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History

Shot in October 1969, this tape gives an inside view of the workings of late-sixties radical groups and the debates going on within their ranks. At a meeting of Yippies, there is a discussion about the nuts and bolts of fundraising through benefit concerts and events in an attempt to finance support efforts related to the Chicago 8 Conspiracy Trial.

Cloudless Blue Egress of Summer is a two-channel synchronized video installation. A composite of the two channels presented side by side in one video is available from Video Data Bank for educational use only.

With Cold Harbor, Donigan Cumming uses a minimum of elements to create a powerful anti-war message. Initially, the video seems enigmatic, almost abstract. An amateur Handycam moves tentatively around a hospital room, panning and zooming from the view out the window to the dark-skinned old man lying on the bed. The image is shaky, blurred, often out of focus. Off-screen, a radio or television blares the news.

A poetic meditation on distance, Come Closer is a short and peripatetic film, casting an affective web between the locations of Lisbon, San Francisco and Brazil. Focusing on Brazilian-Algerian filmmaker Karim Aïnouz, musician Derrick Green –– the filmmaker’s brother and lead singer of Brazilian band Sepultura –– and her own work produced in Lisbon since 1992, Come Closer can be thought as a meditation on friendship and saudade.

come lontano is a perverse historical romance in which two lives are exposed, inter-mixed, doused with sentiment, and — hopefully — redeemed. The work revolves around a central ‘couple’ — Pier Paolo Pasolini and Maria Callas. There is a third main character, an ambiguous villain made of steel, glass and rubber. Each member of our central couple has her/his own external distractions which impinge — to varying degrees — on their brief, ecstatic encounter. This encounter was in fact a cinematic collaboration; it’s product the film Medea (1969).

Communists Like Us is an ambient music video made from a few seconds of archival footage of Mao Zedong applauding and members of the Red Guard chanting. The title Communists Like Us was taken from the 1985 text of the same name written by Felix Guattari and Toni Negri.

Conakry, 2013

Staged at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, Conakry is a sequence shot on 16mm film that travels through time, space and media to revisit one film reel from the Guinean archive. This particular reel documents an exhibition curated by Amílcar Cabral at the Palais du Peuple in 1972 in Conakry, Guinea, reporting on the state of the war against Portuguese rule. César invited the Portuguese writer Grada Kilomba and the American radio activist Diana McCarty to reflect on these images and their history.

The fragment contains within it an implied reference to something that was once whole. It suggests damage and violence, time and distance. These qualities I found were integral to my own constitution, and it was with the making of Cooperation Of Parts that this became clear.

“Misfortune makes and breaks you.” I have the misfortune of a history of disruptions, and the fortune of having that history to work with.

In 1993 President Mitterrand visited Korea. On this visit Mitterrand promised that he would restore to Korea the 297 volumes of the Oe-Kyujanggak Archives (the royal protocols of Chosun Dynasty in Korea), pillaged by the French army in 1866 and now part of the collections in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (National Library of France). As a sign of intent, he assured the interested parties that a two-volume book, the Hyikyungwon-Wonsodogam-Uigwe, would be immediately returned.

History haunts the border town of Columbus, New Mexico when riders on horseback cross the border to commemorate Pancho Villa's 1916 raid.

A portrait of Luce Vigo, film critic, educator, and the daughter of pivotal French filmmaker Jean Vigo. Commissioned by the Spanish documentary festival, Punto de Vista, the film incorporates Luce's memories of her extraordinary life, reflections on her father, and images of Northern Spain.

The Cyan Garden considers the limits of giving form to the past which cannot cohere into memory. In part filmed on ‘Lucky', a discontinued b&w 16mm film reel stock intended for military aerial detection, the film revolves around a radio station that was not supposed to be detected and an Airbnb apartment ‘The Lover’, run by the artist’s friend in their hometown. Between 1969 and 1981, a Malaysian communist underground radio in exile Voice of the Malayan Revolution resided in what is now soon to be a resort.

