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

 

Videofreex, Hells Angels with Sandy Alexander
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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.

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: documentation, politics

Videofreex, Nancy's Drug Problem
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In this short but provocative tape, recorded August 4th, 1971, Carol Vontobel “interviews” Nancy Cain who is speaking about her “coke addiction problem” under the pseudonym Nancy X.  Nancy’s addiction, the viewer soon learns, is not...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: film or videomaking, humor

Curtis's Abortion
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In conversation with Carol Vontobel (behind the camera) and Nancy Cain, Curtis (Mary Curtis) Ratcliff describes getting her first legal abortion, soon after the state of New York legalized the procedure in 1970. Curtis supplies details of the cost...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: activism, feminism

1973 | 37:43
Videofreex, Video Games
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This two-disc title contains the following video documentation:

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive

Tags: art collective, image processing, television, video history

Videofreex, Tosun Bayrak's Love America or Live
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The Videofreex document a street intervention by Turkish artist Tosun Bayrack (b.1926). The performance was to become a notorious example of the element of "shock" in contemporary art. Within the work:

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: art history, documentation, performance

Videofreex, Aldo Tambellini: Vision & Television
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This title documents the participation of artist Aldo Tambellini at the opening of the 1970 exhibition Vision and Televison. Held at the Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts from January 21st to February 22nd, the...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art

Tags: art history, documentation, video history

Videofreex, Rose Art Museum: Vision & Television
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This title documents events at the opening of the 1970 exhibition Vision and Televison.  Held at the Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts from January 21 - February 22, the exhibition is widely regarded as the...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: art history, video history

Videofreex, The Whitelake Woodstock Aquarian Exposition
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The Videofreex conduct first person interviews on the final day of the Woodstock festival, documenting detox efforts, clean-up logistics, and helicopter retreats. 

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive

Tags: documentation

Construction Worker's Rally
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Though this video segment bears the title Construction Workers Rally, much more than issues of labor are addressed. On May 8th of 1970, approximately two hundred demonstrating construction workers, mobilized by the New York State AFL-CIO, had...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: activism, documentation, labor