Video Data Bank Newsletter ::: March 2017

VDB TV: Decades

Problematizing Pleasure / Punk Theory

Liza Béar | Dara Birnbaum

Cecelia Condit | Tony Oursler | Julie Zando

VDB TV: Decades Problematizing Pleasure / Punk Theory

“I was born in 1963, and so the 1980s mean something to me, but I’m not sure what. I think it good, for instance, that I didn’t get AIDS and die. Also, that I only flirted with semiotics. Like cybernetics, which started in the 1950s, grew to dominance in the 1960s and simply faded away in the 1970s, we once believed in semiotics. In the 1980s, it was the way to understand how images contained meanings/produced discourses, and how texts circulate. (How do they circulate? Intertextually.) Perhaps semiotics was the dying gasp of modernism, a conservative strain of modernism posing as postmodernism. The death of the author resulting not in the birth of the reader, but in the birth of a severe, obscure, hermetic semiotician.”

Continue reading Steve Reinke‘s essay Problematizing Pleasure / Punk Theory

Steve Reinke is an artist and writer best known for his videos. His work is screened widely and is part of several collections, including the Museum of Modern Art (New York, NY), the Pompidou (Paris, France), and the National Gallery (Ottawa, Canada).  His videos typically have diaristic or collage formats, and his autobiographical voice overs share his desires and pop culture appraisals with endearing wit. Born in a village in northern Ontario, he is currently Associate Professor of Art Theory & Practice at Northwestern University.

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.

VDB Artists Showcased in the Whitney Biennial

March 17th-June 11th, 2017

We are thrilled to announce that Video Data Bank artists Basma Alsharif, Kevin Jerome Everson, Sky Hopinka, Dani Leventhal, Leslie Thornton and James Richards have been included in the lineup for the Whitney Biennial 2017! The exhibition includes sixty-three participants, ranging from emerging to well-established individuals and collectives working in painting, sculpture, drawing, installation, film and video, photography, activism, performance, music, and video game design.

Congratulations to all of the artists as well as curators Christopher Y. Lew, Mia Locks, and film program co-curator Aily Nash.

“The 2017 Whitney Biennial is a Pitch-Perfect Survey of Art Today”
Artsy.net

“The show already feels nostalgic—most of the works were chosen before last year’s Presidential election. Remember back then?”
The New Yorker

VDB Artist Screenings at the Whitney Biennial 2017:

All screenings take place in the Susan and John Hess Family Theater. Each Sunday, the screening will be followed by a conversation with the artists joined by writers, curators, and scholars. Advance tickets are available at whitney.org/Biennial.


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.

VDB Artist News — Spring 2017

In this month’s Artforum, Dennis Lim has written a wonderful incisive piece on Sky Hopinka‘s work. Lim writes: “The searching, striking digital films of Sky Hopinka are complex formal arrangements, conceptually and aesthetically dense, characterized by an intricate layering of word and image. But they are also wellsprings of beauty and mystery, filled with surprising confluences of speech and song, color and motion.”

Elisabeth Subrin‘s feature film A Woman, A Part will have its theatrical premiere at the IFC Center (New York, NY), March 22nd-28th, including a in-person Q&A on Wednesday, March 22nd. You can read more about Subrin’s smart and emotional feminist endeavor in Erika Balsom’s overview of this year’s 45th International Film Festival Rotterdam for Artforum.

Cornelia Sollfrank will exhibit at Studio XX (Monréal, Canada), March 30th-April 22nd. Commons Lab will take a closer look at the overlapping areas of feminism, digital art, and commons.

Art AIDS America, organized by Tacoma Art Museum (Tacoma, WA) in partnership with the Bronx Museum of Arts (New York, NY), culminates its national tour at the new Alphawood Gallery (Chicago, IL), established for this exhibition by the Alphawood Foundation. This vitally important exhibition features work by VDB artists Gregg Bordowitz, Tom Kalin, Ellen Spiro, and Tran, T. Kim-Trang. Continuing through April 2nd, 2017. Free and open to the public, you can view the video introduction to the exhibition HERE.

