VDB Newsletter ::: September 2016

VDB TV presents:
CHANNELING: an invocation of
spectral bodies and queer spirits

John Di Stefano | EMR | Hermine Freed | Elliot Montague
Shana Moulton| Jillian Peña | Aay Preston-Myint
Vanessa Renwick | Michael Robinson


VDB TV Presents: CHANNELING: an invocation of spectral bodies and queer spirits

As part of Video Data Bank’s ongoing commitment to the presentation of groundbreaking moving image art, VDB TV presents this free online program that provides an entryway into the spirit realm and the queer body politic. This program, curated by cultural agitators Latham Zearfoss and Ethan White, summons the ghosts of the past and the specters of the future. Originally released as a compilation in 2008, the video works have been revisited by the curators who provide new insight into this culturally relevant program:

“While the spectrum of what is visible — and therefore legible, validated by mainstream consensus — may have shifted slightly in the last eight years, the questions raised by CHANNELING still inhabit the shadows and gray areas. The “political and historical dramas that haunt the queer experience” — i.e. the spectral bodies and queer spirits we sought to evoke in this program — have not been properly put to rest.”

— Latham Zearfoss and Ethan White

About VDB TV:

VDB TV is a rotating series of groundbreaking programs presenting essential video art, streaming free for the first time to the general public on the Video Data Bank website. From early media pioneers, to sensational contemporary artists, VDB TV provides unprecedented access to the culturally significant Video Data Bank archive of more than 600 artists and 6,000 video art titles. VDB TV is curated by prominent programmers and moving image art specialists from around the world. To advance accessibility to the VDB collection, all programs included within VDB TV feature closed captions for the hearing impaired.

VDB TV is supported in part by a Media Arts award from the National Endowment for the Arts. To find out more about how NEA grants impact individuals and communities, visit www.arts.gov.

Martine Syms joins the VDB Collection

We are proud to announce the addition of artist and conceptual entrepreneur Martine Syms to the collection. In celebration, we are offering a 15% discount on all Educational Purchases of Martine Sym’s work for a limited period.

Martine Syms is the founder of Dominica, an imprint dedicated to exploring blackness as topic, reference, marker, and audience in visual culture. She has lectured at SXSW, TX; Walker Art Center, MN; REDCAT, CA; MoMA PS1, NY; and ICA London, UK. Her artwork has been exhibited and screened widely, including at the New Museum and The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY; White Flag Projects, MO; ICA Philadelphia, PA; and 356 Mission, CA. Syms is based in Los Angeles, CA.

The recent acquisition includes the following single titles:
A Pilot For A Show About Nowhere (2015), Lessons: I-XXX (2014), Lessons: XXXI-LXI (2016) Memory Palace (2015), My Idol is Reality (2007), Notes on Gesture (2015)
“Syms is not just interested in television, but in a particular subset of degraded contemporary television: the sitcom. The centerpiece of Syms’s New Museum installation is a 25-minute hopscotch through the history of representations of African Americans in sitcoms titled A Pilot For A Show About Nowhere. The clips culminate in an imagined sitcom of her own called She Mad, which betrays a sense of dissatisfaction with the limitations of the form, even as she takes pleasure in its triumphs.”
Saul Austerlitz, New Republic

Use coupon code SYMS2016 for a 15% discount on Educational Purchases
on DVD and Blu-ray (expires October 30th, 2016)

Video still from A Pilot For A Show About Nowhere (2015). © Martine Syms. Courtesy of Video Data Bank at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Support Video Dank Bank During Our 40th Anniversary Year

Video Data Bank believes in the unique vitality of our moving image community, a belief that we share with our artists, customers, and partners. As a non-profit organization, Video Data Bank relies on the generosity of individuals like you who believe that video art and artists are worthy of investment.

As part of our 40th anniversary celebrations we are releasing a selection of limited edition merchandise! These include stylish tote bags (perfect for carrying your VDB rentals), and buttons to show the world you care about video and media art. We are offering these to VDB donors through our anniversary year, but hurry, as stock is limited!

Donate $50 and receive a VDB 40th anniversary tote bag

Donate $25 and receive a VDB 40 anniversary button

VDB Artist News: Fall 2016

VDB artist Ben Russell will present a series of works including Let Us Persevere In What We Have Resolved Before We Forget, YOLO, and HE WHO EATS CHILDREN as part of the Indigo Festival of Contemporary Ideas Ljubljana, Slovenia, this September. Other work being screened at the festival includes Images of the World and the Inscriptions of War by the late Harun Farocki.

The National Center for Contemporary Arts, Moscow, will exhibit George Kuchar‘s epic melodrama A Fatal Desire through October 2016. VDB artist Steve Reinke will also present on Kuchar’s expansive body of work during the exhibition on October 28th.

A 1984 interview of contemporary art critic Craig Owens conducted by VDB founders Lyn Blumenthal and Kate Horsfield will show at Galerie Buchholz, NYC as part of a new exhibition by Douglas Crimp, coinciding with the release of his book Before Pictures. The exhibition runs through October 22nd, 2016.

VDB is proud to co-sponsor Furry Friends a program starring the prized pets that inspired the work of underground cinema legends and twin-brothers, George and Mike Kuchar. From George’s early 8mm home movies of the family dog, Bocko, to Mike’s adoring portrait of their tuxedo cat, Lily, Furry Friends brings together eight pictures spanning 40 years. This program is presented in collaboration with the Gene Siskel Film Center and Iceberg Projects in conjunction with George Kuchar: Bocko, an exhibition at Iceberg Projects on display from September 17th-October 30th, 2016.

THINGS: a queer legacy of graphic art and play, featuring the work of Tom Rubnitz, opens at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at the USC Libraries September 17th through December 11th, 2016. THINGS presents objects made by LGBTQ artists best known for their work in journalism, performance, film, and video.

The Stiftung Deutches Hygiene-Museum, Dresden, will present VDB artist Yvonne Rainer‘s Hand Movie as part of the exhibition Language, which explores the manifestations of language in all areas of our lives. Language opens September 24th, 2016 through August 20th, 2017.

The Scottish Queer International Film Festival will present Liz Rosenfeld‘s The Surface Tension Trilogy at the Center for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow, on October 2nd. The artist will be present for a Q&A session directly after the screening.

VDB artists Martine Syms and Sara Magenheimer kick off the Fall 2016 Flaherty NYC season Wild Sounds with the program Voices From Beyond, screening October 3rd at Anthology Film Archives.