Media Analysis

2000
Political Advertisement 2000

Antonio Muntadas and Marshall Reese have been documenting the selling of the American presidency since 1984, and have expanded and updated the series with every election. Political Advertisement 2000 features ads from the 1950s up to the 2000 campaign. As Muntadas and Reese trace the development of the TV spot, what emerges is the political strategy and manipulative marketing techniques of the American televisual campaign process. Political Advertisement 2000 includes many rare spots, some never before seen.

2004
Political Advertisement 2004

The latest in Muntadas and Reese's series documenting the selling of the American presidency features political ads from the 1950s to ads from the 2004 campaigns, and highlights the development of the political strategy and marketing techniques of the TV campaign process.

Edited without commentary, the artists show an endless stream of candidates, from Eisenhower to Kerry, who are marketed like commercial products. As Muntadas and Reese trace the development of the campaign TV spot, what becomes apparent is a consistent sameness of political issues amid complex, changing visuals.

2008
Political Advertisement 2008

The 2008 iteration Muntadas and Reese's series documenting the selling of the American presidency features political ads from the 1950s to ads from the 2008 campaigns, and highlights the development of the political strategy and marketing techniques of the TV campaign process.

2012
Political Advertisement 2012

The latest in Muntadas and Reese's series documenting the selling of the American presidency features political ads from the 1950s to ads from the 2012 campaigns, and highlights the development of the political strategy and marketing techniques of the TV campaign process.

Edited without commentary, the artists show an endless stream of candidates, from Eisenhower to Obama, who are marketed like commercial products. As Muntadas and Reese trace the development of the campaign TV spot, what becomes apparent is a consistent sameness of political issues amid complex, changing visuals.

2016
Antonio Muntadas and Michael Reese 'Political Advertisement 2016'

The latest in Muntadas and Reese's series documenting the selling of the American presidency features political ads from the 1950s to ads from the 2016 campaigns, and highlights the development of the political strategy and marketing techniques of the TV campaign process.

1980
Pop-Pop Video: General Hospital/Olympic Women Speed Skate

The "cross-over" in Olympic Women Speed Skating is juxtaposed against General Hospital's whites in reverse angle shots. A couple tries disparagingly to reach an understanding. Skaters continuously return to the starting line. Frustration and exertion combine with originally scored soundtracks of disco, rock, and jazz.

1980
Pop-Pop Video: Kojak/Wang

Pop-Pop Video: Kojak/Wang takes a shootout from Kojak and extends the shot and counter-shot into a potentially endless battle. In the original TV fragment, images, gestures and actions rebound off one another like the echoes of repeated bursts of gunfire. Birnbaum compares gunfire with the beams of laser light from a computer in a Wang commercial, connecting destruction and violence with the products of advancing technology.

2004
Presidents and Elections

The commodification of the American presidency is examined and lampooned in Presidents and Elections, a compilation of work from the Video Data Bank collection. Interweaving humorous, disquieting, and surreal videos with actual presidential campaign ads, the program highlights the evolving role of television as the driving force of electoral politics.

1986
Production Notes: Fast Food for Thought

Production Notes allows us to eavesdrop on the business decisions behind the creation of our daily diet of television commercials. This excellent tape undertakes to explode the address of seven TV ads by means of repetition, slow motion, and “production notes”— memos sent from the advertising agency to the production company prior to filming the spots, to describe the intentions, desires, strategies and ideology of the commercials and their creators.

2003
Public Discourse

Public Discourse is an in-depth study of illegal installation art. The primary focus is on the painting of street signs, advertising manipulation, metal welding, postering and guerrilla art, all performed illegally. Public Discourse is about passionate artists who want their work to be seen by a wide range of people rather than be confined to the systemic structures of galleries and museums.

2004
Public Lighting

How do we tell the story of a life? What cruel reduction of an image will stand (in the obituary, the family photo album, the memory of friends) for the years between a grave and a difficult birth? Public Lighting examines the current media obsession with biography, offering up “the six different kinds of personality” (the obsessive, the narcissist) as case studies and miniatures, possible examples.

2008
Putting the Balls Away

Putting the Balls Away is a reenactment of the historic September 21, 1973, tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, created for broadcast on the 35th anniversary of the original event. The Battle of the Sexes was the most-watched live sporting event at that time, and pitted chauvinist against feminist, when women tennis players demanded equal pay to that of their male counterparts. Both players are performed by Mateik, whose work wages strategic operations to overthrow institutions of compulsory gender. After each game the competitors "switch sides".

2010
House Hold, Guy Ben-Ner

This first program deals with stories of captivity. To start, Hostage: The Bachar tapes by Walid Raad presents us with an imagined hostage presumably held in custody along with the American hostages in Lebanon during the 1980’s. Raad’s work reflects on the invention and communication of stories about abduction, insisting on the families’ unity in the face of threats, and reads through the fears and sexual fantasies of the kidnapped Americans who are held in the same cell with a Lebanese man.

2010
(Posthume) (Posthumous), Ghassan Salhab

This program presents different approaches to looking at war, and to using images of war. My Friend Imad and the Taxi is an unfinished work from two amateur filmmakers, both passionate about film, who lived in Beirut in the eighties when the city looked like the set from a war film. Samir’s work looks at the intersection between (H)istory and (h)is story as lived at home.

2002
RE: THE_OPERATION

Based on a set of drawings that depict George W. Bush's administration as wounded soldiers in the war against terrorism, RE:THE_OPERATION explores the sexual and philosophical dynamics of war through the lives of the members as they physically engage each other and the "enemy." Letters, notes, and digital snapshots "produced" by the members on their tour of duty become the basis of video portraits that articulate the neuroses and obsessions compelling them toward an infinite war.