Jules Maeght Gallery (San Francisco, CA) presents Bitter Creek Sweet Water, a group exhibition influenced by the nostalgia of the American West featuring the work of VDB artist Paul Kos. The exhibition opens February 16th and runs through April 29th, 2017.

CentroCentro (Madrid, Spain) is currently exhibiting Martha Rosler‘s seminal video Semiotics of the Kitchen through May 21st, 2017.

Paul Chan has a solo exhibition Rhi Anima currently on view at Greene Naftali (New York, NY). Rhi Anima features a new body of work Chan calls “breathers.” The breathers are both sculptural works and moving images. This is his third solo exhibition at the gallery and will run through April 15th.

Sky Hopinka: Translations and Transmutations

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Thursday, March 16, 6:00 p.m.
Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St.

A Ho-Chunk Nation national and descendent of the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, Sky Hopinka creates sublime polyrhythmic works that draw upon his history and identity. He presents a selection of recent works built around ideas of homeland, language, and landscape. In the dazzling Anti-Objects, or Space Without Path or Boundary (2016), audio of one of the last speakers of Chinuk Wawa, a Native American language from the Pacific Northwest, echoes over images of memorials and contemporary structures around the city of Portland, Oregon that have complicated connections to the Chinookan people who have lived there for thousands of years. In a new work, filmed at the site of the Standing Rock resistance, the land is at once living and abstracted through history, politics, and money. Also on the program are I’ll Remember You as You Were, Not as What You’ll Become (2016), Visions of an Island (2015), and Jáaji Approx. (2015), among others. In English, Hocak, Aleut, and Chinuk Wawa with some English subtitles.  

Presented in collaboration with Video Data Bank (VDB) as part of the organization’s 40th Anniversary Year.

2015—17, USA, digital file, ca 60 min + discussion

Sky Hopinka in person

Sky Hopinka was born and raised in Ferndale, Washington and spent a number of years in Palm Springs, and Riverside, California, and Portland, Oregon and is currently based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In Portland he studied and taught Chinuk Wawa, a language indigenous to the Lower Columbia River Basin. He received his BA from Portland State University in Liberal Arts and his MFA in Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

Upgrade Surveying the First Decade and Save 15%

VHStoDVDsurveySPIN.jpgLibrarians, 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.

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
Videofreex

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.

Video Data Bank at the 46th International Film Festival Rotterdam

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This month, Video Data Bank continues its longstanding collaboration with the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). The 46th edition of the Festival runs January 25th through February 5th, 2016, with VDB Director Abina Manning in attendance. Please join us for the following special events at the festival:


Borderless and Black & White: DiNAMO Distributor’s Screenings
Black & White Saturday 28th, 3.30-5.08pm
Borderless Sunday 29th, 4.00-5.48pm
Cinema Location: Kino 4
justVDB will collaborate with international colleagues in the Distribution Network of Artists’ Moving Image Organizations (DiNAMO) to present two programs Borderless and Black & White, a collaborative showcase of works that play with issues of border crossing, permeability, and race. VDB is excited to include Joon Soo Ha‘s Just (2002) in Borderless, through a process of degeneration of both sound and image, Just endows the iconic American flag with new context and implication. Ezra Wube‘s Amora (2009) will screen as part of Black & White. This stop action animation is performed and documented directly from life to embrace the present.


2017 Bright Future Short Film Selection: Up Close and Out of Reach
Sunday 29th, 8.15-21.29pm
Monday 30th, 4.00-5.14pm
Cinema Location: Kino 4

Welcome to David Wojnarowicz Week, Steve Reinke
Reinke proposes a new holiday with the motto MORE RAGE LESS DISGUST: David Wojnarowicz Week and takes us through his seven days of celebration.


