Documentation

1984
A Scenic Harvest from the Kingdom of Pain

Flesh meets robotics in this early video documentation of Survival Research Laboratory’s spectacular exhibitions of collective invention, anti-corporate technology, and satirical mass destruction. In the performances documented here, various animal corpses are integrated into the action as the clawed and spiked machines attack dummies, each other, and, occasionally, the audience. The video begins with the song Stairwell to Hell, an appropriate prologue.

2006
Shuddhabrata Sengupta: An Interview

In this interview, Indian artist Shuddhabrata Sengupta (b. 1968) discusses his role in the initiation of the Raqs Media Collective, a Delhi-based artist collective, active since the 1990s. At the time of this interview, Raqs had been creating documentaries, art installations, and educational programs for eighteen years. Sengupta likens the driving force of Raqs to that of a game of catch, a process generated by a back-and-forth dialogue mobilized through writing and in-person meetings. As children of the late sixties, Sengupta explains how and why the members of Raqs, (himself, Jeebesh Bagchi and Monica Narula) share an interest in investigating mass communication, technologies of visibility, and the significance of memory and travel. It is also for this reason, Sengjupta explains, that the Collective’s work is committed to fostering rigorous research in addition to art-making endeavors.

2016
Adriene Jenik "The Sky is Falling"

The Sky Is Falling... is part of an ongoing series of performances that make up The Data Humanization Project.

1990
Sphinxes Without Secrets

Sphinxes Without Secrets is an energetic and transgressive acount of outstanding female performance artists, and an invaluable document of feminist avant-garde work of the 70s and 80s. No Mona Lisa smiles here, as performance artists spill their guts about what outrages and delights them. Performers, curators, and critics unravel the mysteries of a new art form and ponder the world women confront today. Since its inception, performance art has provided a forum for artists who create work that challenges the dominant aesthetic and cultural status quo.

2012
Tehching Hsieh: An Interview

At the age of twenty-four, Taiwanese artist Tehching Hsieh (b.1950), moved to New York, where he has created and documented time-specific, conceptual art performances since the 1970s. In this interview, Hsieh discusses his formative years and philosophical moorings. This dialogue includes description of the artist’s early period of painting, his military service in Taiwan, and the cultural atmosphere of a country then undergoing massive political change. Much of the discussion focuses specifically on Hsieh’s understanding of the relationship of art and life, his investment in “free thinking,” and the politics of documentation. For Hsieh, the ability to think freely is art’s bottom line—he believes the essence of his work lies in human communication. To this end, Hsieh insists that his work, though incredibly personal, is not autobiographical, but philosophical.

1996
Temple of Confessions

A documentation of a performance/installation. Guillermo Gómez-Peña and Roberto Sifuentes created a fictional religion based on inter-cultural confessions. Exhibiting themselves in Plexiglas boxes as "end-of-the-century saints", the two performers hear the confessions of audience members willing to reveal their intercultural fears and desires to the saints.

2011
The Embassy, Filipa César

The Embassy deals with the codes of representation used by the former Portuguese colonial power over the West African country Guinea-Bissau, and with modes of memory production. It shows a photo album depicting the perspective of the Portuguese colonist, who photographed with documentary diligence landscapes, people, architecture and monuments in Guinea-Bissau in the 1940s and 1950s.

2009
The Four Chambered Heart, Filipa César

In 1959, Jean Rouch directed the film La Pyramide Humaine. Situated between fiction and documentary, Rouch’s work presents his attempts to initiate a debate between two groups of students from the Ivory Coast, a white group and a Black group. A precursor to cinéma vérité, this often forgotten film served as the starting point of The Four Chambered Heart.

2017
Jem Cohen "This Climate"

Jem Cohen assembles images that demonstrate the economization of public space; the stock exchange on a LED display board, the company logo on cars, the mobile phone as tool of e-commerce. This Climate is not about the change of weather but the change of mental constitution.

1970
Videofreex, Tosun Bayrak's Love America or Live

The Videofreex document a street intervention by Turkish artist Tosun Bayrak (b.1926). The performance was to become a notorious example of the element of "shock" in contemporary art. Within the work:

1972
Trashing and Gassing in Miami: The 1972 Republican Convention

This tape was shot in August 1972 by the same crew that had convened for pioneer video collective TVTV’s (Top Value Television) project Four More Years. Videotaped at the 1972 Republican Convention, it begins with the cameraman taping from inside the press area, with protestors from the People’s Band outside at the fence. There is footage of girl- and boyscout groups. A group of protestors are shown calling for non-violent blockades of the delegates' entrance. Tear gas is feared, and there are interviews with tear-gassed people and medics.

2011
John Smith, Unusual Red Cardigan

The discovery of a VHS tape of the artist’s films for sale on eBay triggers obsessive speculation about the seller’s identity.

2007
Wedding

"Wedding takes its name from the predominantly Turkish neighborhood in Berlin where most of the footage of the film has been recorded. During the course of six months in 2006-2007, I have recorded the wedding ceremonies of Turkish and Kurdish immigrants in Berlin, which culminated in a large video archive. From this archive I have created a three-channel video piece.. But the experiences I have gathered during the course of this project and the archive later led me to include this subject in my current PhD thesis, on cultural performances, and crowd theory."

1969
Videofreex, The Whitelake Woodstock Aquarian Exposition

The Videofreex conduct first person interviews on the final day of the Woodstock festival, documenting detox efforts, clean-up logistics, and helicopter retreats. 

2005
Who Is Bozo Texino?

The secret history of hobo and railworker graffiti. Shot on freight trips across the western US over a period of 16 years, Who is Bozo Texino? chronicles the search for the source of a ubiquitous rail graffiti--a simple sketch of a character with an infinity-shaped hat and the scrawled moniker, "Bozo Texino"--a drawing seen on railcars for over 80 years.