Television

Elegy, 1991

It’s the first day of autumn, and Gibbons can already smell death in the air. Leading us and his dog Woody on a walk through a cemetery, Gibbons voices his obsessive thoughts of death and destruction saying, “I want to be a leaf; I want to fall from a great height and crush whatever I land on.” Waxing weirdly philosophical, Gibbons satirically tries to impress the concept of mortality on his dog; the video, shot in Pixelvision, approximates his dog’s black-and-white vision.

The frenzied detritus of trading floors, smart weaponry and the religious right are woven through the petrochemical landscapes of Southeast Texas. This short video harangue questions land use policy as it serves the oil industry, patriotism as it absolves foreign aggression, and fundamentalism as it calcifies thinking.

Equal Rights for Unborn Drag Queens is a satirical short video in which Brenda and Glennda critique anti-abortion politics, homophobia, and religious fanaticism in the media. Interspersed between clips of right-wing news broadcasts is footage of Brenda having her nipple pierced, in an homage to Sandy Daley's Robert Having His Nipple Pierced (1971).

An episode of The Brenda and Glennda Show hosted by Brenda Sexual and Glennda Orgasm.

ETC: Experimental Television Center 1969-2009 is a five-DVD box set presenting the electronic media work of over one hundred artists who participated in the Center’s Residency Program during a 40-year period. The collection offers a look at the evolution of the unique artist-designed sound and image tools that are the hallmark of the Center’s studio, and provides a view into the constantly changing artistic processes and practices that have shaped the work over the years.

This video documents the history of U.S. community television and public access TV, using rare video clips from across the nation. Combining unique archival footage from the early days of cable, rediscovered footage from the 1/2" portapak era, and interviews with access pioneers, Everyone's Channel provides an illuminating overview of the people, ideas, and technological developments that helped make cable access a reality, and stresses the continuing need to see it as a vital necessity and right.

An homage to the death of the soap opera, The Evil Eyes is a 1960's era story of a grandmother faced with her mortality, a mother in mid-life crisis, and a son realizing his sexuality - a dysfunctional family whose unspoken angst manifests in the latest episode of their beloved supernatural soap opera, Before Dawn.

In Fagtasia Solstice, Brenda and Glennda attend a Radical Faerie event in New York City to commemorate the Summer Solstice. Through interviews with Faeries and footage of their walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, the group proposes to reclaim the city as a safe space for queer people, and discuss reorienting queer consciousness toward spirituality.

An episode of The Brenda and Glennda Show, hosted by Brenda Sexual and Glennda Orgasm. Featuring the Radical Faeries. Thanks to Julie Clark and Dana Nasrallah.

Fantasy Suite was the last standard definition video I made from VHS tapes. Like WHS VHS #1, I made it to premiere at Roots & Culture’s Zummer Tapez, and speed manipulation figured heavily into its construction (the Bachelor material was not interesting or even tolerable at normal speed, but slowed down slightly, it became fascinating to me). Shana Moulton’s work was a strong influence on this video (I programmed my piece to play after hers in the Zummer mixtape), hence the animated facial masks and SkyMall imagery.

In Final Exit, an aged one is confronted with his options in blunt terms. Does he want to drag out his existence, increasingly infirm and a burden to his caretakers, or go quietly before resentment overwhelms sentiment? Does he wish to go on living, the quality of his life increasingly diminishing, or be euthanized? Would he prefer cremation or burial? This video confronts the issues of mortality and advancing decrepitude that faces even the friskiest.

R.M. Fischer’s lamp sculptures, made from found industrial parts in a hybrid style of high-tech slickness and Baroque exaggeration suggested parodies of industrial commercials. The narration sounds like advertising hype but is actually composed from critical reviews of Fischer’s work. The slick, serious look of the final tape was accomplished in part by using a professional voiceover actor, a commercial photographer, and music composed for a brand-name commercial.

Framed, 1998

Framed is the second installment of the longer piece, Video Bites: Triptych for the Turn of the Century. Offering a series of visual metaphors discussing the ubiquity of the "frame" in contemporary life, Braderman uses her trademark chroma-key to juxtapose exterior landscapes with television clips, advertisements, and news footage.

Framed originally premiered as part of Video Bites: Triptych for the Turn of the Century in 1998; it was re-edited in 2017. Braderman co-directed Framed with Dana Master. 

Freebird, 1993

Silver directs and performs all the roles in this raucous and hilarious music video rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s "Freebird", the infamous Southern rock anthem for an entire generation of 1970s male youth. In this spoof of straight mass culture, Silver flips ironically between roles; from a lesbian proudly proclaiming her sexuality at the Academy Awards, to an in-concert Coors-drinking Ronnie Van Zant, and, finally, to a black-lace lesbian lounge swinger celebrating the wild, colorful world of “out” visibility.