2017 Bright Future Short Film Selection: Language, Gestures, Movements
Saturday 28th, 4.00-5.10pm
Cinema Location: Cinerama 2
Monday 30th, 2.00-3.10pm
Cinema Location: Kino 4

See a Dog, Hear a Dog, Jesse McLean
Taking its title from a sound design maxim and using it as a conceit to grasp the desire for connection, See A Dog, Hear A Dog probes the limits and possibilities of communication.


2017 Bright Future Short Film Selection: Cardinal Directions
Friday 27th, 8.00-7.09pm
Cinema Location: Cinerama 2
Sunday 29th, 11.30-12.39pm
Cinema Location: Kino 4

The Sea is History, Louis Henderson
The film is a materialist and animist critique of the monumentalization of European colonial history, reading the past instead as something intimately entangled within the present — as a living and mutational thing made up of the living and the dead.


Other VDB artists featured at IFFR include Rosa BarbaeteamKevin Jerome Everson, Mike Hoolboom, Nicolas Provost, Jayce Salloum, Semiconductor, and Matt Wolf.  Huge congratulations to all those who will be featured in competition and thematic programming throughout the festival!

VDB TV: Decades “The Electric Mirror: Reflecting on Video Art in the 1970s” Launches Today!

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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_Electric_Mirror-1.jpg

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!
Video Data Bank is pleased to offer a subscription package to VDB TV: Decades, a unique five-part streaming series that articulates the development of video as an art form from the early 1970s to the present. This 5-disc compilation will be released, program by program, through Summer 2017, in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Video Data Bank. Each program is curated by an inspiring artist, scholar or media arts specialist who will focus on a specific decade, diving into the archive of the VDB to create personal, distinctive, and relevant programs, accompanied by original essays and texts.

As a special introduction to this new and innovative project, we are currently offering a discount of 25% to those institutions subscribing to the entire series. DVD compilations will be sent to your institution bi-monthly for immediate access by students, professors, and librarians. VDB TV: Decades is the perfect accompaniment to VDB’s iconic anthology Surveying the First Decade: Video Art and Alternative Media in the U.S. 1968-80, providing another essential tool for deepening audience understanding of the development of video and media art over the past five decades.

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

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 Newsletter ::: December 2016

Video Data Bank Newsletter
December 2016

Catch up with VDB TV: Decades

VDB TV: Decades The Whole World is (Still) Watching

Don’t forget to watch VDB TV: Decades this month. The first program in the series, The Whole World is (Still) Watching continues to stream through mid-January 2017. This exciting survey of the Nineties, curated by regular Artforum contributor Solveig Nelson, features important works by seminal artists including Dara Birnbaum, Tom Rubnitz, and Suzie Silver. The Whole World is (Still) Watching focuses on a form of double vision — seeing the 1960s through the lens of the 1990s — in American video art in the 1990s. It argues that the stakes of the 1960s in this later period corresponds to a sense of the unfinished political promise of nonviolent direct action, and in turn, the unfinished art historical promise of early video.

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

The Whole World is (Still) Watching: now available for purchase!

Due to popular demand Video Data Bank is proud to launch The Whole World is (Still) Watching on DVD. This compilation is the first in the five-part VDB TV: Decades project to be made available for educational purchase and will include a specially commissioned essay written by Solveig Nelson. Keep your eyes peeled for future releases in the coming months.

As a special introduction to this new and innovative series, we are currently offering a discount of 25% to those institutions subscribing to the entire series. DVD compilations will be sent to your institution bi-monthly for immediate access by students, professors, and librarians. VDB TV: Decades is the perfect accompaniment to VDB’s iconic anthology Surveying the First Decade: Video Art and Alternative Media in the U.S. 1968-80, providing another essential tool for understanding the development of video and media art over the past five decades.

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.

2016 Year-End Sale

Now is the time to add groundbreaking experimental video art to your library! Our DVD compilations offer multi-title collections showcasing the work of both established and emerging VDB artists. Produced with educational institutions in mind, these compilations offer students and faculty direct access to the video artists shaping the field of contemporary art today. Click HERE to browse titles.

