Videofreex Archive

Videofreex, one of the first video collectives, was founded in 1969 by David Cort, Mary Curtis Ratcliff and Parry Teasdale, after David and Parry met each other, video cameras in hand, at the Woodstock Music Festival. The group soon grew to ten full-time members--including Chuck Kennedy, Nancy Cain, Skip Blumberg, Davidson Gigliotti, Carol Vontobel, Bart Friedman and Ann Woodward--and produced tapes, installations and multimedia events. In 1971 the Freex moved to a 17-room, former boarding house called Maple Tree Farm in Lanesville, NY, operating one of the earliest media centers. Their innovative programming ranged from artists' tapes and performances to behind-the-scenes coverage of national politics and alternate culture. During the decade that the Freex were together, this pioneer video group amassed an archive of 1,500+ raw tapes and edits.

The Videofreex Archive, now housed at VDB, chronicles the counter-cultural movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The titles listed here are the early results of an ongoing project to preserve and digitize important examples of this early video art collective.

 

More About the Videofreex Archive Preservation

 

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As a testament to the Videofreex joyful investment in the medium of video, Skip Blumberg, Bart Friedman, and Nancy Cain take turns singing Christmas carols in the shower on Christmas Day. Audible from a range of proximity—from the end of the long...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: comedy, family, holiday, humor

1970 | 07:23
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Videofreex member, Ann Woodward, provides a bread-baking lesson.

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: documentation, feminism, food, labor

1970 | 20:00
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Contains Videofreex tapes Buzzy and the Flute, Buzzy at the Gaslight, Buzzy at the Videofreex Loft, Buzzy Linhart at the Record Plant

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Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: documentation, music, performance

1971 | 20:00
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This video captures the playfulness of the Videofreex as they frolic in the first snow of 1971. With joyful excitement, David, Bart, Chuck, Nancy and Skip pass the camera back and forth to explore the possibilities for video under the new weather...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: art collective, environment, landscape, nature

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German filmmaker Valeska and her crew—soundwoman Constanza and cameraman Albert—arrive at Maple Tree Farm during the Thanksgiving holiday of 1971 to film a piece for German TV on the Videofreex. In this video, the Videofreex turn the tables so to...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: european film/video, film or videomaking, media analysis

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Among the handful of video recordings of Lanesville TV that exist today, this tape is particularly special for its documentation of one of its very first programs to run on the air. The tape captures the energy and excitement of the...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: culture jamming, documentation, television, tv production

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This tape includes footage of one of the first broadcasts of Lanesville TV, as it appears on the television set of Lanesville local, Todd Benjamin, and a television set installed in a public bar. Interwoven with shots recording the...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: technology, television, tv production

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In this video, the Videofreex host a party during which the main source of entertainment is a video-television feedback loop. In one room, a video camera linked up to a television set allows party guests to see themselves, as if in a mirror,...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: documentation, television, tv production, video history

1970 | 20:00
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This tape documents Nancy Cain’s birthday party and captures the inner workings of the Videofreex’s social ethos. As pipes are refilled and passed around, and the music of Aretha Franklin and the Beatles croons in the background, members of the...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: art collective, documentation, holiday