Visual Art

1978
Peer Bode, Ring Modulation

"Image states / sound states. A bell, hand held, ringing, two oscillators each independently controlling a sync event -- a red and blue color together with sound and no sound state and a sweeping video clip, together with audio filtering.  Both oscillators sweep up incrementally one after the other and then down. The visual and sound bell is immersed in the electronic space / state. One b+w camera, two oscillators, David Jones keyer and colorizer, audio filter. Vibratory spaces to live in, calm and ecstatic." 

-- Peer Bode

1990
Juan Sanchez: An Interview

Juan Sanchez explores his Puerto Rican heritage and the issue of Puerto Rican independence through his work as an artist and writer. Combining painting, photography, collage, and printmaking techniques, Sanchez’s art joins images of contemporary barrio life with memories of Puerto Rico, and addresses a fragmented Latino community fraught with political resistance and cultural alienation.

Interview by Bibiana Suarez.

A historical interview originally recorded in 1990.

1991
Andres Serrano: What Follows...

Andres Serrano was born and raised in New York. At fifteen he dropped out of high school. A few years later he attended the Brooklyn Museum School and studied painting and sculpture. After two years, Serrano decided that neither of these art forms were appropriate for his particular vision, and began to make photographs. Serrano’s work came to the attention of the general public as part of the controversy surrounding the issue of censorship and the NEA.

1982
Joel Shapiro: An Interview

Joel Shapiro (b.1941) came to prominence in the early 1970s with his representational miniatures of everyday objects like chairs and houses. Since then he has become one of the most exhibited American sculptors. Shapiro’s vocabulary consists largely of rectangular volumes, with which he has created a body of work dancing on the line between abstraction and figuration. The human form has been a major theme in Shapiro’s geometric expression.

1983
Hollis Sigler 1983: An Interview

Hollis Sigler (1948–2001) was a Chicago-based artist. She received degrees from both Moore College of Art and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her mature artistic style was faux-naïve, featuring paintings whose subjects, furniture and clothing set in doll-house type interiors and suburban landscapes, were stand-ins for the implicitly female figure. She was an openly lesbian artist and a prominent member of the faculty of Columbia College in Chicago.

1979
Charles Simonds: An Interview

Charles Simonds (b.1945) majored in art at the University of California at Berkeley. There he discovered an area of clay pits that had once provided the raw material for some of Manhattan's older buildings. He literally immersed himself in the subject, burying himself in a pool of wet clay to get a feel for the material. Simonds's sculptures are enchanting architectural minatures. Most are landforms with small chambers and towers; some are abstract organic shapes. Carefully built brick by tiny brick, Simonds's sculptures engage the child in everyone.

2013
Sister City, Dani Leventhal

Sister City channels moments of paradoxical experience — of being a superhero or being for sale — into reverberant conduits, articulating a nature divided by panes of glass or suspended in watery solitudes. Each shift begets a kind of origin story: one encounter traces the specific azure of a James Turrell installation to a pet shop jellyfish, in another, a modern-day putto purifies a horrific tale by blowing bubbles in a tub. Sister City, like water, seeks its own level; cresting and displacing continuous bursts of life, spiritualized, succulent, and ultimately alone.

1991
Alexis Smith - Life In America

For the past 20 years Alexis Smith's mixed media work has explored primal American myths: the open road, the bad/good guy/gal, the quest for romance, and the search for paradise. This portrait of the artist explores the roots of her thought and work, and was produced in conjunction with her exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, held in November 1991.

 

1990
Art Spiegelman: An Interview

Art Spiegelman was born and raised in New York, and began working as a cartoonist while still in High School. He attended the State University of New York in Binghamton, where he studied Philosophy. Spiegelman, who continued to work as a cartoonist, mainly in underground publications, throughout his schooling, has long been acknowledged as one of our era's foremost comic book artists. However, it was Maus, published in two volumes in 1986, that first brought his work to a mass audience. Maus tells the stories of a Jewish survivor of Nazi Germany and his son.

2016
Sympathetic Vibrations: The Videoworks of Paul Kos

Video Data Bank is proud to present the poetic work of West Coast conceptual artist Paul Kos. This two-disc box set features 25 video works that reveal how Kos mines humble materials for their physical properties and metaphorical possibilities. Included is a 50-page monograph containing specially commissioned essays that expand upon Kos’ five-decade long practice by art scholar Constance Lewallen and SFMOMA’s Curator of Media Arts Rudolf Frieling. 

1999
Fred Tomaselli: An Interview

Fred Tomaselli’s mosaics and collages compose patterns and images that suggest ancient global influences. His materials, however, are products of modern consumption, addiction, bodily abuse, and pleasure: pills, nicotine patches, bandages, and the like. The surfaces are coated with a lacquered veneer, making these mundane sources of highs or healing gleam. Interview by James Rondeau. A historical interview originally recorded in 1999 and re-edited in 2007.

2007
The Treasures of Creepy Hollow

A collection of literary and visual art is exhibited in the home of a noted author who displays great hospitality to the horrors and kinks of artistic expression. The viewer gets an up-close look at things best left behind the sofas of decent housing.

2010
Ryan Trecartin: An Interview

In this interview, Los Angeles-based artist and filmmaker Ryan Trecartin (b. 1981) discusses his personal interests and motivations, as well as the larger cultural and philosophical concerns that shape his videos and their reception. Trecartin is known for his construction of non-linear narratives, campy costumes, and excessively visceral characters and environments. One of the most compelling aspects of this interview is his insistence that language and its verbal articulation, rather than the visual, anchor his process. Trecartin identifies the influences of 1990s retro-rave culture, hip-hop videos, and editing software tools on his work. He notes that the accelerated disintegration of high and low culture has played a major part in his growth as an artist.

1989
The Trial of Tilted Arc

The artwork on trial is Richard Serra's public sculpture, Tilted Arc, commissioned and installed by the U.S. government in 1981. Four years later, a public hearing was held to consider the removal of the sculpture from its site in Federal Plaza in New York City. In documenting the climatic General Services Administration hearing, The Trial Of Tilted Arc is a thought-provoking indictment of the state of the arts.

2009
Anne Truitt, Working

A short portrait of artist Anne Truitt (1921-2004). The film consists of an interview and 16mm footage made in and around her studio at the Yaddo artist colony, as well as footage from her home studio in Washington D.C.  Rather than an attempt to depict her art, which is in many respects un-photographable, the core of the film is found in Truitt speaking about the course and meaning of her work. Says Cohen, "I was honored to know Anne Truitt, and doubly so when she allowed me to make a short record of her presence and thoughts.