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The Continuing Story of Carel and Ferd (Excerpt)

Arthur Ginsberg

1972 01:00:00 United StatesEnglishB&W and ColorMono4:3Video


From 1970 to 1972, Arthur Ginsberg and Video Free America recorded the private life of a not-so-average American couple-Carel Row and Ferd Eggan. She is a porn actress and filmmaker; he is a bisexual junkie. The video verite camera captures the desires and frustrations of their evolving relationship and their responses to the ongoing videotaping exercise. The tape, a study in "the effect of living too close to an electronic medium," reveals attitudes and discussions that also render it a fascinating social document of the west coast counterculture. Produced before the landmark PBS documentary An American Family, this project foregrounds the role played by media in contemporary life by positioning a video crew within the living space of a couple. Note: Like a number of documentary projects at the time, The Continuing Story of Carel and Ferd was originally shown as a 3-channel video installation on 8 monitors, with a live camera feed of the audience, and often with Carel and Ferd present.

This excerpt from the one-hour tape that was broadcast on WNET's series Video and Television Review in 1975 features an interview with Carel, Ferd, and Ginsberg five years later.

The original total running time for this piece is 1:00:00.  An excerpt from this title (33:15) is only available on Surveying the First Decade: Volume 1.

About Arthur Ginsberg

In 1969 Arthur Ginsberg joined the Bay Area media arts center and communications nexus Electronic Eye; the group then changed its name Video Free America. The center offered regular screenings of video installations, including The Continuing Story of Carel and Ferd (1970-75), and sponsored a visiting artist series with the Vasulkas and Stephen Beck, among others. In the mid-’70s, Ginsberg used his theater training and connections to collaborate with the Chelsea Theater Center on three plays (Kaspar, 1974, and AC/DC and Kaddish, 1977) that incorporated video into the staging.