Consumer culture

2001
Hollywood Inferno (Episode One)

Parnes moves further into her interrogation of horror genres and the art world, with their sometimes over-lapping cults of personality. Grappling with the danger of beauty without criticality, Hollywood Inferno takes the viewer through the alienating world of a teenager named Sandy, a modern-day Dante, and follows where her aspirations toward stardom lead her.

2005
How Little We Know of Our Neighbours

How Little We Know of Our Neighbours is an experimental documentary about Britain's Mass Observation Movement and its relationship to contemporary issues regarding surveillance, public self-disclosure, and privacy. At its center is a look at the multiple roles cameras have played in public space, starting in the 1880's, when the introduction of the hand-held camera brought photography out of the studio and into the street. For the first time one could be photographed casually in public without knowledge or consent.

1983
An Image

"Four days spent in a studio working on a centerfold photo for Playboy magazine provided the subject matter for my film. The magazine itself deals with culture, cars, a certain lifestyle. Maybe all those trappings are only there to cover up the naked woman. Maybe it's like with a paper-doll. The naked woman in the middle is a sun around which a system revolves: of culture, of business, of living!

1987
Indoctrination

This film is about a five-day seminar designed to teach executives to "sell themselves" better. This course, designed for managers, teaches the basic rules of dialectics and rhetoric and provides training in body language, gesture and facial expression. The aim of selling something has always been a principle of mercantile action. Yet it was only through the marriage of psychology and modern capitalism that the idea of selling oneself was perfected.

-- Lutz Hachmeister

2012
Jesse McLean, The Invisible World

A deceased hoarder, reconstituted through technology, recounts a difficult childhood as inhabitants of a virtual world struggle to reconcile materialistic tendencies. A scientist leads an effort to understand the passage of time, but the data is unreliable. The question remains, what happens to our things after we are gone?

2007
Jason Simon: Three Videos

This special box set, Jason Simon: Three Videos, includes a booklet with an in depth essay by media scholar Cynthia Chris.

"More than any other media artist, Jason Simon explores the inner reaches of American consumer culture in ways that are useful and astounding, familiar yet new.

1987
Paper Tiger Television, Judith Williamson Consumes Passionately in Southern Cali

"Noted critic Judith Williamson ventures from her English home to a shopping mall in Southern California to proffer some opinions on the working of American culture under capitalism. Using the exponential increase in the numbers and styles of socks available in the marketplace as a wry point of departure, Williamson shops for socks and questions the dubious need for a specific style of sock for just about any endeavor one could name."

—1987 AFI Video Festival Catalogue

1994
Jungle Jezebel

Produced at the San Francisco Art Institute, and featuring a few musical numbers, this jungle drama deals with a commercial corporation infiltrating the Amazon to sell beauty aids to the indigenous peoples. Witch doctor magic and political intrigue run rampant in this hot house environment, and men and women deal with the beast within and without.

2013
Jesse McLean, Just Like Us

A familiar landscape comprised of big box stores and parking lots proves a rich site for longing, intimacy, and radical change. Celebrities are observed in this environment and are reduced to ordinary beings in the process. An enigmatic protagonist reveals little moments of subjectivity that escape into the piece like a contaminant, rupturing the view and evidencing the paradox of connection and belonging within systems that simultaneously contain us and comprise us.

2001
Kent Lambert "Ken Burns Gives You Something"

In January 2001, the KEN BURNS’ JAZZ promotional blizzard hit New York City. Billboards, banners on buses, elaborate retail displays in book and record stores, feature coverage in every major print, radio and TV outlet, chatter around the water cooler at the office — total saturation.

1971

Timely concerns about the future of video, artists’ complicity in the money making system of the ‘establishment,’ and the effect of the camera’s presence on personal encounters, is discussed and debated in this late night video produced by David Cort, Chuck Kennedy, and Skip Blumberg.

2014

Sections 1-30 of an incomplete extended poem describing the artist's connection to the radical black tradition. The completed poem will be formed of 180 sections.

"Lessons are all about constraints; they are thirty seconds, must feature a black figure, and I have rules about where to make cuts, how to edit sound, etc."
— Martine Syms in conversation with Aram Moshayedi, Mousse Magazine

2016
Lessons: XXXI-LX

Sections 31-60 of an incomplete extended poem describing the artist's connection to the radical black tradition. The completed poem will be formed of 180 sections.

"Lessons are all about constraints; they are thirty seconds, must feature a black figure, and I have rules about where to make cuts, how to edit sound, etc."
— Martine Syms in conversation with Aram Moshayedi, Mousse Magazine

2012
Les LeVeque Videoworks: Volume 3

In Les LeVeque Videoworks: Volume 3, Les LeVeque explores time and the way in which it can be manipulated to affect the communication of emotion. In the first video, pulse pharma phantasm, LeVeque collapses 9 different pharmaceutical commercials into one another to the point that they cease to communicate relaxation or relief and instead create a visual cacophony whose erratic pulsations become almost hallucinatory. LeVeque’s point is to problematize the systematization of appeals to consumers through the use of tropes for the communication of comfort and tranquility.

2000
Les LeVeque Videoworks: Volume 1

Les LeVeque’s early works, featured on this compilation, demonstrate his fascination with slowing things down in order to see them better. Found footage, often of key historical moments, are digitally re-edited, slowed down, or encoded into ASCII to highlight underlying meanings and metaphors.