Documentation

1970

Skip Blumberg of the Videofreex conducts an interview with Charles “Cappy” Pinderhughes, the Lieutenant of Information of the New Haven branch of the Black Panther Party. From the steps of the New Haven headquarters, Cappy publicizes the upcoming Revolutionary Peoples Constitutional Convention set to take place in Washington, D.C. later that week (June 19th, 1970). In addition, Cappy provides a statement to be shared via the Videofreex at the Alternative Media Conference occurring at Godard College in Vermont.

1970
New Haven: Abbie Hoffman and the National Guard

Footage of a May 1970 rally featuring political speakers, including members of the Black Panther Party. Abbie Hoffman talks about fighting imperialism at home, and the Chicago 7 Conspiracy Trial. As the crowd chants “Free Bobby Seale,” the Videofreex attempt to interview several National Guardsmen. We see young black men talking to the troops, with one man telling a Guardsman, “I’ve got nothing... I went to Vietnam for you."

1984
Nothing To Lose

Footage from a performance produced at Forum en Scene in Middleburg, Holland of the players continually enacting the same tasks. Nothing To Lose opens with a young, androgynous sailor standing between two buildings, while the song Nothing To Lose plays on a record player. The camera pans to two people in the national costume of Zeeland: one is peeling cucumbers and the other is washing sheets, shouting, “Good manners ruin good food.” A woman sits in her window, fingering a string of pearls and shouting to the sailor.

2006
O.U.T. Operation Urban Terrain

O.U.T. is a work documenting the emergence of computer games which train players to fight in cities among civilians, (Military Operations in Urban Terrain). O.U.T. contains sampled footage and machinima (stories told with video games) from five military simulation games. Following is a documentation of the performance, (Operation Urban Terrain), an urban wireless intervention by Anne-Marie Schleiner and an international cast of game expert and art activist collaborators.

2008
One Bright Day

While out shooting for a different project altogether, I encountered two sleeping men on a Manhattan street. A short time later, I was standing in front of Pennsylvania Train Station with the camera on a tripod, when one of the men suddenly reappeared. He stepped in front of my camera and began to speak, about his path in the U.S. military, from Panama to Afghanistan to Iraq, about his life. I decided to limit the piece to what I shot in that area in those few hours, with one key addition: the text from a classic children's rhyme.

–Jem Cohen

2003
OPERATION INVERT

Are gender outlaws considered the new biological terrorists seeking weapons of mass bodily destruction? OPERATION INVERT compares the different regulations mediating botox-related plastic surgery and gender reassignment "sex change." Historical medical assessments of the invert (homosexual and transsexual) "condition" reveal seemingly outdated absurdities about outsider deviance. Nonetheless, current institutional loopholes governing gender re-assignment surgery suggest a fresh resurgence of loony pathology and diagnosis.

1993
operculum

The artist visits with seven cosmetic surgeons specializing in blepharoplasty (cosmetic eyelid creasing surgery) in the West Hollywood/Beverly Hills area for initial consultation sessions. The doctors demonstrate different reshaping options and comment upon the prevalence and success rates for different Asian nationalities while Tran presents statistics and facts in text that frame the consultations.

This title is also available on Tran, T. Kim-Trang: The Blindness Series.

1976
Out of the Body Travel

A "young woman who finds herself surrounded by the relics of Western culture" is the subject of Richard Foreman's formal tableaux. The narration centers on a young woman's struggle to find a relation between her body and her self as mediated by language. The text is a poetry of formal relations that carries personal and historical implications, including the desires of the woman paradoxically voiced by a male narrator. The title suggests the vivid virtuality of dreaming; scenes repeatedly refer to both reading and sleeping.

1975
Performer/Audience/Mirror

In Performer/Audience/Mirror, Graham uses video to document an investigation into perception and real time informational "feedback." The performance is doubly reflected back to the audience by the artist's lecturing, and the architectural device of a mirrored wall. Graham has written extensively on how video, which can deliver information in real time, functions semiotically as a mirror.

2010
Porto 1975, Filipa César

Applying the same economy used in César's other films — one shot which uses the duration of an entire 16mm film reel — Porto 1975 is a tracking shot that unfolds at the social housing complex, Cooperativa das Águas Férreas da Bouça, designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira, as an integral part of the Ambulatory Service of Social Support (SAAL, 1972–76). The work's construction was initiated in 1975 but only completed in 2006.

1971
Process Video Revolution

This tape, shot in April 1971, documents the making of a WNET/13 TV show about video collectives and how they use the new video technology.

1973
Queen Mother Moore Speech at Greenhaven Prison

Two years after the riots and deaths at Attica, New York, a community day was organized at Greenhaven, a federal prison in Connecticut. Think Tank, a prisoners' group, coordinated efforts with African-American community members outside the prison walls to fight racism and poverty. The event was documented by People's Communication Network, a community video group founded by Bill Stephens, for cablecast in New York City, marking the first time an alternative video collective was allowed to document an event inside prison walls.