Abina Manning, Director

Abina has worked to promote artists' film and video for more than 25 years, in both Europe and the United States. Prior to joining the Video Data Bank in 1999 she worked with a number of arts organizations in the UK., including the LUX Center, the London Film Maker's Co-op, London Electronic Arts, and Cinema of Women. She was Director of the inaugural Pandæmonium Festival of Moving Images, a major European exhibition presented at the Institute for Contemporary Arts in London showcasing film, video, gallery installations, and multi-media works. Abina has participated in many international film and video festivals and art fairs as a juror, panelist, curator, and advisor, and has worked on collaborative projects with arts venues internationally. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Literature and Philosophy from Middlesex University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Film and Television from the University of Westminster, London. 

Tom Colley, Archive and Collection Manager

Tom manages technical services at the Video Data Bank, and is responsible for fulfilling orders and organizing the collection. His activities involve cataloging, preservation, digitization, dubbing, and maintaining equipment. He works closely with the Media Producer on digital projects and oversees Graduate Assistants who work on the shipping, receiving, and production of tapes and files. In addition, Tom collaborates in running the Butcher Shop, an artist run studio space. He received a Bachelor's degree in Art and Anthropology from Oberlin College, and a Master's degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Illinois. He is also an active member of AMIA, the Association of Moving Image Archivists.

Ruth Hodgins, Development and Marketing Manager

As Development and Marketing Manager, Ruth leads VDB’s promotional and development efforts, manages the submissions and acquisitions process, and is responsible for the organization's external community relations. She received her BA from the Glasgow School of Art in 2005, and her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2009. Ruth has worked with a number of arts organizations in Europe and the USA, including the European Ceramic Work Center, the Netherlands, the Scottish Sculpture Work Center, UK, and Southern Exposure Gallery, San Francisco. She is a practicing visual artist, and has exhibited at Biennale Internationale de Céramique d'Art, Vallauris, France; Paradox Gallery, Zurich, Switzerland; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and Stroud House Gallery, UK. She has received awards from the Center of Cultural Innovation and the James Milne Memorial Trust Award, and a merit fellowship from the San Francisco Art Institute. Ruth is a regular contributor to the arts publication The Daily Serving.

Kristin MacDonough, Digitization Specialist

Kristin assists the Collection Manager with digitizing and cataloging VDB's analog videotape holdings, and helps to prepare works for distribution. Kristin received her MA at New York University’s Moving Image Archiving and Preservation program. Although now a Chicago resident, she continues to serve as a co-director of XFR Collective, a non-profit organization based in NYC offering digitization services through a co-op model. She is also the Bay Area Video Coalition’s Coordinator for the AV Artifact Atlas, a community-based online resource used to identify and describe anomalies found in audio and video signals. Focusing on material and intellectual accessibility, Kristin has worked as a preservation and archival consultant for independent content creators and caretakers of AV materials, and conducted project-based work with organizations such as the New Museum (XFR STN exhibition), Deep Dish TV, the Standby Program, as well as the Fundación Patrimonio Filmico Colombiano in Bogotá, and the Universidad Católica del Uruguay in Montevideo, through NYU’s Audiovisual Preservation Exchange (APEX) program.

Lauren Pirritano, Media Producer


Working under the direction of the Collection Manager, Lauren supervises the production of digital media and delivery systems, as well as working on the design and operation of the website and printed materials.  Lauren has worked on a number of video art related projects including her work at Filmform in Stockholm, Sweden.  She has also assisted in the editing essays and photographs for various publications including the Swedish avant garde film magazine OEI. Outside of the VDB, Lauren maintains her own creative practices as well as manages the design and upkeep of a number of other websites. She has  Bachelor's degrees in Journalism and Philosophy from Loyola University Chicago and an MA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

George William Price, Distribution Manager

George is responsible for managing Video Data Bank's distribution services. His work involves overseeing orders and inquiries regarding purchases and rentals, artist and client services, and coordinating exhibitions and screenings with national and international arts organizations.

Before his position at VDB George was the project coordinator for PAHC / studio where he oversaw research and management of studio projects for artist Paula Crown. He was the founder and director of FLATspace, a curatorial project created to further the professional development of early-career practitioners across Chicagoland and foster connections with the academic community.

George has curated and administered numerous exhibitions and moving image programs for institutions such as Conversations at the Edge, Chicago Urban Art Society, Rapid Pulse International Performance Festival, and University of the Arts London. He has also worked for a number of arts organizations in both the USA and UK including Matt’s Gallery, London; Electronic Arts Intermix, New York City; and Chicago Artists Coalition, Chicago.

He studied at both Camberwell and Wimbledon Colleges of Arts, London, and graduated in 2015 with a Masters in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. While there, he received the Dean's Scholarship and the Arts Administration and Policy Fellowship. George is a curatorial resident at Chicago Artists Coalition with forthcoming exhibitions in June and November 2016. 

Zachary Vanes, Distribution Assistant

Zachary staffs the front desk of the VDB, processes orders, fields research and curatorial inquiries, and acts as a liaison between artists and festivals. He grew up in Northwest Indiana, and he received a BA in Film Studies and English Literature from DePauw University, where he wrote about the screwball comedies of the 30s and 40s and interned at Slamdance Film Festival. Over the past two years, Zachary has worked with some of Chicago’s most venerated film institutions. At the Chicago International Film Festival, he helped organize the documentary competition, introduced screenings, and led Q&A sessions with filmmakers. He recently took part in Kartemquin Films’ intern program, and he continues to provide transcription on two upcoming Steve James projects. Outside of the VDB, Zachary volunteers at the University of Chicago’s student-run cinema Doc Films and creates sound and video recordings.