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

 

Fred Hampton: Chant and Demonstration
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Rare footage of a September 1970 rally honoring the late Fred Hampton, Deputy Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party. One of the speaker's leads the audience in a call and response.

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, african-american, death and dying, documentation, history, politics

Hells Angels' Run
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In this tape, shot in August 1970, a number of Hells Angels are interviewed on the street in New York City. They talk about their bikes and their preparations for a “run”, and their reactions to the way they are portrayed by the mainstream media.

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: crime or violence, documentation, expedition/travel, media analysis

Incredible String Band
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Shot in December 1969, this video documents a live performance by the Incredible String Band at the Fillmore East, NYC. Beginning with footage of people waiting in line at the doors before the show begins, the video goes on to record the...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: documentation, history, music, music video, performance

Jerusalem Tapes: [Israeli] Black Panther on the Street
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David Cort of the Videofreex travels to Jerusalem. This tape contains raw footage of him as he is taken on a tour through a poor neighborhood by a group of young men. There is talk of the Israeli Black Panther Party, and of drug dealers and...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, documentation, expedition/travel, film or videomaking, history, jewish

Jerusalem Tapes: Second Brain, Arab Feedback
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During Videofreex member David Cort's travels to Jerusalem, a scene was shot in a hospital where a female patient is having electrodes attached to her body. The cameraman gets on the cot and has the electrodes attached to him as they talk about...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: documentation, film or videomaking, health, jewish

Lanesville Overview I
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"Between March 1972 and February 1977, the Videofreex aired 258 television broadcasts from a home-built studio and jerry-rigged transmitter in an old boarding house they rented in the tiny Catskill Mountain hamlet of Lanesville. It was a...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, documentation, family, film or videomaking, future, portrait, television

Lanesville TV Edit--Catskill Game Farm
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Videotaped on August 13th 1972, this tape features a number of scenes shot for Lanesville TV, including the Videofreex at the Catskill Game Farm shooting footage of the animals. There are some oddball images… a woman on an exercise machine, and...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: animals, tv production, youth/childhood

David Cort + 1 other
1971 | 59:45
Mayday Realtime
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Shot over one day, this program records the events and protests in Washington DC on May Day, 1971. This was the day when one of the most disruptive actions of the Vietnam War era occurred in Washington, DC, when thousands of anti-war activists...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, city, documentation, film or videomaking, history

New Haven: Abbie Hoffman and the National Guard
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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...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, documentation, history, politics, war