VDB Newsletter ::: October 2016

Sara Magenheimer: Slow Zoom Long Pause
Conversations at the Edge
October 20th, Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago

Sara Magenheimer, still from Slow Zoom Long Pause, 2015.

Sara Magenheimer, still from Slow Zoom Long Pause, 2015.

Thursday, October 20th, 6:00 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.

Video Data Bank is delighted to present artist Sara Magenheimer at
Conversations at the Edge as part of our 40th Anniversary Year celebrations.

In her arresting videos, Sara Magenheimer mixes humor and playfulness with a sophisticated inquiry into language and meaning-making. Using visual puns, graphics, and text-to-voice computer programs, her work explores the slippery dimensions of communication. In Seven Signs That Mean Silence (2013), two disembodied computer voices describe in-between places where meaning hides. In Slow Zoom Long Pause (2015), characters meditate on the many ways language fails.

2011–16, USA, multiple formats, ca 60 min + discussion

Sara Magenheimer (b. Philadelphia) has exhibited, performed, and screened her work widely. Recent exhibitions include White Columns, New York; Foxy Productions, New York; and Document, Chicago; among others. From 2004–10 Magenheimer performed in bands, touring extensively and releasing five records. She was the recipient of a 2014 Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant, a 2015 Artadia Grant, and the Prix De Varti at the 2015 Ann Arbor Film Festival. Upcoming exhibitions include Art In General’s New Commissions in Riga, Latvia, and a solo exhibition at the Kitchen in New York.

Find Out More
“VDB Asks…Sara Magenhiemer”
Conversations at the Edge
Video Data Bank Celebrates 40 Years of Visionary Video!

2016 Political Data Bank

Let the Video Data Bank be your political guide this month
with our Top Ten Election Season Videos!

Four More Years, TVTV, 1972
TVTV’s inside view of the 1972 Republican National Convention made broadcast history. While network cameras focused on the orchestrated renomination of Richard Nixon, TVTV’s rag-tag army of guerrilla television activists turned their cameras on to the cocktail parties, anti-war demonstrations, hype and hoopla that accompanied the show.

The Eternal Frame, Ant Farm and T.R. Uthco, 1976
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 nation.

The Speech, Doug Hall, 1982
This tape grew out of Hall’s fascination with Ronald Reagan and his uncanny ability to demonstrate what he called the ‘Signifiers of Americanism’.

Perfect Leader, Max Almy, 1983
A satire of the political television spot, Perfect Leader shows that ideology is the product and power is the payoff.

The Riot Tapes, Ilene Segalove, 1984
A video biography of Segalove’s political involvement in college, of her boyfriend (who became anorexic while dieting to evade the draft), and of her discovery that art could give her a voice and a forum for her political views.

Canon: Taking to the Street, Dara Birnbaum, 1990
Starting with student-recorded VHS footage of two successive Take Back the Night marches at Princeton University, Birnbaum develops a saga of political awareness through personalized experiences.

Stoney Does Houston, Bob Hercules, 1992
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.

RE:THE_OPERATION, Paul Chan, 2002
Based on a set of drawings that depict George W. Bush’s administration as wounded soldiers in the war against terrorism, RE:THE_OPERATION explores the sexual and philosophical dynamics of war through the lives of the members as they physically engage each other and the “enemy.”

Energy Country, Deborah Stratman, 2003
This short video harangue questions land use policy as it serves the oil industry, patriotism as it absolves foreign aggression, and fundamentalism as it calcifies thinking.

Political Advertisement, Antonio Muntadas and Marshall Reese, 1996-2016
Political Advertisement depicts the evolution of political ads over the last 44 years, beginning with Eisenhower in 1952 (which was an unqualified success), and continuing up to the most recent ad campaigns for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in 2016, coming to Video Data Bank very soon! Political Advertisement IX will screen Friday, November 4th at the School of Visual Arts, NYC.

VDB at the 2016 New York Film Festival

Video Data Bank’s very own Distribution Manager, Zach Vanes, was present at last weekend’s packed Projections program at the 2016 New York Film Festival! He gives us a quick rundown of the happenings at this exciting moving image festival.

