Consumer culture

1996
Lost Book Found

The result of over five years of Super-8 and 16mm filming on New York City streets, Lost Book Found melds documentary and narrative into a complex meditation on city life. The piece revolves around a mysterious notebook filled with obsessive listings of places, objects, and incidents. These listings serve as the key to a hidden city: a city of unconsidered geographies and layered artifacts—the relics of low-level capitalism and the debris of countless forgotten narratives. The project stems from the filmmaker's first job in New York—working as a pushcart vendor on Canal Street.

1992
A la Manera de W. Disney

Colorful lines follow the gestures of a conductor leading the orchestra until he disappears just at the point of crescendo. As the music slows, he starts to reappear. A sketch as a tribute to Walt Disney. 

This title is also available on Ximena Cuevas: El Mundo del Silencio (The Silent World) and Half-Lies: The Videoworks of Ximena Cuevas.

1995
Manifestoon

Displaying a broad range of Golden Age Hollywood animation, Manifestoon is an homage to the latent subversiveness of cartoons. Though U.S. cartoons are usually thought of as conveyors of capitalist ideologies of consumerism and individualism, Drew observes: "Somehow as an avid childhood fan of cartoons, these ideas were secondary to a more important lesson—that of the 'trickster' nature of many characters as they mocked, outwitted and defeated their more powerful adversaries.

2020
 martha rosler: crossings

Video Data Bank is proud to present crossings, an extensive collection of video works by Martha Rosler. Spanning five decades, this essential compilation presents Rosler’s unreservedly feminist, politically charged, historically vital, and ever-relevant Super 8 and video artworks.

2019
Michael Robinson Videoworks: Volume 1

Michael Robinson's video artworks evade easy categorization — defying genre, the works create their own set of rules. Using found footage, on-screen text, and various video formats, Robinson sparks vibrating frequencies between seemingly disparate parts. Michael Robinson: Videoworks Volume 1 surveys video works made between 2006-2010, exploring an abstracted landscape of media consciousness, bouncing between television, pop music, and personal experiences.

1979
Modern Times

Originally presented as a live performance piece using actors, multiple monitors, and music, Modern Times is a consolidation of seven short chapters in the life of a modern woman. In the first sequence, the objects in a suburban home are inventoried: "nice couch", "nice car", and so on — ending with the titles "nice concept", "nice image" — and unmasking this materialistic world as an impossible consumer fantasy. In the next scene, an attractive man sunbathes.

1970
Videofreex, Money

Taped on Prince Street in Soho, New York City, Skip Blumberg creates a one-word performance. Shouting the word "money" over and over, he attracts the attention of New York's finest. The video crew attempt to explain to the policemen that there is no public disorder as the streets were empty when they began to tape.

The video is an unwitting early example of the reaction of the state to the use of video cameras on the streets.

1998
The New McLennium

As the expansiveness of video and its accompanying new technologies continues to transform our culture and our world, another historical tension is developing—not unlike the technological revolution seen at the last turn of the century. That tension is felt, analyzed, and articulated in all of these recent experimental videos—a tension oscillating between the expansive promise of global communications that inspire new freedoms and social patterns on one hand, and the use of new media forms to simply reinforce existing hierarchies and capitalistic power structures on the other.

1998
No Is Yes

A combination of experimental and narrative approaches which explore the commodification of rebellion as it is marketed to youth culture, through the eyes of two drug-dealing, teenage girls from Brooklyn who "accidentally" kill and mutilate their favorite alternative rock star. Their obsession with murders and makeovers and their confusion between fashion and transgression lead these girls into a world where nihilism is bought and sold, and rebellion is impossible.

1995
No Sell Out

Using a pulsing rock soundtrack and music video-style editing, Tony Cokes combines archival footage of Malcolm X, advertisements, and corporate logos in No Sell Out to provide a scathing commentary on commodity culture.

2004
Nothing Ventured

An examination of venture capital, Nothing Ventured documents the tough negotiations that take place when entrepreneurs and bankers meet.

2002
One Mile per Minute

Take a joyride through comfortable suburbia—a landscape molded by seductive television and corporate America (and keep in mind: disaster is another logo for your consumption...). This is the age of the "culture jammed" consumer preened with Friends hair, Survivor courage, and CNN awareness. A generation emptying their wallets for the most important corporate product of all: lifestyle. The psychological road trip across a slightly battered America travels at One Mile per Minute.

2011
A Party Record Packed with Sex and Sadness

A high and low fidelity record of obsessions past and present. A hooded man named Cobra Commander (drawn naked) and a boy with black glasses. A fanged woman named Shadow-La and a girl in a rose colored wig. Belinda (Heaven on Earth), Madonna (Live to Tell), and headphones (worn naked). An airport terminal. Home. The Montgomery Ward catalog circa 1980. That orange bedspread, that red flowered couch.

2015
Paweł Wojtasik Videoworks: Volume 1

Exploring climate change, the destruction of nature, and industrial pollution, these four works by Paweł Wojtasik paint horrific yet meditative landscapes of global infrastructures including meat production, waste treatment, and laboratory experimentation. Often focusing on human and animal interactions in the modern world, Wojtasik's camera studies the subtleties of interspecies connection in a clinical way, lingering on the power and human control of nature.

1987
A Perfect Pair

A Perfect Pair posits the idea that individual consumers are walking billboards for the products they use; product slogans and brand names peeking out from every crevice and cranny of the actors’ bodies. Export demonstrates how the body of the consumer, especially that of the female consumer, is co-opted by commercialism. In tongue-in-cheek fashion, A Perfect Pair celebrates the modern-day co-mingling of fetish objects, as a body builder seduces a prostitute at a bar saying, “Your eyes are the most beautiful blue ad-space. Your cheek could promote a Mercedes.