Politics

1970
Videofreex, Money

Taped on Prince Street in Soho, New York City, Skip Blumberg creates a one-word performance. Shouting the word "money" over and over, he attracts the attention of New York's finest. The video crew attempt to explain to the policemen that there is no public disorder as the streets were empty when they began to tape.

The video is an unwitting early example of the reaction of the state to the use of video cameras on the streets.

2012
Morel's Yellow Pages, Filipa César

Morel's Yellow Pages focuses on secretive and destructive actions and image making. Her title references The Invention of Morel (1940), Adolfo Bioy Casares’s science fiction novel which informs the work. The artist brings together her research into the use of Baltra Island as an air base for the US army during World War II, and aerial surveillance photographs of the islands using film footage, documents, and factual information collected during her trip to the Galápagos. Morel's Yellow Pages interweaves fact and fiction, covert and imagined activities.

1969

In October 1969, the Videofreex visited the home of wealthy political and social activist, Lucy Montgomery, as she was hosting the Black Panther Party of Chicago during one of their most fraught times – the period just after Chairman Bobby Seale was wrongfully imprisoned for inciting riots at the Democratic National Convention a year earlier. This video documents an interview with the wife of Bobby Seale, Artie Seale.

1983
Antonio Muntadas: Video Portrait

Antonio Muntadas was born in 1942, in Barcelona, Spain. He went to the University of Barcelona for undergraduate work, then received his MA from the Escuela Tecnica Superior Ingenieros Industriales in Barcelona. In 1971 he moved to New York and studied at Pratt Graphics Center. Muntadas is a media artist most interested in the investigation of the social and educational aspects of media.

2004
Museum Piece

Made in Germany, October 14th, 2004

While the Iraq war continues, a day's sightseeing and the features of a German hotel provoke a stream of thoughts about events large and small.

Museum Piece is the second episode in the Hotel Diaries series, a collection of video recordings made in the world's hotel rooms, which relate personal experiences and reflections to contemporary conflicts in the Middle East.

2007

In this interview, American writer, artist, performer Eileen Myles (b.1949) discusses the various philosophies that motivate her work, including the language of film, embodied performance, and the alienation evoked by bodily vulgarity. Myles links her wide range of artistic and literary practice with notions of abstraction, improvisation, and the mythology of gender, which she explores in relation to her own identity as a working, middle-class lesbian woman. She reflects on the significance of geographical locations, both New York City and San Diego, on her art, and shares how her past struggles with addiction have shaped her life and practice.

1992
Nation

Commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art and The American Center in Paris as part of their international Trans Voices project, Nation flashes contradictory formulations of language, politics, and medicine across a sharp and close screen. Blurring geography with the body's landscape, Nation reminds us that our bodies, like land, have been shaped by history into zones to be charted, conquered, divided, or made whole. "Think globally act locally," in one dense minute.

2014

Natural Life is a feature-length experimental documentary challenging inequities in the U.S. juvenile justice system by depicting, through documentation and reenactment, the stories of five individuals who were sentenced to Life Without Parole (Natural Life) for crimes they committed as youth.

1998
Joan Nestle: An Interview

In 1973 Joan Nestle co-founded the Lesbian Herstory Archives, an essential collection of documents, writings, and artifacts of lesbian cultural history. In 1979 she began writing erotic stories and has published two collections of writings: A Restricted Country (1987) and A Fragile Union (1998). She took a controversial stance in opposition to the 1980s feminist anti-pornography movement, thus becoming a fervent pro-sex activist in the “Sex Wars.” Interview by Nina Levitt.

1970
New Haven: Abbie Hoffman and the National Guard

Footage of a May 1970 rally featuring political speakers, including members of the Black Panther Party. Abbie Hoffman talks about fighting imperialism at home, and the Chicago 7 Conspiracy Trial. As the crowd chants “Free Bobby Seale,” the Videofreex attempt to interview several National Guardsmen. We see young black men talking to the troops, with one man telling a Guardsman, “I’ve got nothing... I went to Vietnam for you."

1996
No Blood/No Foul

From the performance by the same name, by Suzanne Lacy, Stan Hebert, Councilwoman Sheila Jordan, Frank Williams, Officer Terrance West, Mike Shaw, and Annice Jacoby, Oakland, 1995-6. Suzanne Lacy worked alongside youth activists, city council members and the mayor’s office to draft a Youth Policy Initiative that would create a dedicated stream of funding to serve youth needs. In the spring of that year, No Blood/No Foul was a performance on the eve of the Policy’s vote by the Oakland City Council, with Mayor, Council members and a large audience in attendance.

2003
Notes from the Underground

Notes from the Underground is a fragmented music video made from the 151 eye blinks George Bush made during his televised speech declaring war with Iraq. Bush’s eye blinks have been encoded into Morse Code to spell out a statement from 1969 by The Weather Underground.

2015
Notes on Gesture

Inspired by a riff on a popular joke “Everybody wanna be a black woman but nobody wanna be a black woman,” Notes On Gesture is a video comparing authentic and dramatic gestures. The piece uses the 17th Century text Chirologia: Or the Natural Language of the Hand as a guide to create an inventory of gestures for performance. The piece alternates between title cards proposing hypothetical situations and short, looping clips that respond. The actor uses her body to quote famous, infamous, and unknown women.

2000
Now Let Us Praise American Leftists

Now Let Us Praise American Leftists is an experimental video animation that seeks to eulogize and ridicule the American leftist movement of the past century. Foregrounding the exclusionary nature of American leftist politics, and its persistent refusal to allow more diversity in terms of race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation to enter into the larger political daialogue, the video presents representations of American leftists as they are: men with mustaches.

2005
Now promise now threat

“Now too late, he understood her. The heart that pumped out love, the mouth that spoke the Word, didn’t count.”

--Toni Morrison, “Beloved”