Selections from the Five Day Bicycle Race (Image Union)

1976 | 01:01:04 | United States | English | Mono | 4:3 | 1/2" open reel video

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: Activism, Interview, Journalism, Politics, Technology

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A collage of informal interviews and short clips, this collection of material comes from guerilla TV excursions at the 1976 Democratic National Convention. Conducted off hand, usually amidst crowds of other journalists, the footage oscillates between slight antagonisms, genuine interest, and tongue-in-cheek play. The sheer breadth of participants being engaged with, however, is quite impressive as the soon-to-be First Lady, Jesse Jackson, David Dellinger, Bella Abzug and Jerry Brown all make appearances. Other notable figures on the news and reporting side of things are interviewed as well, providing meta-commentary on the ways in which information is disseminated and controlled in highly produced publicity events such as this.

Alternating between purely political content and casual conversations with people on the street, the footage situates itself in ambivalent relation to the aims of the broadcast TV news system. There is the general intention to “report” on the events of the convention, but the forms that intention takes throughout the video, as well as its results, subvert the veneer of impartiality and professionality a large corporate network would want to maintain. The footage comes across, at times, as possibly awkward. However, enfolded in the awkward moments are glimpses of genuine reactions and opinions, and in this way, the “liveness” of live video is foregrounded.

— Nicolas Holt, 2016