Activism

2017

VDB TV: Decades is a unique series that casts a distinctive eye over the development of video as an art form from the early 1970s to the present, produced to mark the 40th anniversary of the Video Data Bank. Each program in this five-disc box set was curated by an inspiring artist, scholar, or media arts specialist focusing on a specific decade.

1989
Video in the Villages

An overview of the Video in the Villages Project, this documentary shows how four different Amazonian native groups (Nambiquara, Gavião, Tikina, and Kaiapó) have embraced video and incorporated it in the service of their projects for political and ethnic affirmation. Directed and photographed by Vincent Carelli.

2016
Sapphire and the Slave Girl, 1995, Leah Gilliam

VDB TV: Decades
1990s: The Whole World is (Still) Watching

2010
Martha Wilson: An Interview

Feminist performance artist, Martha Wilson (b.1947), is director and founder of the alternative New York art space, Franklin Furnace Gallery, in operation since 1976. In this interview, Wilson discusses her Quaker upbringing, the impetus for her move from Nova Scotia to New York, and the founding of Franklin Furnace, as well as her involvement in the feminist punk band collective Disband.

1995
Witness to the Future

An experimental documentary video project about individuals who have been transformed from so called “ordinary” citizens into activists, Witness To The Future seeks connections that unite people of all cultures, communities, races, and economic classes as they struggle for environmental and social change.

1970
Women's Lib Demonstration NYC

Ten thousand women marched down New York's Fifth Avenue on August 26th, 1970, to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote. The march was part of a "Women's Strike for Equality" organized by veteran feminist leader Betty Friedan.

1970
Videofreex, Women's Lib Discussion: Burning Theatre and Alternate U

This video, shot in March 1970, contains raw footage from a Women’s Liberation event and discussion that took place in an art space. The tape begins with shots of the crowd mingling while music and speeches are heard in the background. Speakers address the audience, and the tape continues to record the discussion that follows. The main topics are abortion and contraception, and how they relate to power dynamics and the struggle for Women’s Liberation in general.

1970
Women's Lib Rally

This video consists of raw footage from a Women’s Liberation Rally in New York City, shot on March 7th 1970, in celebration of International Women's Day. The first two thirds of the piece consist of footage of the crowd and speakers. Many issues are discussed including medical care, childcare, racial solidarity, Puerto Rican liberation, and imperialism. The final third of the tape includes interviews with male and female attendees of the rally.

1971

This tape, shot at the YMCA in Rochester, New York on July 18th, 1971, preserves the informal and communal atmosphere of an event known as the Women’s Conference. The participants, predominantly young white women, appearing to be in their early twenties, spent several hours together gleefully singing, acting, and dancing as an expression of their dedication to women’s civil rights. In various theatrical performances, the participants touch upon subjects such as police violence, racism, freedom, and women’s rights.

1995
Workers Leaving the Factory

Workers Leaving the Factory - such was the title of the first cinema film ever shown in public. For 45 seconds, this still-existent sequence depicts workers at the photographic products factory in Lyon, owned by the brothers Louis and Auguste Lumière, hurrying, closely packed, out of the shadows of the factory gates and into the afternoon sun. Only here, in departing, are the workers visible as a social group. But where are they going? To a meeting? To the barricades? Or simply home?

2015
Ben Russell, YOLO

Filmed in the remains of Soweto's historic Sans Souci Cinema (1948-1998), YOLO is a makeshift structuralist mash-up created in collaboration with the Eat My Dust youth collective from the Kliptown district of Soweto, South Africa. Vibrating with mic checks and sine waves, resonating with an array of pre-roll sound — this is cause-and-effect shattered again and again, temporarily undone.

 O humans, You Only Live Once!

2008
You will never You will never be a woman. You must live the rest of your days en

You will never be a woman. You must live the rest of your days entirely as a man and you will only grow more masculine with every passing year. There is no way out.

1982
Laura Kipnis, Your Money or Your Life

Your Money or Your Life is a video essay on street crime, and on the role played by an atmosphere of pervasive (white) urban fear in structuring and renewing racial antagonism and inequality. At the center of the video is a young, white, middle-class woman caught in an ideological trap in which her genuine fear, whetted and animated by the media, becomes synonymous with racial suspicion and hostility. Her counterpart is a black mugger, who tells a story of unemployment, powerlessness, ambition and cynicism, unmasking an ethos not dissimilar to the ethos of American capitalism.