Video History: Making Connections - Seminars

Seminars - Friday, October 16, 1998

Video Rewind: A Seminar on Early Video History

Videofreex, Radical Software, The Kitchen, Global Groove, Global Village, closed circuit video, portapaks, Challenge for Change, Media Burn, People's Video Theater, Wipe Cycle, feedback, The Spaghetti City Video Manual, multi-channel installations, Four More Years, The TV Lab, Expanded Cinema, Electronic Arts Intermix, Video/Television Review, Everson Museum, video synthesizers, Rockefeller Foundation, Guerrilla Television.....

If these names are not "a blast from the past" but rather tantalizing fragments of a remote and hidden history, then join us for a day-long seminar designed to introduce curators, critics, librarians, archivists, funders, artists, students, and interested others to the early history of independent video in America (1965 and 1980). This seminar will offer an intensive day of screenings, discussions, and presentations by and about video pioneers. Screenings will include selections of significant video art and documentary tapes that illustrate some of the diverse interests, preoccupations, styles, and approaches of early video. Lectures and discussions will explore how this new medium for art, activism, and information was developed by artist?innovators, video collectives, new technology manufacturers, funders, museum curators, and public television producers, to name a few of the key players. Depending upon participant interests, discussion may cover: how video differentiated itself from network television and affiliated with the fine arts; the role of cable TV; the importance of collectives; differences among video's early black and white and color formats and their impact on video aesthetics; the rise of women's video; the relationship of early video theory to prevailing theories of media, cybernetics and social change, etc.

Deirdre Boyle, Seminar Leader
Senior Faculty, Graduate Media Studies Program, The New School for Social Research (New York) and author of Subject to Change: Guerrilla Television Revisited (Oxford, 1997), Video Preservation: Securing the Future of the Past (Media Alliance, 1993) and Video Classics: Video Art and Documentary Tapes (Oryx, 1986)

Barbara London
Curator of Video, The Museum of Modern Art and founder of the museum's video program Paul Ryan
McLuhan fellow, member of Raindance and TVTV, and author of Cybernetics of the Sacred and Video Mind/Earth Mind: Art, Communications, and Ecology

Parry Teasdale
founding member of the Videofreex and Media Bus and author of the forthcoming Videofreex: A Memoir of Lanesville TV, America's First Pirate Television Station

Video Preservation

The goal of this full-day working meeting is to bring together key artists, media arts organizations, educational institutions and others to share information and strategize about the next steps we can take toward preserving collections of video art and community television. Reports from several organizations on major initiatives will be interspersed with question and answer and discussion. The afternoon will feature reports on video preservation activities, and the trends in public and private funding for preservation. There will be ample time for small-group planning and work.

The meeting will begin with reports on major preservation initiatives from:

Mona Jimenez, consultant to Media Alliance and member, Association of Moving Image Archivists Committee on US National Moving Image Preservation Plans
Jim Lindner, President of VidiPax and member, Association of Moving Image Archivists Committee on US National Moving Image Preservation Plans
Jim Hubbard, Cataloguing Task Force, Moving Image Preservation Plans
Luke Hones, Bay Area Video Coalition
Kim Tomczak, V Tape, Report on Canada's National Plan

Following, participants will report on video preservation activities, and the status of media arts collections, including a presentation by Debby Silverfine, Electronic Media and Film Program, New York State Council on the Arts, reporting on trends in public and private funding for video preservation

A Strategy Session will follow addressing:

  • What are the priorities in terms of needs
  • What collaborative projects can we initiate to address these needs
  • What actions do we need to take to move forward

The Video Preservation meeting is co-sponsored by Media Alliance, and organized by Mona Jimenez.