Documentation

1972

“Trolling for news we call it,” says Bart Friedman a minute into this video, as he pushes down a road the Lanesville TV News Buggy – a baby carriage filled with video equipment, spilling over with wires. The buggy allows for easy transportation of equipment as the Videofreex make their way throughout Lanesville, interviewing residents on their daily activity. Although fairly ordinary – a visit to the lake, a small bit about a neighbor’s new electric golf cart, and an introduction to a newborn baby – the footage has an air of genuineness and all of the interactions are amicable.

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."

1971

Among the handful of video recordings of Lanesville TV that exist today, this tape is particularly special for its documentation of one of its very first programs to run on the air. The tape captures the energy and excitement of the Videofreex as they prepare to go live, and Parry Teasdale taking calls during the show to drum up interest and also monitor sound quality.

1974

In this March 9th, 1974 episode of Lanesville TV, the Videofreex screen their recently shot ringside footage from a boxing match that took place over the weekend in Marion Square Gardens of nearby Tannersville, NY. The event, which pitted (volunteer wrestler-boxers) Frank “the Fist” Farkle of Haines Falls against Rocky Van Fight of Hunter in a match, was a fundraiser for the Rescue Squad of Tannersville.

1971
Videofreex, Laser Games with Shirley Clarke

In Laser Games with Shirley Clarke, the Videofreex visit the apartment of independent filmmaker Shirley Clarke. Someone brings out a laser pointer, which they then use from the top of their building to shine on the sidewalks below in an attempt to distract the passersby. After returning indoors, they experiment with optical distortion by shooting the laser directly into the camera lens while listening to psychedelic raga music.

1971

In this video, the Videofreex host a party during which the main source of entertainment is a video-television feedback loop. In one room, a video camera linked up to a television set allows party guests to see themselves, as if in a mirror, while guests in the other room can also watch the recording, and may speak to them through a microphone. Although the voices of the off-screen guests can be heard on the tape, they are always imageless.

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.

2013
Let Us Persevere In What We Have Resolved Before We Forget

"We are happy. (Silence.) What do we do now, now that we are happy?"

-- Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

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.

2011
Manhole 452

Despite assurances from local municipalities, a fact of life is that Manholes blow sky high more frequently than most people realize. Manhole 452 directs the viewer’s attention to the shapes, sizes and patterns of manhole covers on Geary Street in San Francisco, and then plunges deep below into the manholes themselves to explore the hidden threat that lies below.

1971
Mayday Realtime

Shot over one day, this program records the events and protests in Washington DC on May Day, 1971. This was the day when one of the most disruptive actions of the Vietnam War era occurred in Washington, DC, when thousands of anti-war activists tried to shut down the Federal government in protest at the War.

A feel for the mood in the city is gained during the first half of the video with shots of the city from a moving car in traffic. Protestors, city residents, and police are captured on tape, along with exciting and moving shots of the day's actions and arrests.

1978
Merce by Merce by Paik

Merce by Merce by Paik is a two-part tribute to choreographer Merce Cunningham and artist Marcel Duchamp. The first section, “Blue Studio: Five Segments,” is an innovative work of video-dance produced by Merce Cunningham and videomaker Charles Atlas. Cunningham choreographed the dance specifically for the two-dimensional video monitor screen. Atlas uses a variety of video imaging effects, including chromakey, to electronically transport Cunningham’s studio performance into a series of outdoor landscapes. The audio track includes the voices of John Cage and Jasper Johns.

2004
Linda M. Montano: 14 Years of Living Art

Linda M. Montano: 14 Years of Living Art is a video catalog of the artist’s exhibition, performance and workshop in Montreal in 2003. Produced in the context of a retrospective exhibition at the Liane and Danny Taran Gallery, the video presents a close view of Montano’s signture art/life counseling performance, interviews with participants, and views of the artworks in situ. It also documents Montano’s performance pedagogy during her all-night sleepover workshop which was collaboratively hosted by La Centrale and Rad’a.

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 video documents an interview with the wife of Bobby Seale, Artie Seale.

1970

This tape documents Nancy Cain’s birthday party and captures the inner workings of the Videofreex’s social ethos. As pipes are refilled and passed around, and the music of Aretha Franklin and the Beatles croons in the background, members of the Videofreex take turns with the camera to experiment with the effects of light, proximity, and focus in the smoke-filled room. Activity includes brief clips of a television talk show host discussing current voting turn out,  longer segments of close-ups of Nancy’s face, and Parry Teasdale’s attempt to continuously blow smoke into the viewfinder.