Media Analysis

1993
Joan Sees Stars

A video in two parts (Starstruck and MGM: Movie Goddess Machine), focusing on celebrity culture, identity, and the body. “What is Liz Taylor doing in my bed, in the bed of my friend Leland, as he dies of AIDS?” These and related questions are enacted in a series of encounters between the artist/ performer/ spectator and a host of famous people from la Liz to Anita Hill. In Joan Sees Stars, Braderman addresses the subversive potential of masquerade in a parade of video-assisted star sightings.

1987
Paper Tiger Television, Judith Williamson Consumes Passionately in Southern Cali

"Noted critic Judith Williamson ventures from her English home to a shopping mall in Southern California to proffer some opinions on the working of American culture under capitalism. Using the exponential increase in the numbers and styles of socks available in the marketplace as a wry point of departure, Williamson shops for socks and questions the dubious need for a specific style of sock for just about any endeavor one could name."

—1987 AFI Video Festival Catalogue

1979
Kiss the Girls: Make Them Cry

Using selected details of TV’s Hollywood Squares, Birnbaum constructs an analysis of the coded gestures and “looks” of the actors, including Eileen Brennen and Melissa Gilbert. Birnbaum exposes television as an agent of cultural mimicry and instruction. The actors’ expressions are far from valueless; they are the ideological content of such programming.

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.

2012
Les LeVeque Videoworks: Volume 3

In Les LeVeque Videoworks: Volume 3, Les LeVeque explores time and the way in which it can be manipulated to affect the communication of emotion. In the first video, pulse pharma phantasm, LeVeque collapses 9 different pharmaceutical commercials into one another to the point that they cease to communicate relaxation or relief and instead create a visual cacophony whose erratic pulsations become almost hallucinatory. LeVeque’s point is to problematize the systematization of appeals to consumers through the use of tropes for the communication of comfort and tranquility.

2000
Les LeVeque Videoworks: Volume 1

Les LeVeque’s early works, featured on this compilation, demonstrate his fascination with slowing things down in order to see them better. Found footage, often of key historical moments, are digitally re-edited, slowed down, or encoded into ASCII to highlight underlying meanings and metaphors.

 

1977
Antonio Muntadas, Liege 12.9.77

Produced in Liege for Belgium TV, this tape considers how broadcast television functions in a multi-lingual area. A televised Tower of Babble, Muntadas shows the rigid conformity of style and content enforced through the medium, drawing attention to the similiar format of the programs broadcast in different languages.

2003
Lilo & Me

Which celebrity do you most resemble? For artist Kip Fulbeck, this question starts a rollicking ride that is part autobiography, part family portrait, part pop-culture survey, and all Disney* all the time. Watch as Fulbeck documents his uncanny resemblance to Pochahontas, Mulan, Aladdin, and other "ethnically ambiguous" animated characters. Both hilarious and touching, this educating video examines the muting of race in mainstream media and its effects on multiracial Americans. *Disney is a registered trademark of Disney Enterprises, Inc.

1992
Tom Rubnitz, Listen to This

Listen To This is a fragment of collective memory that finds critical relevance in contemporary Queer discourse.  Tom Rubnitz weaves narration, image, and a form of temporality, dislocated from ‘real time’, into a video where artist and AIDS activist David Wojnarowicz’s loss and anger is palpable.

2003
Lock's Way

Locke’s Way is the photographic path to knowledge, full of twists and turns, treacherously steep. What has happened down here? A family’s photographs tell us everything and nothing about the subterranean past. "One of the central questions of philosophy has always been: what can be known? Locke’s Way provides a vivid illustration of this perennial philosophical dilemma. In this short video, Donigan Cumming is preoccupied with the story of his older brother, who seems to have been brain-damaged and spent much of his life in institutions.

2008
Lossless #2

Lossless #2 is a mesmerizing assemblage of compressed digital images of Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid’s 1943 masterpiece Meshes of the Afternoon. Baron and Goodwin play heavily with Teiji Ito’s 1959 soundtrack, making the film’s lyrical ambience feel more astonishing than ever before. --Neil Karassik

2008
Lossless #3

Removing keyframes from a digital version of John Ford's The Searchers, Baron and Goodwin attack the film's temporal structuring to render a kinetic “painted desert” of the West. The dust kicked up by the movement in the film is pure pixel, unanchored from the photographic realism that used to constrain it.

2008
Lossless #4

Derived from Ernie Gehr's Serene Velocity, Lossless #4 is the result of a digital file's debugging routine that reveals vectors describing apparent movement in the frame. Having removed the picture, thereby isolating these vectors, the formal qualities of Gehr's film are detectable. The hypnotic effects of the shifts in the lens’s focal length in the original are now substituted with a purely graphical representation, creating a perverse replacement of the optical effect of the original.

2008
Lossless #5

In Lossless #5, a water-ballet crafted by the famed Busby Berkley is compressed into an organic mitosis, within which we detect the spirit of a "buggy" Brakhage ghosting about the integrated circuit.

2001
Love Songs #1

Love Songs #1 is composed of three pieces that pose questions about urban culture, race, and politics. Found footage images are manipulated and juxtaposed with popular music; the effects are unsettling, ironic, and sometimes humorous.