Special Offer Valid Through January 31st, 2017

Use code HOLIDAY2016 for 20% off any Videoworks or Single Artist Compilation
Use code YEAREND16 for 10% off any other purchase

“Videos, much like languages, don’t exist in a vacuum.”

Video Data Bank sat down with Sky Hopinka to talk about his background, art practice, and future projects. His work has played at numerous festivals, including ImagineNATIVE Media + Arts Festival, Toronto; Images Festival, Toronto; Courtisane Festival, Ghent; Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor; American Indian Film Festival, San Francisco; Sundance Film Festival, Park City; Antimatter Film Festival, Victoria; Chicago Underground Film Festival, Chicago; FLEXfest, Gainsville; and the LA Film Festival, Los Angeles. We are thrilled to announce that Visions of an Island will be exhibited at the 2017 Whitney Biennial, New York City.

VDB Artist News — Winter 2016/17

Art AIDS America, organized by Tacoma Art Museum (WA) in partnership with the Bronx Museum of Arts (NY), culminates its national tour at the new Alphawood Gallery (IL), established for this exhibition by the Alphawood Foundation in Chicago. This vitally important exhibition features work by VDB artists Gregg Bordowitz, Tom Kalin, Ellen Spiro, and Tran, T. Kim-Trang. Continuing through April 2nd, 2017. Free and open to the public, you can view the video introduction to the exhibition HERE.

Anchorage Museum (AK) presents The Kuchar Brothers Underground Holiday Party as part of their Polar Nights series. Enjoy a selection of the Kuchar Brother’s best Holiday Season videos on December 16th, 2016.

This year’s Venice International Performance Art Week is currently exhibiting Linda Montano‘s seminal work Mitchell’s Death along with Coco Fusco and Paula Heredia‘s The Couple in the Cage: Guatianaui Odyssey, a collaboration with Chicano performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña. The festival continues through December 17th, 2016.

Marlon Rigg‘s Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (No Regret) is on looped exhibit at the International Museum of Surgical Science, Chicago, through December 30th, in observation of HIV/AIDS Awareness Month.

Miranda July‘s The Amateurist will screen at New York City’s Anthology Film Archives alongside Arthur Ginsberg’s The Continuing Story of Carel and Ferd as part of the Voyeurism, Surveillance, and Identity in the Cinema series, December 18th, 2016.

The Arton Foundation, Warsaw, Poland, will exhibit the VideofreexProcess Video Revolution from December 30th, 2016 through January 31st, 2017.

Lucy Raven‘s first UK solo show at London’s Serpentine Galleries runs through February 12th, 2017. Edge of Tomorrow brings together a diverse selection of moving image works in a site-specific installation, including Deborah Stratman‘s Hacked Circuit.

Embodiment Abstracted: The Influence of Yvonne Rainer opens at Chicago’s Gallery 400, on January 13th, 2017. Featuring works by VDB artists Gregg Bordowitz and Yvonne Rainer Embodiment Abstracted moves the ordinary performing body central to Rainer’s approach in the 1960s into new territory. The exhibition continues through March 4th, 2017.

Dreamlands: Immersive Cinema and Art, 1905-2016 at the Whitney Museum of American Art (NY) continues through February 5th, 2017. Both the exhibition and expanded programming have included VDB artists Tony Cokes, Ben Coonley, Kevin Jerome Everson, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Martine Syms, and Leslie Thornton.

Video Data Bank at the Ann Arbor Film Festival 2016

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This month, Video Data Bank continues its longstanding support of the Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF). The 54th edition of the festival runs March 15th through March 20th, 2016, and VDB Development and Marketing Manager Ruth Hodgins will be in attendance from March 18th. This year’s festival includes many new titles from VDB artists: Rosa BarbaStephanie BarberJem CohenKevin Jerome EversonKent LambertDani LeventhalBen Russell, and Deborah Stratman. In addition, a selection of major works from our historic collection will be featured in special programs.


