In this tape the Videofreex document an impromptu experimental art gathering in 1971, hosted by New York artist, Tosun Bayrak. Before entering the gathering, the Freex record their encounters with a police officer, passersby, and a member of Vegetarians for Ecological Action (an animals’ rights activist group) protesting the misuse of animals in performance art.
A man returns, after fifty years, to Chinatown to care for his dying mother. He is a librarian, a re-cataloguer, a gay man, a watcher, an impersonator. He passes his time collecting images that he puts before us – his witnesses and collaborators. Sitting in the dark, we share his cloak of invisibility, both a benefit and a curse.
The time is now! The present can be replaced in real time. Not quite yet by the future, but very easily by the past? eteam's video Track One is a replay of such time disjuncture. As they keep following the memory of a yellow cab that keeps driving through the now deserted streets of Taipei, their pastime augments itself with a mesmerizing sense of reality.
Traders Leaving the Exchange, A Guard and the Street V.1 is a 15-minute unstable remix of a video I shot in 2000, and edited in 2011, of the "members" door of the New York Stock Exchange as the traders were leaving at the end of their workday. A security guard is positioned in front of the "members" door. The shot is a close up of the door and the guard taken from across the street, busy with traffic and pedestrians.
Originating from personal affection toward Seoul, Twelve Scenes portrays the spectacles in daily life by juxtaposing urban space in a twelve month sequence. As the individual particles in a kaleidoscope create splendid illusions by being reflected on a mirror, Twelve Scenes shows our individual life, seemingly separated by time and space, actually composes the scenery in the kaleidoscope of Seoul. Twelve Scenes represents a 'moment for self-reflection' or 'small, but precious enlightenment on life'.
A Walk with Nigel is a video essay that constructs a dialogue between two artists from two different times, between movement and stillness, between speech and silence. An archaeological study of a community, reawakening the archive in the present. A materialist study of streets and social relations.
Walt Disney's re-imagineering of Martin Scorsese's classic film Taxi Driver follows Mickey Mouse-obsessed Travis Bickle as he looks for love in a rapidly transforming New York City. A 'fair use' parody by Bryan Boyce.
A woman sets out to photograph moments of intimacy. On an Internet dating site she writes: 'I'm looking for people who would like to be photographed in public revealing something of themselves...' What I'm Looking For, a 15-minute high definition video, documents this adventure; the connections formed at this intersection between virtual and actual public space. The video is a rumination on the nature of photography and the persistence of vision. It is a short tale of desire and control.
This early Videofreex production exemplifies the type of imaginative approach that the collective adopted when exploring the medium of video, and how, in many ways, this balance of play and experimentation defined and unified the group's work from the very start.
White Balance (to think is to forget differences) is an effort to uncover the geographies of power, the frontiers of privilege. It revisits this problem from different angles, creating short circuits of meaning which are hosted by improbable audiovisual matches. Media and internet footage is intermixed with images shot in downtown Manhattan before and after the September 11th attacks.
“This work by John Smith looks down onto a busy Viennese intersection and a corner bakery. Constructed from hundreds of still images, it presents situations in a stilted motion, often with sinister undertones. Through this technique we're made aware of our intrinsic capacity for creating continuity, and fragments of narrative, from potentially (no doubt actually) unconnected events.”
Your Money or Your Life is a video essay on street crime, and on the role played by an atmosphere of pervasive (white) urban fear in structuring and renewing racial antagonism and inequality. At the center of the tape is a young, white, middle-class woman caught in an ideological trap in which her genuine fear, whetted and animated by the media, becomes synonymous with racial suspicion and hostility. Her counterpart is a black mugger, who tells a story of unemployment, powerlessness, ambition and cynicism, unmasking an ethos not dissimilar to the ethos of American capitalism.