This two-part video Gender Cruise on the Circle Line involves Brenda and Glennda leading a group of drag queens, drag kings, and other gender nonconforming people on a three-hour ride on the Circle Line boat around Manhattan.

The two-part video Gender Cruise on the Circle Line involves Brenda and Glennda leading a group of drag queens, drag kings, and other gender nonconforming people on a three-hour ride on the Circle Line boat around Manhattan.

In Glennda and Bruce Do Times Square, Glennda is taken on a night tour of Times Square by author Bruce Benderson. They observe the dynamic between forms of culture that would typically be identified as “underclass” in “suburbanite” culture within the economic and spatial landscape of New York City. Glennda and Bruce visit the apartment of performer Consuela Cosmetic, who was prolific within New York’s ball scene. She maps out the ways in which she believes gender can be expressed, and discusses the implications of ‘passing’.

In this video, Glennda Orgasm and social critic Camille Paglia walk the streets of downtown Manhattan and discuss the status of mainstream feminism in the early 1990s. They visit the Stonewall Inn, Washington Square Park, and a gay bookstore, and confront a group of anti-pornography protesters. 

An episode of Glennda and Friends, hosted by Glennda Orgasm and Camille Paglia. Featuring The Centaurians, Brian Roach, and Rennard Snowden.

In this video, Glennda is joined by social critic and feminist scholar Camille Paglia in New York's fashion district. The pair visit designers studios to discuss their respective styles and creative processes. Additionally, Glennda and Camille explore fashion's relationship to gender and feminism, ultimately recreating an iconic scene from Breakfast at Tiffany's.

An episode of Glennda and Friends, hosted by Glennda Orgasm and Camille Paglia.

In this video, Glennda and sex activist Chris Teen attend the opening of Dress Codes at Boston's Institute of Contemporary Art. They interview museum staff, artists, and other attendees to explore how an exhibition centered upon gender nonconformity will be received by both queer communities and the general public. Glennda and Chris Teen discuss the importance of visibility for marginalized communities, and tap into gender discourses as they existed in the early 1990s.

In this video, Glennda Orgasm and Chris Teen travel to Washington, DC to attend a feminist art exhibition titled Walk the Goddess Walk at the District of Columbia Arts Center. The pair talk to the owner of the gallery, artists included in the show, and attendees, including Francy Caprino, Teena Cromwell, Andrew Melon, Camille Paglia, and Joseph Virgilio.

An episode of Glennda and Friends, hosted by Glennda Orgasm and Chris Teen.

In this video, Glennda and Judy LaBruce (Bruce LaBruce) visit the auction house Christie's East on New York's Upper East Side to view Judy Garland memorabilia that is being auctioned off. They attempt to rescue Garland's Oscar from those trying to profit from the auction.

An episode of Glennda and Friends, hosted by Glennda Orgasm and Judy LaBruce.

Smith’s gentle, recusant comedy is a critique of masculine domination, focusing on the myth of manifest destiny. Believing the moral of the Old West that “Everything is there for the taking”, mild-mannered Mike is inspired to “Go for it!" and conquer wide-open spaces in the modern way: as a real estate developer of suburban sub-divisions. Dressed as a cowboy and mime-riding a horse in front of images of mobile homes, Smith updates the notion of “rugged individualism” to include personal theme music and a chorus.

A single-shot, choreographed portrait of the Foley* process, revealing multiple layers of fabrication and imposition. The circular camera path moves inside and back out of a Foley stage in Burbank, California.  While portraying sound artists at work, typically invisible support mechanisms of filmmaking are exposed, as are, by extension and quotation, governmental violations of individual privacy. 

George Kuchar just received a tape of himself on the Dog and His Friends from the Dog House television show, but he must first track down a VHS player to watch it. After arriving at a friend’s home, Kuchar draws attention to the number of animals present in the kitchen, noting that it reminded him of the Playboy Mansion in Chicago, Illinois. Flashing back to Chicago, Kuchar takes a tour of the abandoned ‘pleasure palace’ by flashlight, exploring the dark recesses of the basement bowling alley and underwater bar.

Help!, 1999

As sad as it can be to be trapped in a TV show, singing words you don't even know the meaning of.

This title is also available on Ximena Cuevas: El Mundo del Silencio (The Silent World) and Half-Lies: The Videoworks of Ximena Cuevas.

Gibbons presents a Son of Sam-like relationship between a man and his dog in which the man takes the dog to task for the terrible things he has made him do. Shot in Pixelvision.

This title is also available on Joe Gibbons Videoworks: Volume 1.