Chicago Art

2003
Energy Country

The frenzied detritus of trading floors, smart weaponry and the religious right are woven through the petrochemical landscapes of Southeast Texas. This short video harangue questions land use policy as it serves the oil industry, patriotism as it absolves foreign aggression, and fundamentalism as it calcifies thinking.

1998
Family Court

Family Court introduces us to the world of good, clean, family fun and leisure. 

This title is also available on Animal Charm Videoworks: Volume 2, Hot Mirror Mix.

1973
Five-minute Romp through the IP

In 1973, Dan Sandin designed and built a comprehensive video instrument for artists, the Image Processor (IP), a modular, patch programmable, analog computer optimized for the manipulation of gray level information of multiple video inputs. Sandin decided that the best distribution strategy for his instrument "was to give away the plans for the IP and encourage artists to build their own copies.

2010
Scott Wolniak, Flash Art

Decidedly low-tech, this optical abstraction begins with a shot of an aluminum reflector inside a lamp; a lightbulb in the shot’s center flicks on and off. As the video plays on, nearly identical shots are superimposed, but at a steadily decreasing scale, resulting in an array of nested rectangles. The rhythmic blinking of intense light- accompanied by audible clicks from the plastic light switch- presents the viewer with a swift progression of blinding geometries, (with) dizzying effects.

-- Michelle Grabner, Artforum, May 2010

 

2002
Forced Inanimate Connection: Climax Modelling 2002

In a meditation on the sexuality of the readymade, an off-camera artist forces one object into another.

“The best evidence yet that obscenity is easier recognized than defined.”

—Anne Reecer, Cinematexas (Austin, 2003)

This title is also available on Sterling Ruby: Interventionist Works 2001-2002.

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.

1988
Hard and Flexible Music

In this video diptych, Snyder uses image and music to depict opposing forces in semi-abstract terms. Exploring processes of fracture and permutation, Hard and Flexible Music contrasts two groups of images, gridded architectural structures and fluid natural imagery, on opposite sides of the screen. The experimental music soundtrack carries two synthesized tracks with differing musical qualities.

This title is only available on Bob Snyder: Sound and Video 1975-1990.

2002
Hole

A portrayal of retail-workers engaged in a repetitive act of hiding merchandise in a hole in the wall.

This title is also available on Sterling Ruby: Interventionist Works 2001-2002.

1998
Hot Mirror

A hyper-collage endurance test of sado-masochistic proportions, mixing an anthology of corporate video music with a feng shui video.

This title is also available on Animal Charm Videoworks: Volume 2, Hot Mirror Mix.

2001
Human Touch

A re-edit of found footage of a hunter touching the antlers of a fallen deer. Human Touch suggests an uncomfortable intimacy between hunter and prey.

This title is also available on Sterling Ruby: Interventionist Works 2001-2002.

2002
Kirsten Stoltmann, I Spill My Guts Everyday for Nothing

Kirsten Stoltmann's video, I Spill My Guts Everyday for Nothing, is exactly that, a portrait of the artist spilling her Guts with a blank expression on her face. Again, Kirsten emerges as an empathetic anti-hero, who, in her own need for confessional exposure, must be regarded as equal parts comic and tragic. The work has unexpected power in its simplicity and humor.

-- James Rondeau

This title is only available as a 3x loop on Suitable Video, Volume 1.

1995
I, Bear

"'I am nice. I... am nice. I am... nice," repeats the narrator, in this personal and highly poetic exploration of the construction of self. Mirra favors repetition as the device for reconstructing the stage of development when a child learns its name. Like a bedtime story, the narrator unfolds the tale of a child who identifies herself as a bear. The story becomes increasingly complex as it moves from one voice to two, in which bear and child gradually become distinct entities and the haiku poetry of the child’s identification, 'I, Bear,' is ultimately forsaken for the name Helen.

1978
Icron

Using the image processor as it was intended as a performance instrument, Icron exploits the processor’s real-time capabilities: the image and soundtrack were generated through simultaneous improvisation, although the color was added later. The title of the piece is a neologism created by fusing "icon" with "chron" as a reference to the effect of temporal changes on images. Snyder combines iconographic elements of broadcast television with the structural features of music by deconstructing the face of a newscaster into scan lines.

1997
Miller & Shellabarger,

Miller & Shellabarger, their breath made visible by the cold of a refrigerated room, exchange breath with each other.

This title is only available as an excerpt on Suitable Video, Volume 1.

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.