Activism

2011
Jem Cohen, Gravity Hill Newsreels: Occupy Wall Street, Series One

Five short impressions of Occupy Wall Street, shot in New York during the Fall of 2011. 

AVAILABLE FOR EXHIBITION, WITH SERIES One.  ARTIST CAN CONSULT ON INSTALLATION SPECIFICATIONS.

2001
Habit

Habit is an autobiographical documentary that follows the current history of the AIDS epidemic along dual trajectories: the efforts of South Africa’s leading AIDS activist group, the Treatment Action Campaign, struggling to gain access to AIDS drugs and the daily routine of the videomaker, a veteran AIDS activist in the U.S. who has been living with AIDS for more than ten years.

2010
History of the Future, The

Welcome to The History of the Future: A Franklin Furnace View of Performance Art.  This disc set is based upon a live event that took place at the Abrons Art Center in New York City on April 27, 2007.  Within this box set, you'll find performances from that event as well as historical videos that capture the thrills and chills of performance art during the last 30 years.

2004
Brian Holmes: An Interview

In this interview, Brian Holmes, an influential art critic, activist and translator, discusses social forms of alienation, human ecologies of power, and the impact of technology on geopolitical social networks. Holmes reflects on his ongoing study of the ways in which the rhetoric of revolution has been institutionalized, as well as artists’ resistance to such cooption. For him, artists working in collectives have the potential to create a new artistic milieu that is not aligned with the dominant model of production. This argument is born out in his published collection of essays, Hieroglyphics of the Future (2003).

1990
Paul Garrin, Home(less) Is Where The Revolution Is

With animated collages of street conflicts and high-tension video effects, this short advertises what has been called the “next World War": the war of the poor, disenfranchised, and homeless against a government controlled by and serving only the wealthy. The intriguing image of the White House lawn occupied by thousands of homeless people calls attention to the prevailing injustice of a system that leaves citizens to live on the streets, civil and human rights unacknowledged. Music by Elliot Sharp. 

1969
Inextinguishable Fire

"When we show you pictures of napalm victims, you'll shut your eyes. You'll close your eyes to the pictures. Then you'll close them to the memory. And then you'll close your eyes to the facts." These words are spoken at the beginning of this agitprop film that can be viewed as a unique and remarkable development. Farocki refrains from making any sort of emotional appeal. His point of departure is the following: "When napalm is burning, it is too late to extinguish it. You have to fight napalm where it is produced: in the factories."

2006
Jean Genet In Chicago

A queer rewriting of the events surrounding the 1968 National Democratic Convention in Chicago from the point of view of French writer Jean Genet. Along the way Genet will meet, amongst others, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, the Yippies, the Black Panther Party and the Chicago police force... Ultimately, the video is about the difficulty of aligning political and sexual desires.

1971
Jerusalem Tapes: [Israeli] Black Panther on the Street

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 poverty. Somebody says the tape is being made for the Jewish Museum in NYC. The Israeli guide talks about the movement, and says the bourgeois and the poor can meet through parties and drugs. They visit a woman and her children who are living in poverty, and interview her about the needs of her family.

2016
Tom Kalin: An Interview

Tom Kalin is a screenwriter, film director, producer, and educator. As a key figure in New Queer Cinema, his work focuses on the portrayal of gay sexuality both in the age of AIDS and historically. Informed by his work with two AIDS activist collectives, ACT UP and Gran Fury, Kalin’s video work is characterized by appropriated images, original portraits, and performances.

1999
Steve Kurtz: An Interview

Steve Kurtz is a founding member of the Critical Art Ensemble and Associate Professor of Art at University of Buffalo. His areas of focus are contemporary art history and theory as well as post-studio practices. As a student Kurtz collaborated with Steve Barnes on low-tech videos, which they developed into a broad-based artist and activist collective known as the Critical Art Ensemble.

Interview by Gregg Bordowitz.

A historical interview originally recorded in 1999 and re-edited in 2005.

1972
Lanesville Overview I

"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 revolutionary act in defiance of FCC regulations — the first unlicensed TV station in America."

1999

Letter to a missing woman, based partly on memories of someone who has been a political fugitive since 1983, combines documentary "evidence" and fiction in an imaginative reconstruction of public documents and private history. This is a quiet, obsessive piece addressing the human costs and repercussions of re-inventing oneself – one’s body, memories, and future – as a living piece of propaganda. The writer/narrator of this "crazy letter" is an unreliable one, a composite of half-truths, paranoid digressions, and feelings of loss.

1992
Tom Rubnitz, Listen to This

Listen To This is a fragment of collective memory that finds critical relevance in contemporary Queer discourse.  Tom Rubnitz weaves narration, image, and a form of temporality, dislocated from ‘real time’, into a video where artist and AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz’s loss and anger is palpable.

1997
Rick Lowe: An Interview

Awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship in 2014, Rick Lowe is a leading practitioner of social practice art. His Row Houses project is a highly lauded example of relational aesthetics successfully deployed. This interview focuses particularly on that work and the artist’s entrance into social practice.

1969

In October 1969, the Videofreex visited the home of wealthy political and social activist, Lucy Montgomery, as she was hosting the Black Panther Party of Chicago during one of their most fraught times — the period just after Chairman Bobby Seale was wrongfully imprisoned for inciting riots at the Democratic National Convention a year earlier. This particular video documents a discussion with Lucy Montgomery herself interviewed by David Cort, one of the Videofreex.