Presidents and Elections


Collection: Curated Compilations

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

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

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Included Titles

Max Almy

Perfect Leader

1983 | 00:04:15

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…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: Politics, Television, Video History

Jim Finn

Decision 80

2003 | 00:10:00

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…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: Chicago Art, Culture Jamming, Found Footage, History, Politics

Doug Hall

The Speech

1982 | 00:03:39

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…

Collections: Early Video Art, Single Titles
Tags: Language, Politics, Video History

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.“Ever wonder if politicians…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: Found Footage, Humor, Politics

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…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: Culture Jamming, Found Footage, Humor, Politics

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…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: Activism, Found Footage, Media Analysis, PSA, Politics, TV production

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…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: Documentary, Humor, Media Analysis, Politics

Brian Springer


1995 | 00:57:30

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…

Collections: Single Titles
Tags: Media Analysis, Television, Holiday

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…

Collections: Early Video Art, Single Titles
Tags: Activism, History, Media Analysis, Performance, Politics, Video History