State, The

barberg Akula Dreams Akula Dream, 2015

An old Russian Akula submarine, armed with ballistic nuclear missiles, is assigned a new captain. But Captain Pavel seems to care very little for Navy protocol. In fact, he feels the crew’s jobs are a waste of time, preferring to lead discussions about spiritual matters. The Captain dresses in a cassock and grows a long beard. His favorite pastime is shamanic drumming, which even the confused American’s can hear from the ship.

bushp Paul Bush, Babeldom Babeldom, 2012

Babeldom is a city so massive and growing at such a speed that soon, it is said, light itself will not escape its gravitational pull. How can two lovers communicate, one from inside the city and one outside? This is an elegy to urban life, against the backdrop of a city of the future, a portrait assembled from film shot in modern cities all around the world and collected from the most recent research in science, technology and architecture.

"It’s a complex architectural vision equal parts awesome and terrifying… This is a film – and city – to get lost in."

videodatab Cassils: An Interview Cassils: An Interview, 2019

In conversation with David Getsy — an art historian focusing on queer and transgender methodologies in sculpture theory and performance history — Cassils discusses their monumental performance artworks and inspirations.

finnj Chums from Across the Void, 2015

Little Radek, the step-dancing Bolshevik; Machera, the Andean Robin Hood, and Maria Spiridonova, the Russian socialist assassin are your guides for Past Leftist Life Regression therapy. In this third Inner Trotsky Child video, narrator Lois Severin— a former Trotskyite turned suburban housewife—attempts to radicalize the personal fulfillment and self-help scene.

smithj Citadel, John Smith Citadel, 2020

Filmed from the artist’s window during lockdown, Citadel combines short fragments from British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s speeches relating to coronavirus with views of the London skyline recorded in a variety of weather conditions. Recognising the government’s decision to place business interests before public health, it relocates the centre of

smithj Covid Messages, John Smith Covid Messages, 2020

Covid Messages is a video in six parts, based around broadcasts of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s COVID-19 press conferences. The work focusses on the British government’s attempts to eliminate the virus through the use of magic spells and rituals. While the pandemic spreads and the death toll rises, the Prime Minister makes repeated errors of judgement. Exasperated by his many mistakes, the spirits of the dead rise up and intervene.

barberg The Freestone Drone The Freestone Drone, 2013

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles — drones — have become an everyday feature of contemporary military activity, replacing humans in reconnaissance flights, small-scale combat missions and covert operations. The U.S. Army operates some ten thousands UAVs — a six-fold increase during Obama's term — deploying them over locations like Pakistan and Yemen.

videodatab Brian Holmes: An Interview Brian Holmes: An Interview, 2004

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).

farockih How to Live in the FRG How to Live in the FRG, 1990

The author assembles a genre picture of the contemporary FRG with shots of scenes where life is rehearsed, ability/durability is tested. Wherever one looks, people appear as actors playing themselves; they take on roles. A play in the theater of life made up of training courses, fitness tests for things and people. Be it in birth preparation classes for expectant parents or in practice runs for sales talks, on the military training ground or during role-plays for educational purposes. Everywhere the incessant effort to be prepared for the emergency of "reality" can be felt.  

garrinp Man with a Video Camera Man with a Video Camera, 1988

After an all-night session of editing Free Society, Garrin headed home with video-8 camera in-hand, only to happen upon the Tompkins Square riots. As police tried to enforce a curfew aimed at removing homeless people from the park, Garrin began gathering footage of cops beating up protesters. He was then attacked by police himself, as the camera continued to roll. The footage was subsequently incorporated into Free Society, in which the military myth of "protect and serve" is dismantled by first-hand experience.

cortd, ratcliffec Mayday Realtime (Excerpt), 1971

As a verite documentation of the May 1, 1971 demonstration against the Vietnam War staged in Washington, D.C., Mayday Realtime presents a largely unedited flow of events from the point of view of participants on the street. Cort's camera captures the random, disorienting incidents that marked the day - demonstrators holding up traffic in the Capitol, skirmishes with police, on-the-scene interviews with onlookers. The camera impulsively responds to shouting and movement on the street.

