VDB Newsletter ::: February 2017

Celebrating Black History Month

This February Video Data Bank honors the achievements of Black Americans and the central role of African American culture in U.S. history.  Video Data Bank is proud to showcase the works of Black artists such as Lawrence Andrews, Renée Green, Kevin Jerome Everson, and Ezra Wube whose works explore the African American cultural and historical experience, and continue to shape to the way African Americans are portrayed in the arts.  In celebration of Black History Month we’ve put together a list of videos which illuminate the complexity of identity and the representation of Black culture in contemporary video art.

ownerbuilt, 2013, 00:48:53
Lawrence Andrews

Hurricane Katrina and the ensuing aftermath destroyed Noel’s community and home. He is rebuilding, and as he rebuilds, he evokes the past through the enlistment of his personal archives. His memories are complicated by the tragic events that occurred on the Danziger Bridge on September 4th 2005.

Black Celebration, 1988, 00:17:17
Tony Cokes

Subtitled A Rebellion Against the Commodity, this engaged reading of the urban black riots of the 1960s references Guy Debord’s Situationist text, “The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity Economy,” Internationale Situationniste #10 (March 1966).

Aquarius, 2003, 00:01:30
Kevin Jerome Everson

Aquarius is a film about horoscopes and hope, and coping with everyday life.

a/k/a Mrs. George Gilbert, 2004, 00:31:00
Coco Fusco

Fusco combines fictional and documentary source materials to reflect on the use of electronic surveillance against black intellectuals and activists in the 1960s and 1970s as part of covert FBI operations that bear a striking resemblance to the current Patriot Act-inspired activities of American law enforcement.

Know Your Enemy, 1991, 00:27:43
Art Jones

Through distorted audio and visual representations of interviews with music journalists, this video critiques the mass media’s treatment of the rap group Public Enemy, and accusations that their lyrics are anti-Semitic.

Notes On Gesture, 2015, 00:10:30
Martine Syms

Inspired by a riff on a popular joke “Everybody wanna be a black woman but nobody wanna be a black woman,” Notes On Gesture is a video comparing authentic and dramatic gestures.

Fred Hampton: Black Panthers in Chicago, 1969, 00:24:00

The Videofreex conducted this interview with Fred Hampton, the Deputy Chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party, in October 1969, just over a month before he was killed by the Chicago police.

Upgrade Surveying the First Decade and save 15%!

Librarians, Video Data Bank invites you to upgrade your VHS copy of Surveying the First Decade: Video Art and Alternative Media in the U.S. 1968-1980 and finally recycle that dusty old VHS player. Through April 2017 we are offering an unprecedented 15% discount to upgrade Surveying the First Decade from VHS to DVD! Contact our Distribution Manager, Zach Vanes, at zach@vdb.org for further details.

Continue watching VDB TV: Decades

The Electric Mirror:
Reflecting on Video Art in the 1970s

John Baldessari | Lynda Benglis | Simone Forti |
Nancy Holt | Paul & Marlene Kos | Barbara Aronofsky Latham
Susan Mogul | Keith Sonnier | William Wegman

VDB TV: Decades The Electric Mirror: Reflecting on Video Art in the 1970s

Taking inspiration from Hershman Leeson’s essay Reflections on the Electric Mirror, Farrell’s program concentrates on work from the first decade of American video art. Focusing on artists that were influenced by and who pushed against the televisual impulse, the works in this program derive from television both technologically and culturally, and serve as a catalogue of early experimentation with and in the closed circuit system.

Robyn Farrell is a Curatorial Assistant in the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Art Institute of Chicago. Farrell has spoken widely on contemporary art and time-based media at institutions and conferences, including the University of Chicago, New York University, and the College Art Association Annual Conference.

VDB TV: Decades, a five-part curated screening series exploring VDB’s unique archive, casts a distinctive eye over the development of video as an art form. This program is streamed for free on the VDB TV platform as part of Video Data Bank’s 40th Anniversary Celebrations.

VDB TV: Decades now available for purchase!

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. 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.

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