Technology

2004
Brian Holmes: An Interview

In this interview, Brian Holmes, an influential art critic, activist and translator, discusses social forms of alienation, human ecologies of power, and the impact of technology on geopolitical social networks. Holmes reflects on his ongoing study of the ways in which the rhetoric of revolution has been institutionalized, as well as artists’ resistance to such cooption. For him, artists working in collectives have the potential to create a new artistic milieu that is not aligned with the dominant model of production. This argument is born out in his published collection of essays, Hieroglyphics of the Future (2003).

2016
Kent Lambert Videoworks: Volume 1

VDB is proud to present Kent Lambert Videoworks: Volume 1. Lambert is a Chicago-based musician and media artist. His creative output primarily consists of vocal driven art-pop music and pop-inflected video art made from repurposed industrial and commercial media. This comprehensive collection of his works reflect, critique and ultimately transcend American zeitgeists and Lambert's own consumption within them.

2001
Ben Knapp and Andy Diaz Hope: An Interview

The interstice of art and technology has proved to one of the most generative locations in contemporary transdisciplinarity. As media of all kinds become more electronically integrated and digitized across multiple platforms, current technologies approach a condition of complete imbrication with art practices, and vice versa. Ben Knapp and Andy Diaz Hope have been at the forefront of these techno-aesthetic interactions, and their career experience as hard-science engineers brings a level of practical competence to this interview that is truly enlightening.

1971

This tape includes footage of one of the first broadcasts of Lanesville TV, as it appears on the television set of Lanesville local, Todd Benjamin, and a television set installed in a public bar. Interwoven with shots recording the program’s reception, are segments recorded for Lanesville TV itself: Bart (playing the part of “Russell”) approaches Parry, dressed as a hillbilly car mechanic “fixing” the VW Van; nearby, Nancy opens the door to a cabin, wearing a bonnet, while Carol and Chuck, crowding behind her, play the part of other Lanesville TV protagonists.

1971
Videofreex, Laser Games with Shirley Clarke

In Laser Games with Shirley Clarke, the Videofreex visit the apartment of independent filmmaker Shirley Clarke. Someone brings out a laser pointer, which they then use from the top of their building to shine on the sidewalks below in an attempt to distract the passersby. After returning indoors, they experiment with optical distortion by shooting the laser directly into the camera lens while listening to psychedelic raga music.

2013
Lettres du Voyant, Louis Henderson

“To take back the gold that was stolen from us – this is the object of our actions.”

Lettres du Voyant is a documentary-fiction about spiritism and technology in contemporary Ghana, which attempts to uncover some truths about a mysterious practice called "Sakawa" — internet scams mixed with voodoo magic. Tracing back the scammers’ stories to the times of Ghanaian independence, the film proposes Sakawa as a form of anti-neocolonial resistance. 

2017
Liquid Image

September 24th, 2016, North Avenue Beach, Chicago. It was a sunny day. According to the weather report, the temperature was 75°F, with the barometer reading of 30 inches height and the wind speed of 13 miles per hour. The time was 2:27 pm, I was standing by the Michigan Lake. In my hand there was a waterproof camera that weighs 2.6 ounces. I pressed the record button on the camera and threw it into the lake. The camera sank into the lake immediately and embarked on a mysterious journey. During the journey, it was elevated, pressed, panned, rotated, and spun by the water.

1984
Luminous Image

The Luminous Image was an international exhibition of video installations held in the fall of 1984 at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.

2013
Jodie Mack: An Interview

In this 2013 interview, experimental animator and School of the Art Institute of Chicago alumna Jodie Mack discusses the developments that have taken her from an interest in musical theater and playwriting to organizing microcinemas and DIY filmmaking.

Mack describes her interest in early cinema history and the relationship between its technologies and spectacle, particularly the manner in which video production incorporates planned obsolescence. Referring to the “scavenger nature” of her work, Mack discusses her interest in waste and her desire to use reclaimed materials in her work. Using fabric and paper to create shifting fields of color, Mack references corroded and glitched digital media in her work. Her use of quotidian materials reflects upon the role of abstract animation in everyday life, and serves to draw audience awareness to the spectacle of televisual technology.

– Kyle Riley

1990
Maxwell's Demon

A post-apocalyptic computer animated vision of humanity lost in an industrial wasteland, Maxwell's Demon was animated on a low-cost, consumer computer model - an IBM PC. The tape takes its title from an early 20th-century physics theory postulating the existence of an impossible intelligence, a being that knew the exact location, energy, and direction of every particle in the entire universe - something akin to your home computer, but a lot bigger."

1971
Videofreex, Mes and Youse

A wonderful and humorous example of early image processing, Parry Teasdale and Carol Vontobel perform to camera as their faces are morphed together, forming an image of one person. 

1971

Less than two minutes long, this short tape makes playful and surreal use of video’s editing capabilities. Set to a sped-up version of The Band’s “The Weight” – complete with the falsetto vocals, and accelerated tempo that come with time manipulation on records – is a series of rapid, alternating washes and split-image cuts overlaying and juxtaposing the faces of the freex upon one another. Male faces and female faces fuse, the exact identity of the individuals becoming dissolving into ambiguity.

2014
The Measures

Jacqueline Goss and Jenny Perlin retrace the journey of two 18th-century astronomers tasked with determining the true length of the meter. From the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel, The Measures explores the metric system’s origins during the violence and upheavals of the French Revolution. Along the way, Goss and Perlin consider the intertwining of political and personal turmoil, the failures of standardization, and the subtleties of collaboration.

1970
Videofreex, Money

Taped on Prince Street in Soho, New York City, Skip Blumberg creates a one-word performance. Shouting the word "money" over and over, he attracts the attention of New York's finest. The video crew attempt to explain to the policemen that there is no public disorder as the streets were empty when they began to tape.

The video is an unwitting early example of the reaction of the state to the use of video cameras on the streets.

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.