“There’s nothing quite like Projections at the New York Film Festival. The audience assembled in the Film Society of Lincoln Center was made up of colleagues and friends, and each program offered new insights into the possibilities of the moving image. It was wonderful to see Video Data Bank artists like Sky Hopinka, Jesse McLean, Steve Reinke, and Deborah Stratman present their work to sold out crowds. It was truly a great weekend for experimental video, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds for the program.”

— Zach Vanes


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), stickers and buttons to show the world you care about video and media art. We are offering these to VDB donors throughout our anniversary year, but hurry, as stocks are limited!

VDB TV presents:

CHANNELING: an invocation of
spectral bodies and queer spirits

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.

VDB Artist News — Fall 2016

Socially engaged artist Suzanne Lacy‘s 18-month project Shapes of Water Sounds of Hope at Brierfield Mill, Lancashire, UK, receives a warm write-up by Laura Robertson for this month’s Frieze Magazine.

VDB artists including George Barber, Kevin Jerome Everson, Louis Henderson, Michael Robinson, and Deborah Stratman are screening works at Experimenta, the artists’ moving image section of the 2016 London Film Festival, October 6-16th.

Shelly Silver‘s documentary in complete world will be shown at the Whitney Museum of Art, NYC, and followed by a discussion between Silver and activist Louis Massiah, on the meanings of citizenship in the 21st Century, October 14th. Additionally Video Data Bank is offering this title for free to any interested screening venue until November 8th, contact info@vdb.org for more information.

Filmmaker Jim Finn‘s title Chums from Across the Void will screen at the 2016 Vienna International Film Festival on October 20th.

As part of the ongoing series Artists’ Film Club at London’s Institute of Contemporary Art, moving image practitioner Dani Leventhal will screen a selection of recent works, followed by a Q&A led by Mason Leaver-Yap on October 27th.

Writer and filmmaker Renée Green will screen her video Partially Buried as part of a program that surveys the influence and impact of artists supported by gallerist and patron Virginia Dwan, entitled Of Minimalists and Land Artists, at the National Gallery of Art, October 29th.

Berlin-based artist Rosa Barba is currently exhibiting her film Disseminate and Hold as part of an installation at the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo through December 11th 2016. Barba also has a solo exhibit Blind Volumes currently on show at the Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt, through January 8th 2017.

Video Data Bank at the 54th New York Film Festival


The New York Film Festival, now in its 54th year, runs September 30th to October 16th, 2016. This year marks the third year of the Festival’s unique celebration of experimental media: Projections.

The New York Film Festival’s Projections section presents an international selection of artists’ film and video work that expands upon our notions of what the moving image can do and be. Drawing on a broad range of innovative modes and techniques, including experimental narratives, avant-garde poetics, crossovers into documentary and ethnographic realms, and contemporary art practices, Projections brings together a diverse offering of short, medium, and feature-length work by some of today’s most vital and groundbreaking filmmakers and artists. Projections is curated by Dennis Lim (Director of Programming, Film Society of Lincoln Center), Aily Nash (independent curator), while Thomas Beard (Film Society Programmer at Large) serves as Program Advisor.

VDB is thrilled that the 2016 Projections program will highlight a number of VDB titles and artists, including:

  • Rosa Barba, Bending to Earth (2015) [Program 1 – October 7th & 8th]
  • Kevin Jerome Everson, Ears, Nose and Throat (2016) [Program 2 – October 7th & 8th]
  • Sky Hopinka, Jáaji Approx. (2015) [Program 2 – October 7th & 8th]
  • Jesse McLean, See a Dog, Hear a Dog (2016) [Program 1 – October 7th & 8th]
  • John Smith, Steve Hates Fish (2015) [Program 1 – October 7th & 8th]
  • Deborah Stratman, The Illinois Parables (2016) [Program 3 – October 7th]
  • Steve Reinke, A Boy Needs A Friend (2015) [Program 7 – October 8th & 9th]

Find out more about the 54th New York Film Festival by visiting the online festival brochure.