Media Analysis

1978
Domination and the Everyday

Rosler calls Domination and the Everyday, with its fragmented sounds, images, and crawling text, an artist-mother's This Is Your Life. Throughout this work, we hear—but do not see—a mother and small child at dinner and bedtime while a radio airs an interview with a gallerist about Californian art of the 1960s. The soundtrack moves into overdrive with feedback, a passing train, barking dogs, and a bedtime story. The visuals, all still images, are drawn from television, movies, advertising, and the family album.

1981
Down in the Rec Room

Like all of Smith’s videotapes, Down in the Rec Room is based on a performance that finds Mike once again all dressed up with nowhere to go. Smith mimes along with a children’s “let’s play make believe” record, and then repeats the action—this time disco dancing along with Donny and Marie on the TV set. Down in the Rec Room continues Smith’s critique of American fantasy culture by depicting the sorry life of the average guy.

2004
Dramatically Repeating Lawrence of Arabia

Dramatically Repeating Lawrence of Arabia is a re-edit of David Lean’s 217-minute orientalist “classic” Lawrence of Arabia into a 15-minute hallucination of repeating masculinized poses, costumes and dramatic gestures. An algorithmic structure condenses and frame-by-frame remixes the original film into a cycling of divergence, convergence and momentary mirrorings.

1973
Ed Henderson Reconstructs Movie Scenarios

Baldessari has Ed Henderson examine obscure movie stills and attempt to reconstruct the films’ narratives. By removing the image from its ordinary context—in this instance the chronological flow of film time—the process of interpretation itself and the contextual meaning carried by images is examined. During these interpretative exercises, Ed Henderson urges the viewer to question where the meaning of an image lies: within the image itself or within the spectators’ reading of the image.

This title was in the original Castelli-Sonnabend video art collection.

2017
Eduardo Kac: Telepresence, Bio Art & Poetry [1980-2010]

Video Data Bank is proud to present the pioneering work of Bio Artist Eduardo Kac. This three-disc box set features art works that expand the limits of locality, light, and language. Included is a 119-page monograph containing seven essays that investigate and elaborate on how Kac uses communication processes, biological life, and digital networks to create works that explore fundamental human experiences such as the fluidity of language, dialogical interaction, and awareness of our relative place in the larger community of life.

1976
The Eternal Frame

Irreverent yet poignant, The Eternal Frame is a re-enactment of the assassination of John F. Kennedy as seen in the famous Zapruder film. This home movie was immediately confiscated by the FBI, yet found its way into the visual subconscious of the nation. The Eternal Frame concentrates on this event as a crucial site of fascination and repression in the American mindset.

"The intent of this work was to examine and demystify the notion of the presidency, particularly Kennedy, as image archetype...."

— Doug Hall, 1984 

2008
The Eternal Quarter Inch

Rising fundamentalism and a government that cites faith to defend war actions have helped grow a desperate society. Dipping between ecstasy and despair, transcendence and absurdity, this movie journeys to a hidden space where you can lose your way, lose yourself in the moment, lose your faith in a belief system. An exhausted and expectant crowd waits on this narrow span. It is not a wide stretch, but it can last forever.

1990
Everyone's Channel

This video documents the history of U.S. community television and public access TV, using rare video clips from across the nation. Combining unique archival footage from the early days of cable, rediscovered footage from the 1/2" portapak era, and interviews with access pioneers, Everyone's Channel provides an illuminating overview of the people, ideas, and technological developments that helped make cable access a reality, and stresses the continuing need to see it as a vital necessity and right.

2009
Excess

A rumination via handwritten index cards and an assortment of images recalling histories and ambitions of varied film productions.

2001
Eye/Machine I

The film centers on the images of the Gulf War, which caused worldwide outrage in 1991. In the shots taken from projectiles homing in on their targets, bomb and reporter were identical, according to a theory put forward by the philosopher Klaus Theweleit. At the same time it was impossible to distinguish between the photographed and the (computer) simulated images. The loss of the 'genuine picture' means the eye no longer has a role as historical witness. It has been said that what was brought into play in the Gulf War was not new weaponry, but rather a new policy on images.

2003
Eye/Machine III

“The third part of the Eye/Machine cycle structures the material around the concept of the operational image. These are images which do not portray a process, but are themselves part of a process. As early as the Eighties, cruise missiles used a stored image of a real landscape, then took an actual image during flight; the software compared the two images, resulting in a comparison between idea and reality, a confrontation between pure war and the impurity of the actual. This confrontation is also a montage, and montage is always about similarity and difference.

2012
Bobby Abate, A Few Extra Copies

"On January 22, 1987 an unjustly convicted Budd Dwyer grasped onto the pages of his final speech as Pennsylvania's State Treasurer before shooting himself in front of news cameras. Our current year of armageddon, recession, and occupation resonates as a fitting time to step into Budd's shoes (and perhaps others who sought freedom the same way.) I set up a mini news conference with antiquated, glitchy analog cameras, mixers, players, and decks with the goal of recording Budd's speech in one take.

1983
R.M. Fischer - An Industrial

R.M. Fischer’s lamp sculptures, made from found industrial parts in a hybrid style of high-tech slickness and Baroque exaggeration suggested parodies of industrial commercials. The narration sounds like advertising hype but is actually composed from critical reviews of Fischer’s work. The slick, serious look of the final tape was accomplished in part by using a professional voiceover actor, a commercial photographer, and music composed for a brand-name commercial.

1998
Fishtank

An alcoholic, emaciated father; a grossly obese, tattooed mother; a goofy, hormone-addled brother—all together in a claustrophobic council flat. Welcome to the Billinghams'. Richard Billingham wowed the art scene with his book Ray's A Laugh. Fishtank, his first film, charts the emotional territory of the flat and the family who play out their lives within its confines.

1972
Four More Years

TVTV's inside view of the 1972 Republican National Convention made broadcast history. While network cameras focused on the orchestrated renomination of Richard Nixon, TVTV's rag-tag army of guerrilla television activists turned their cameras on to the cocktail parties, anti-war demonstrations, hype and hoopla that accompanied the show.