Performance

2008
CHANNELING: an invocation of spectral bodies and queer spirits

CHANNELING is an entryway into the spirit realm and the queer body politic: a program of experimental moving image work that calls up the ghosts of the past and the specters of the future. The intent of the program is to re-imagine film and video as occult technologies that allow us to connect with the bodies, experiences, and emotions that are often invisible--ghostly even--in everyday life.

2001
Chariots of Fear

This wonderful and wide-ranging saga of New Age sensibilities in conflict with down-and-dirty urges takes the viewer on a roller coaster ride into the freak show world of actors and actresses in need of adequate direction. The cast is flamboyant and floundering in this tale of sickness and motherly love competing for the souls of the sexually ambiguous as they mature into mammals of desire and despair. Witness the majesty of digital wizardry as it attempts to zest up the zombie zeitgeist inherent in these fast-paced productions of desperate means.

1974
Chicken on Foot

In Chicken on Foot, Sobell bounces a chicken carcass as one would a child, periodically crushing eggs (fetal chickens) on her knee. A statement of the displacement of sexual desire on food and women’s bodies, and an expression of female ambivalence about motherhood.

1999
Circle's Short Circuit

Circle's Short Circuit is an experimental feature-length work with neither a beginning nor an end—the film can be viewed from any random point. It moves through a circle of five interlocking episodes that describe the phenomenon of interruption in contemporary communication through various forms and modes, investigating causes, consequences, and side-effects. Genres shift along the episodic path of this circle, moving from documentary to essay, through collage, simulated live-coverage, and silent film.

1969
Videofreex, Circo dell'Arte (Circus Arts)

A troupe of male and female jugglers and musicians perform for a growing crowd in Central Park, New York, led by Hovey Burgess and Judy Finelli.  The sun is shining, and the troupe are skilful, playful, and flirtatious. 

1971
Claim Excerpts

"In this record of a live performance, Acconci gives physical manifestation to the subterranean regions of the artist’s mind and will, revealing the effort he must make as an artist to simultaneously convince himself and his audience. Perhaps no other piece from the early 1970s more thoroughly spells out the psychologized drama engendered by performance-based video....

2007
A.L. Steiner & robbinschilds, C.L.U.E. (color location ultimate experience)

C.L.U.E. (color location ultimate experience), Part 1 is a collaborative video and performance work by artists A.L. Steiner and robbinschilds, with AJ Blandford and Seattle-based band Kinski. Inhabiting the intersection of human movement and architecture, A.L. Steiner and robbinschilds (Sonya Robbins and Layla Childs) present a full-spectrum video, set to a score by rock quartet Kinski.

2002
Code 33--Emergency! Clear the Air

From the performance by the same name, by Suzanne Lacy, Julio Morales and Unique Holland, with Kim Batiste, Raul Cabra, Patrick Toebe, David Goldberg, and Anne Maria Hardeman, Oakland, 1998-2000.

2002
Colchones Individuales (Single Beds) Volume 1: Desolacion

"Emptiness: I just watched your latest video, Colchones Individuales (Single Beds), Volume 1: Desolacion, and I wanted to write you about it. Oddly, Single Beds sums up much of what I have been thinking lately. In these times of speed, where everything is propelled forward at an incredibly spiraling rate, it is only in moments of pause, of inertia, that we examine what is occurring to us. Your piece, Single Beds, performs an arrested time, a succinct suspension of time. (It is in many ways a companion piece to an earlier video of yours Staying Alive).

2003
Cold Harbor

With Cold Harbor, Donigan Cumming uses a minimum of elements to create a powerful anti-war message. Initially, the video seems enigmatic, almost abstract. An amateur Handycam moves tentatively around a hospital room, panning and zooming from the view out the window to the dark-skinned old man lying on the bed. The image is shaky, blurred, often out of focus. Off-screen, a radio or television blares the news.

1973
Collage

Three basic compositions are played and recombined in Collage: a hockey game; arms swinging across the screen; and a hand holding one, two, then three oranges. As in her other work, Benglis plays with several generations of each shot, rescanning the screen, and placing objects in front of the monitor. Organized around color and rhythm, each segment uses bright colors, rapid movements, and complex layers of images to present a mesmerizing compendium of information that frustrates any sense of narrative.

1973
Vito Acconci "Command Performance"

Torn over the pressure to perform for his audience, Acconci fantasizes about "a dancing bear" who takes his place, performing in the spotlight, doing what others want, "what I always had to do."  The viewer is placed in the position of an authority or analyst, above Acconci’s head, listening to his hallucination.  This fantasy becomes increasingly erotic as Acconci unburdens himself psychologically and reveals his contradictory need to control and to be controlled.

This title was in the original Castelli-Sonnabend video art collection.

2005
Compromise

Compromise is Episode 1 of the video art trilogy, This is More Than Love I Feel Inside, in which Jillian Peña traces a queer relationship from inception to demise.

2003
Ben Coonley: Post Pony Trilogy

In the Post Pony Trilogy, Coonley serves as frustrated host to a series of flawed lessons on currency markets and current events. His heartbreak over a missing pony sidekick presents an obstacle to achieving his pedagogical goals. While coping with the lingering effects of a broken heart, Coonley struggles to maintain composure for his audience, who are instructed to interact with the videos. In the final segment, The Last Pony, ponies replace Coonley altogether and discover that their method of anarchic equine instruction is more interesting than the human’s method.

2002
Ben Coonley: Trick Pony Trilogy

The Trick Pony Trilogy is a series of parodic instructional videos hosted by the artist and a talking mechanical hobbyhorse. Human and pony present lessons on a series of rule-based systems including Texas country dancing, the film editing principle known as the “Kuleshov Effect,” and football strategy. The pony serves as sidekick and foil to Coonley’s stuttering pedantic Everyman, disrupting his academic demonstrations with songs, whinnies and frequent requests to be brushed.