Presidents and Elections


Collection: Curated Compilations

Tags: Consumer culture, History, Media Analysis, Politics, Television

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Presidents and Elections

The commodification of the American presidency is examined and lampooned in Presidents and Elections, a compilation of work from the Video Data Bank collection. Interweaving humorous, disquieting, and surreal videos with actual presidential campaign ads, the program highlights the evolving role of television as the driving force of electoral politics. Using appropriated media footage, parodic performance, historical reenactment, and other tactics, the artists represented in this program subvert and disrupt the inanity/insanity of dominant political discourse with their own forms of media manipulation.

Presidents and Elections — Program Listing

1. Excerpt from Political Advertisement 2000 (Antonio Muntadas & Marshall Reese, 2000): 1952 Eisenhower ad [0:22]

2. Excerpt from Spin (Brian Springer, 1995): Introduction [3:10]

3. Excerpt from Political Advertisement 2000: 1960 Kennedy “It’s Up To You” ad [1:00]

4. Excerpt from Political Advertisement 2000: 1960 ad of Jacqueline Kennedy speaking Spanish [1:00]

5. Excerpt from The Eternal Frame (Ant Farm & T.R. Uthco, 1976) [4:00]

6. Excerpt from Spin: “Making up the President” [2:55]

7. Perfect Leader (Max Almy, 1983) [4:00]

8. Excerpt from Political Advertisement 2000: 1968 Nixon ad [1:00]

9. Excerpt from Political Advertisement 2000: 1976 Ford “Feeling Good About America” ad [1:00]

10. Excerpt from Political Advertisement 2000: 1976 “We Need Jimmy Carter” ad [0:40]

11. Decision 80 (Jim Finn, 2003) [10:00]

12. The Speech (Doug Hall, 1982) [4:00]

13. Excerpt from Political Advertisement 2000: 1980 Reagan ad [0:30]

14. Excerpt from Political Advertisement 2000: 1984 Reagan ad [0:55]

15. Excerpt from Spin: “Making the News” [7:00]

16. Excerpt from Political Advertisement 2000: 1988 Dukakis “The Packaging of George Bush” ad, two 1988 George Bush ads [2:00]

17. Excerpt from Political Advertisment 2000: 1992 Pat Buchanan ad [0:30]

18. Excerpt from Stoney Does Houston (Bob Hercules, 1992) [4:10]

19. Election Collectibles (Bryan Boyce, 2000) [4:00]

20. Excerpt from Spin: “The Democratic Make-Up” [5:10]

21. Excerpt from Political Advertisement 2000: 2000 George W. Bush ad [0:30]

22. State of the Union (Bryan Boyce, 2001) [1:43]

Total running time: 58:43 minutes

Included Titles

Max Almy
1983 | 04:15
Perfect Leader
A satire of the political television spot, Perfect Leader shows that ideology is the product and power is the payoff. The process of political imagemaking and the marketing of a candidate is revealed, as an omnipotent computer manufactures the...


Collection: Single Titles

Tags: politics, television, video history

Jim Finn
2003 | 10:00
Decision 80
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...


Collection: Single Titles

Tags: chicago art, culture jamming, found footage, history, politics

Doug Hall
1982 | 03:39
The Speech
This tape grew out of my fascination with Ronald Reagan and his uncanny ability to demonstrate what I called the 'Signifiers of Americanism'. Through gesture and intonation, he seemed to suggest many of the virtues that Americans hold dear....


Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: language, politics, video history

Election Collectibles
In this faux-recreation of a home-shopping network, Al Gore and George W. Bush offer you a 'super-premium' collectible lamp commemorating the 2000 presidential election.


Collection: Single Titles

Tags: found footage, humor, politics

State of the Union
Baby Bush meets Tubby-land. Completed in August 2001, this project was initially just a simple comic skewering of George W. Bush and his defense policies—but after September 11th, it took on a whole new meaning. State of the Union now has a...


Collection: Single Titles

Tags: culture jamming, found footage, humor, politics

Antoni Muntadas + 1 other
2000 | 1:05:00
Political Advertisement 2000
Antonio Muntadas and Marshall Reese have been documenting the selling of the American presidency since 1984, and have expanded and updated the series with every election. Political Advertisement 2000 features ads from the 1950s up to the 2000...


Collection: Single Titles

Tags: activism, found footage, media analysis, politics, psa, tv production

Stoney Does Houston
In this irreverent and hilarious videotape, renowned street performer Stoney Burke leads us on a subversive tour of the 1992 Republican National Convention in Houston’s Astrodome. Burke disregards the traditional terms of “political debate” offered...


Collection: Single Titles

Tags: documentary, humor, media analysis, politics

Brian Springer
1995 | 57:30
Pirated satellite feeds revealing U.S. media personalities’ contempt for their viewers come full circle in Spin. TV out-takes appropriated from network satellite feeds unravel the tightly-spun fabric of television—a system that silences public...


Collection: Single Titles

Tags: holiday, media analysis, television

Ant Farm + 1 other
1976 | 24:16
The Eternal Frame
Irreverent yet poignant, The Eternal Frame is a re-enactment of the assassination of John F. Kennedy as seen in the famous Zapruder film. This home movie was immediately confiscated by the FBI, yet found its way into the visual subconscious of the...


Collection: Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, history, media analysis, performance, politics, video history

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