Politics

2001
Habit

Habit is an autobiographical documentary that follows the current history of the AIDS epidemic along dual trajectories: the efforts of South Africa’s leading AIDS activist group, the Treatment Action Campaign, struggling to gain access to AIDS drugs and the daily routine of the videomaker, a veteran AIDS activist in the U.S. who has been living with AIDS for more than ten years.

2007
Haute Surveillance

This video develops from a real event that took place during a theater seminar in the masters degree program at the University of Antioquia in Medellín, Columbia.  The seminar occurred during one of the university's worst periods of violence.  Two students in charge of a presentation on the life and work of French author Jean Genet decided to play a hoax on their fellow students - a hoax that involved an armed kidnapping.  Their idea was to perform the ethos of Genet's work rather than to represent it in a conventional way.

1970
Hells Angels Party

In a conversation with one of the Hells Angels at a party the motorcycle gang has thrown in Manhattan, the interviewee introduces “Kenny, from the Videofreex” to his friends, commenting (presumably explaining the Videofreex project): “like low class society type shit.” At the Hells Angels party, the Videofreex exemplify their position as a documentarian group for alternative media, navigating the cramped space of the party to conduct interviews with members of the highly controversial Hells Angels group.

1970
Videofreex, Hells Angels with Sandy Alexander

In February 1970, the Freex visit the garage of the Hells Angels to informally discuss American politics and motorcycle maintenance. In this video, David Cort leads an extensive interview with the group’s president, Sandy Alexander.

2007
Hobbit Love is the Greatest Love

A desktop video in five parts that modestly propose ways of existing with or against history and politics.

2004
Brian Holmes: An Interview

In this interview, Brian Holmes, an influential art critic, activist and translator, discusses social forms of alienation, human ecologies of power, and the impact of technology on geopolitical social networks. Holmes reflects on his ongoing study of the ways in which the rhetoric of revolution has been institutionalized, as well as artists’ resistance to such cooption. For him, artists working in collectives have the potential to create a new artistic milieu that is not aligned with the dominant model of production. This argument is born out in his published collection of essays, Hieroglyphics of the Future (2003).

2013
Basma Alsharif, Home Movies Gaza

Home Movies Gaza introduces us to the Gaza Strip as a mircrocosm for the failure of civilization. In an attempt to describe the everyday of a place that struggles for the most basic of human rights, this video claims a perspective from within the domestic spaces of a territory that is complicated, derelict, and altogether impossible to separate from its political identity.

"... Basma Alsharif’s Home Movies Gaza, a film that captures the impossibly politicized domestic sphere of the Gaza Strip, under the constant hum and buzz of overhead drones."

1994
How I Spent My Summer Vacation

An eloquent personal narrative about the meaning of childhood and the use of children as political tools—specifically by “Right-to-Lifers” participating in the blockades of abortion clinics. Rather than merely constructing a video document of the daily drama surrounding the protests, Wrobel slows down the event and extracts the children's stories. She interlaces this with personal memories of her playful and carefree childhood, and exposes how she too was susceptible when young.

2004
How to Fix the World

Adapted from psychologist A.R. Luria’s research in the Islamic outskirts of the Soviet Union in the 1930s, How to Fix the World brings to life Luria's conversations with Central Asian farmers learning how to read and write under the unfamiliar principles of Socialism.

Colorful digital animations based on Max Penson's photographs of collective farmers play against a backdrop of landscape images shot in Uzbekistan in 2004.

2006
Kent Lambert "Hymn of Reckoning"

In an interview I did earlier this year for the Milan Game Video/Art exhibition, I deflected a question about the connection between Hymn of Reckoning and Reckoning 3, discouraging the idea that there was much of a link between the two videos, apart from their names and their use of video game material. Now that I’ve thought about it more, I can tease out more connections.

1987

A formidable collage of striking images, this powerful and provocative work confronts racial violence through images of ecological mayhem, machismo, pornography, and Third World poverty—images which return to the taboo body of a black man. "Directed and produced by our culture," An I for An I studies how violence is internalized and psychologized by overlapping soundtracks, printed texts, recurrent images, doctored footage and split screens. The piece attacks racist culture and pleads for an alternative recourse to violence.

2017
I Really Hear That: "Quality Control" and Other Works

Kevin Jerome Everson combines the observational and theoretical in innovative ways that shed light on life in Black America. In doing so, Everson asks us to meditate on the implications of Blackness, labor, and creativity. An original essay entitled Working Over Time, written by Terri Francis, accompanies this compilation as ROM content.

1983
An Image

"Four days spent in a studio working on a centerfold photo for Playboy magazine provided the subject matter for my film. The magazine itself deals with culture, cars, a certain lifestyle. Maybe all those trappings are only there to cover up the naked woman. Maybe it's like with a paper-doll. The naked woman in the middle is a sun around which a system revolves: of culture, of business, of living!

1969
Inextinguishable Fire

"When we show you pictures of napalm victims, you'll shut your eyes. You'll close your eyes to the pictures. Then you'll close them to the memory. And then you'll close your eyes to the facts." These words are spoken at the beginning of this agitprop film that can be viewed as a unique and remarkable development. Farocki refrains from making any sort of emotional appeal. His point of departure is the following: "When napalm is burning, it is too late to extinguish it. You have to fight napalm where it is produced: in the factories."

1991
Involuntary Conversion

A chilling and revealing look at bureaucratic techno-speak, Finley provides a course in “official” media rhetoric, presenting terms and decoding for the audience (i.e. "soft target = city”, “involuntary conversion = crash”) against a slow-motion collage of military imagery. This intensely visual video illustrates how the urban environment has become the site of tactical language, rendering our daily lives in a science-fiction state of constant fear. The visual elements create a rhythm of threat that is punctuated by high altitude shots of military jets.