This compilation features several of Cohen’s pieces from the late 1980s and early 1990s: a paean to both the physical and mental aspects of the New York City landscape, an exploration of cinematic genres from narrative to music video, a sensual and romantic portrait of swimmers at a water hole, and a sound and image piece inspired by a telephone confession line.
Company Line is a film about one of the first predominately Black neighborhoods in Mansfield Ohio. The title, Company Line, refers to the name historically used by residents to describe their neighborhood, located on the north side of town close to the old steel mill. The Company Line began during the post–war migration of Blacks from the south to the north in the late 1940’s. The neighborhood was purchased in the early 1970’s and its residents were scattered throughout Mansfield.
The city today is as rationalised and regulated as a production process. The images which today determine the day of the city are operative images, control images. Representations of traffic regulation, by car, train or metro, representations determining the height at which mobile phone network transmitters are fixed, and where the holes in the networks are. Images from thermo-cameras to discover heat loss from buildings.
An insert square of a man running is superimposed over a magnified mouth that speaks to him—first in nurturing encouragement, then with a no-win Mommie Dearest kind of criticism. Originally presented as an installation on six monitors, Deadline focuses on “the stress man feels in the urban environment,” using a range of digital video effects to stretch, compress, flip and fracture the image.
This video is an unabashed fan letter to poet Eileen Myles. As in Laurie, my desire was to romanticize the poet, but not through her writing so much as through her reputation as the natural born child of the New York School and the Beats. I shot the movie as I imagined Robert Frank and Alfred Leslie shooting Pull My Daisy, a film that left an impression on me chiefly of the struggle between form and formlessness, plan and improvisation, sketch and story.
El Zócalo is an observational portrait of Mexico City’s central Plaza de la Constitutión during one day in August. Soldiers, Aztec dancers, clowns, food vendors, protestors, rain, dogs, tourists, kites, balloons, and dignitaries all meet in the public space of the Zócalo. This documentary presents daily life in one of the largest and most vibrant urban centers in the world, but it begins with a dream of history and ends with a dream of the space full of people for a Zapatista rally.
Ken Kobland has been working in various aspects of film and video since 1971, creating productions in collaboration with performing artists such as Philip Glass, the Wooster Group, Elizabeth LeCompte, and Spalding Gray. His work explores a variety of themes and issues, often embracing a photographic aesthetic within the context of video. Beautifully edited, his work merges diaristic and documentary categories, presenting an art of video that approximates photo-journalism.
This 7-DVD box set contains the following titles from the artist:
This first "Frieda" collaboration between performance artists Barbara Lipp and Tom Koden and video artist Tom Rubnitz chronicles Frieda's rise from assembly-line worker in a box factory to singing superstar. Featuring rock-bottom production values and a sound track which includes the Brady Bunch kids' tune "Gonna Find a Rainbow".
From The Files of the Pyramid Cocktail Lounge is a series of video clips taken at the Pyramid Club, a seminal location for the East Village drag scene in the midst of the club's most influential years. While rummaging through a file cabinet full of event fliers from the Pyramid Club, an office worker in drag guides the viewer through video documentation of past performances at the club.
Newsreel footage of Occupy Wall Street movement protesters on November 17, 2011, three days after the destruction of the camp at Zuccotti Park. Footage captures an evening rally at Foley Square and a march across the Brooklyn Bridge.
Director, Camera, Edit: Jem Cohen, Soundtrack music: Guy Picciotto
Impressions of Occupy Wall Street’s Liberty Square at night, shot in October of 2011. Includes a General Assembly meeting about purchasing a new wi-fi tower for the encampment, and a first winter storm.