"Ad Vice consists of a succession of colored projection surfaces with segments of text from the worlds of advertising, sport and popular culture. These projection surfaces in turn alternate with images of a rock band whose music continuously frames the whole. As regards form and content, the video looks like a commercial, an advertising spot for SWIPE country. The fast changing images, the continual music, and the starting and ending credits refer to it. The viewer is greeted with the words: welcome to SWIPE country... enjoy the sound... make contact...
This humorous selection of performance-oriented videos maps a trajectory between consumer society and psychoanalytic confession. HalfLifers perform two rescue missions using colored snack food and everyday objects as means towards transcendence. In The Horror, Emily Breer and Joe Gibbons recuperate Coppola’s Apocalypse Now as a day at the beach. Gibbons’s solo work Multiple Barbie features the artist as a smooth-talking psychoanalyst, gently attempting to fuse the mute doll’s shattered plastic psyche.
This compilation is a fresh, witty, and compelling addition to video’s rich legacy of media deconstruction. Through appropriation and reassemblage, these intriguing works upset the hypnotic spectacle of TV viewing by displacing its logic and forcing viewers to make new connections among its codes and conventions. While this disruption is playful, it also reveals the tragic underbelly of corporate message-making—the way it appropriates and suppresses nature and "unpredictability," the way it preys on human vulnerability, and the way it shamelessly celebrates mediocrity and distraction.
Animal Charm's Ashley seems to develop a conventional story about a modern mother and wife with typically modern desires. But the insertion of incongruous soap opera scenes soon ensures that the seductive images take on an absurd and oppressive charge. “The antiseptic cleanliness of the imagery has a superficial appeal, but begins to feel claustrophobic—or toxic—after prolonged exposure.”
In a form of subversive media terrorism, BLO operatives purchased talking Barbie and G.I. Joe dolls, both of which were programmed to speak crude cultural clichés. The dolls were then taken to the BLO headquarters where “corrective surgery” was performed: switching the dolls’ voice boxes.
An experimental documentary about the street drag racing scene on Chicago’s near West Side. This is a rambling textured film about obsession. It is about the mythos of speed for its own sake, but it’s also about waiting, and it is through waiting that The BLVD exposes community, inner-city landscapes and nomadic experiences of place. The film treats storytelling as a living medium for determining history. And it commands respect, for those who transform cars, or anything else, through passion.
Body Prep helps fortify and support the body during any level of activity—low, medium, or high intensity. It compares various alternatives to weightlifting with natural and artificial light sources. Exercise is explored through the change of seasons.
A great example of early 1970s counter-cultural activity and the influence of Buckminster Fuller. The video, shot in Woodstock, NY in November 1971, includes footage of a communal meal being eaten in the woods, and of children playing in the mud. The video goes on to document the building of a geodesic dome. As the group works, many of them naked, they are interviewed to camera, and explain how to build a dome.
Appropriated network-TV footage of Jimmy Carter’s "I see risk" speech from the 1980 Democratic Convention meets Reagan’s gloomy inaugural ride through D.C.: "If you succumb to a dream world, you’ll wake up to a nightmare."