Art Jones: An Interview

Video Data Bank

1993 | 01:00:00 | United States | English | Color | Mono | Video

Collection: On Art and Artists, Interviews, Single Titles

Tags: African-American, Hollywood, Interview, VDB Interviews, Visual Art

In this 1993 contribution to the On Art and Artists series, artist Art Jones describes his entry into the world of activist media, and the genesis of his belief in the potential for a democratized street-level media. Hailing from the Bronx, Jones recalls his personal dislocation during college, when he began studying film and video at SUNY Purchase. At that time, Jones experienced a cultural isolation, which he mobilized to fuel his practice. This willingness to confront issues of representation and absence, asserting the validity of his own subjecthood, would become a defining characteristic of his work.

In this interview, Jones positions his art-making within the context of contemporary portrayals of African American culture in popular media. He argues for the need of an active critical voice within the black community to condemn Hollywood’s simplification of the African-American experience. He also advocates for the development of alternative distribution networks that would help generate networks for community produced media images.

– Kyle Riley

Interview conducted by Cyrille Phipps in October 1993, edited in 2014

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