Footage from the May Day 1971 events in Washington DC. Davidson, a Videofreex member, gets arrested, and what follows is rarely seen footage of the inside of the detainment bus and the jail cell, videotaped by an arrestee.

The house in the film is Maison de l'Armateur, "the ship owner's house", one of the few houses in Le Havre, France that remained in tact after the city was completely destroyed in the allied bombings of D-Day, 1944. The work deals with the desire to preserve and organize objects, and by doing so, to tell a specific historical tale. It also deals with nostalgia to a world that no longer exists, and perhaps never did.

Appropriated network-TV footage of Jimmy Carter’s "I see risk" speech from the 1980 Democratic Convention meets Reagan’s gloomy inaugural ride through D.C.: "If you succumb to a dream world, you’ll wake up to a nightmare."

This title is also available on Presidents and Elections.

1933. Berlin. The last year of the Wiemar Republic. Through the lense of her personal "home movies", Leni Riefenstahl records a day in her life with a young Eva Braun.

Die Neue Frau is the third film in the The Surface Tension Trilogy, a three-part short film trilogy looking at queer artists living in Berlin during the 1920s. Shot on hand-processed 16mm film.

Executive produced by Sara Diamond at the Banff Art Centre, co-produced by Michelle Baughn and Suzanne Lacy, directed by Tom Weinberg and Dick Carter, and edited by Holen Kahn.

The Disappointment: Or, The Force of Credulity is a documentary about the search for four lost treasures buried on a single farm in Missouri. These treasures include a Spanish explorer's gold, silver from the Civil War, mysterious stone carvings, lost texts, and a wife's attempt to heal her husband and protect herself and her children. Part personal documentary and part historical essay, The Disappointment traces the patterns of cultural forgetting etched in the landscape of the Austin Farm.

This film uses the ‘old fashioned’ conventions of documentary film practice to stand history on its head. There is a narration taken from a radio lecture by Claude Lévi-Strauss entitled, “The Meeting of Myth and Science,” images from the Deutsche Wochenshau of June 25, 1940 that recorded Hitler’s dawn visit to Paris, images from American newsreels, a movement from one of Beethoven’s Rasumovsky Quartets. The film could only succeed, in my mind, if the imprint of prior usage of all elements was clear.

In this interview, political and social theorist, Terry Eagleton (b. 1943), shares stories of his Irish upbringing and British education, and sums up his current engagement with art theory, leftist politics, and spirituality under capitalism. With reference to Henry James, Frederic Jameson, Christopher Hitchens, and Richard Dawkins, among others, this interview spans a vast landscape of literature and social theory.

El Dorado, 2020

The supposed existence of a golden kingdom motivated numerous expeditions, and the belief remained in force until the 19th century, although its location moved from Colombia to the Guianas, as the process of conquest and colonization of the South American territory progressed. A journey and a drift from extractive colonialism that is far from over.

El Zócalo is an observational portrait of Mexico City’s central Plaza de la Constitutión during one day in August. Soldiers, Aztec dancers, clowns, food vendors, protestors, rain, dogs, tourists, kites, balloons, and dignitaries all meet in the public space of the Zócalo. This documentary presents daily life in one of the largest and most vibrant urban centers in the world, but it begins with a dream of history and ends with a dream of the space full of people for a Zapatista rally.

El Zócalo is an observational portrait of Mexico City’s central Plaza de la Constitutión during one day in August. Soldiers, Aztec dancers, clowns, food vendors, protestors, rain, dogs, tourists, kites, balloons, and dignitaries all meet in the public space of the Zócalo. This documentary presents daily life in one of the largest and most vibrant urban centers in the world, but it begins with a dream of history and ends with a dream of the space full of people for a Zapatista rally.

Between 1892 and 1927, almost 16 million people came to Ellis Island attempting to immigrate to the United States.

The Embassy deals with the codes of representation used by the former Portuguese colonial power over the West African country Guinea-Bissau, and with modes of memory production. It shows a photo album depicting the perspective of the Portuguese colonist, who photographed with documentary diligence landscapes, people, architecture and monuments in Guinea-Bissau in the 1940s and 1950s.