest in Boston, along with representative tools from the era of the early 1970s.
The focus since 2000 has been on the continued enrichment of content on the Video History Web and the development and implementation of collaborative strategies for advancement of electronic moving image preservation resources and tools. Formally launched in 2000, the Video History Web functions as a both a dynamic and interactive on-going research collection and dissemination vehicle for media professionals, educators, and media programmers as well as the general public. Resources include critical essays, manuscripts, interviews, biographies, an extensive bibliography with over 1000 entries and information on collections, distribution, tools, preservation, organizations, and individuals. In the Chronology area visitors can generate a timeline of events in media arts history, or view the events within a defined range. Visitors are encouraged to contributed information to those areas which provide access to historically significant texts concerning the evolution of media art and community television. We also target resources, gaining permission before materials are electronically published. Information is uploaded to the site on a regular basis.
The fully searchable site structure serves information contained in 12 databases holding nearly 5000 records. Results are reported topically, organized by resource area. The search function allows visitors to search all of the records, encouraging the visitor to discover broad interconnections among people, places and events.
The site is visited by thousands of people every year. It is a resource used by researchers, historians, artists, archives and video enthusiasts. We routinely respond to queries from researchers, scholars, educators and home enthusiast. The site has been an important tool for a range of activities - including original research for writing of books, catalogs and monographs; a method for locating primary source materials; a way for people to locate others they have lost contact with over the years; a source for preservation information of tapes created with obsolete equipment.
With the assistance of the Daniel Langlois Foundation in 2004, as well as by the New York State Council on the Arts, we are focused presently on early video/media instruments - those tools designed individually or by artists and technologists working collaboratively, as well as innovative commercial devices. This research links associated texts, documentation, technical data, maker biographies and interviews, and tapes produced on these systems. Content derives from our tool and paper archives. We are electronically photographing the devices, and in some cases, creating moving image records of the functioning of the tool. We are scanning associated texts, documentation, and ephemera related to events which include posters, exhibition program notes, exhibition catalogs; and audio and video interviews. The data will be published on the existing History Project Website, and as a companion DVD and text publication. We see the project as a bridge between "old" and "new" media, in the same way that the History Conference was conceived.
We have applied to the Cornell Library for assistance with the project Video History Web and the Preservation of Primary Materials Related to the Historical Development of the Field: Content Development Using the ETC Research Materials. We are proposing the digitizing of materials relating to development of media at the Center from 1969 thru the decade of the 80s, and also the activities in the upstate NY region during that period. Included are organizations such as Everson Museum of Art, Ithaca Video Projects, Portable Channel, Media Study/Buffalo, Synapse, Cornell Video Project and many others. The Cornell Library would digitize files including posters, program notes, artists' statements and other types of materials, and place digitized content in the Rose Goldsen Digital Archives; the materials would also be available on the Video History site.
The National Television and Video Preservation Foundation is providing in-kind support in 2004 to preserve and remaster 10 hours of very early videotapes from the Center's collection; the works were produced in the 1970s and showcase early analog and digital video imaging tools. The project will focus on those instruments - those tools individually designed by artists and the collaboration of artists and engineers/technologists, modifications to existing technology, and innovative applications of commercial technology - and the collaborative relationships between artists and engineers, and the interdisciplinary nature of early media arts practice. The tapes which we are seeking to preserve feature important early video devices designed in the early to mid 1970s, including those created by Nam June Paik (wobbulator or scan processor, and the construction of the Paik/Abe Video Synthesizer and its use with the TV Bed, exhibited at the Everson Museum in 1972), David Jones, Bill Hearn, Steve Rutt and Bill Etra, Dr. Don McArthur, the Vasulkas and Dan Sandin. We have informational materials, technical information, ephemera including early posters and programs, and photographs related to the tools.