videofreex Miami Drive, Draft Counsel, Superman in the Grove , Videofreex Miami Drive, Draft Counsel, Superman in the Grove, 1971

This surprisingly candid tape between two men looking to avoid the draft and a draft counselor offers unique entry into conversations that often only took place behind closed doors during the Vietnam War. The Videofreex capture the length of a discussion, set in an office room piled high with stacks of records and forms, during which a counselor guides two college-age men through a series of questions that they must manage and address in order to carefully navigate the legal system.

event Natural Life, 2014

Natural Life is a feature-length experimental documentary challenging inequities in the U.S. juvenile justice system by depicting, through documentation and reenactment, the stories of five individuals who were sentenced to Life Without Parole (Natural Life) for crimes they committed as youth.

The youthful status and/or lesser culpability of these youths, their backgrounds, and their potential for rehabilitation were not taken into account at any point in the charging and sentencing process. The five will never be evaluated for change, difference or growth. They will remain in prison till they die.

barbers Oh My Homeland, Stephanie Barber Oh My Homeland, 2019

In 1985 the great soprano Leontyne Price sang the title role in Verdi’s Aida as her farewell opera. After the ‘O patria mia’ aria, the audience breaks into a four-minute applause. Oh My Homeland is the third in a series of minimal single shot 16mm films. It’s a film about representation, art, and material exchange. It’s a film about endings. It’s a film about identity, love, power, patriotism and the transcendent potential of art through the viewing of a face receiving adoration.

ourslert, gibbonsj On Our Own On Our Own, 1990

As recent state cut-backs force many mental patients out into the real world, Tony Oursler and Joe Gibbons team up to address psychiatric deinstitutionalization from a comic angle. After years of being cared for, Tony, Joe and their dog Woody leave the cuckoo’s nest and reluctantly face the prospect of finding jobs and cooking their own meals. Their darkly comic adventures include a comatose Tony tuning in to daytime TV, and Joe fantasizing about death while strolling in the park.

cohenj One Bright Day One Bright Day, 2008

While out shooting for a different project altogether, I encountered two sleeping men on a Manhattan street. A short time later, I was standing in front of Pennsylvania Train Station with the camera on a tripod, when one of the men suddenly reappeared. He stepped in front of my camera and began to speak, about his path in the U.S. military, from Panama to Afghanistan to Iraq, about his life. I decided to limit the piece to what I shot in that area in those few hours, with one key addition: the text from a classic children's rhyme.

–Jem Cohen

montanol Passing Through, Linda Montano Passing Through, 2020

A call and response to impermanence.

roslerm Pencicle of Praise, Martha Rosler Pencicle of Praise, 2018

Vice President Mike Pence eagerly plays cheerleader in chief for Donald Trump. In accepting the vice-presidential nomination in 2016, Pence proclaimed, “I'm a Christian, a conservative, and a Republican — in that order,” suggesting how we might understand his role. This ground-breaking, earth-shaking video begins with a pomp-ridden televised press conference, accompanied by uplifting music. Held early in 2017 at the White House Rose Garden, it showcased the president’s announced withdrawal from the historic Paris Climate Accord.

rubys STATE, Sterling Ruby STATE, 2019

STATE is a single-channel video projection that the artist has spent the past five years researching and producing, working with a videographer and helicopter pilot to film aerial views of the 35 adult state prisons of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

Soundtrack / Drumming: Sterling Ruby

Filmography: Michael Boidy

Editors: Sterling Ruby and Sadie Strangio

Audio Engineer: George Hicks

Production: Reid Ulrich

videodatab Gene Youngblood 2006: An Interview Gene Youngblood 2006: An Interview, 2006

In this interview, communications theorist, Gene Youngblood (b. 1942) maps out the various stages of the development of video technology and its philosophical implications for human interaction. The range of topics discussed moves beyond video to offer an extensive and rich survey of American culture from the 1960s to the present moment. In addition to discussing his canonical text, Expanded Cinema, Youngblood shares stories from his early days as a police reporter for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, where he gained intimate knowledge of the media’s politics of representation. With the acuity of hindsight, Youngblood discusses important self-discoveries, and his life-changing decision to move from the mainstream media into the world of the underground press.