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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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 Videofreex as...

 

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 program’s...

 

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, while...

 

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

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This eight-minute video is part experimental video art, part sketch comedy routine, and part informational lesson on the advantages and disadvantages of owning Sony's latest video technology. In it, David and Carol participate in a brilliantly...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: film or videomaking, gender, technology, television, tv production

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This early Videofreex production exemplifies the type of imaginative approach that the collective adopted when exploring the medium of video, and how, in many ways, this balance of play and experimentation defined and unified the group's work from...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: city, film or videomaking, tv production, video history

1973 | 13:33
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This tape, Harriet, created by Videofreex member Nancy Cain, unfolds much like a short play or literary character study. With very little directed dialogue, we gain intimate entry into a day in the life of Harriet—a long-time resident of Lanesville...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: family, feminism, film or videomaking, tv production

Videofreex, Everson Museum: Video and the Museum Conference
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Videofreex members Davidson Gigliotti, Bart Friedman, Skip Blumberg and Nancy Cain travel to Syracuse, New York to attend an exhibition and two-day conference featuring video art at the Everson Museum of Art held from April 4-7, 1974. More than...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: documentation, film or videomaking