Featured in Juror Presentation: Carl Bogner                                   Thursday, March 17th, 1 pm, Michigan Theatre (Screening Room)

Steve Reinke 
Anal Masturbation and Object Loss (2002)

Anal

Reinke envisions an art institute where you don’t have to make anything, and with a library full of books glued together.

“I think what will make my new school better than the old ones – well, maybe not better, but more precise – is that we will limit the type of discourse allowed….”
– Steve Reinke


Yvonne Rainer 
Hand Movie (1966)

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Hand Movie is part of the compilation Five Easy
Pieces
featuring early short works made between 1966 to 1969. Hand Movie is a close-up of a hand raised from a hospital bed, the fingers of which enact a sensuous dance. Camerawork by William Davis.

 


Juror Presentation: Rebecca Baron
Friday March 18th, 1 pm, Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

The 54th AAFF welcomes VDB artist Rebecca Baron to the Jury and features a selection of her titles in a special screening on Friday March 18thRebecca Baron is known for her essay films concerned with the construction of history. She has a particular interest in media archeology and the ways photographs and moving images create meaning and hold historiographic knowledge.

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Clockwise from top left: okay bye-bye, The Idea of North, Lossless #3, Detour de Force

 
okay bye-bye (1998)                                                                                 In okay bye-bye, so named for what Cambodian children shouted to the U.S. ambassador in 1975 as he took the last helicopter out of Phnom Phenh in advance of the Khmer Rouge, Rebecca Baron explores the relationship of history to memory.

The Idea of North (1995)                                                                           In the guise of chronicling the final moments of three polar explorers marooned on an ice floe a century ago, Baron’s film investigates the limitations of images and other forms of record as a means of knowing the past and the paradoxical interplay of film time, historical time, real time and the fixed moment of the photograph.

Lossless #3 (2008) Rebecca BaronDouglas Goodwin                       Removing keyframes from a digital version of John Ford’s The Searchers, Baron and Goodwin attack the film’s temporal structuring to render a kinetic “painted desert” of the West.

Detour de Force (2014)                                                                         Detour de Force presents the world of thoughtographer Ted Serios, a charismatic Chicago bell hop who, in the mid-1960’s produced hundreds of Polaroid images from his mind.


VDB TV presents: American Psycho(drama): Sigmund Freud vs. Henry Ford (2016 Redux)

 

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www.vdb.org/tv

Curated by Nelson Henricks

As part of Video Data Bank’s ongoing commitment to the presentation of groundbreaking moving image art, VDB TV presents this free online program of performance-oriented videos from the late 1990s, which map a trajectory between consumer society and psychoanalytic confession. Curator Nelson Henricks reflects, “These interventions – distillations of music videos, commercials and infomercials sampled from a reservoir of neglected or useless images – offer moments of resistance.”

Emphatically low-tech and subtly comedic, the works use mass-produced phenomena as a springboard for social critique. HalfLifers (Torsten Z. Burns and Anthony Discenza) act out panicked rescue missions using everyday objects. Emily Breer and Joe Gibbons’ The Phony Trilogy, and Gibbons’ solo Barbie series, target pop culture icons through delusional monologues. Anne McGuire mimics popular television genres, interrupting the comfortable flow of power within them. Animal Charm (Rich Bott and Jim Fetterley) use found footage derived from a wide variety of sources to scramble media codes, creating a kind of tic-ridden, convulsive babble. The work of these artists can be set into orbit around three points: performance, television, and madness.

The original 1999 compilation American Psycho(drama): Sigmund Freud vs. Henry Ford is available for rental and purchase here.

Accompanying the program is an eponymous essay by curator Nelson Henricks, a Montréal-based musician, writer, and artist:

VDB TV presents: American Psycho(drama): Sigmund Freud vs. Henry Ford (2016 Redux)“What I feel is significant is that each of the artists performs a kind of madness for the camera, a madness catalyzed through an encounter with mass-produced/multiple objects…. What did we have to be anxious about at the end of the 1990s? The eradication of nature? The failure of the body? Global economic collapse? The millennium? Or simply the simple fear of losing our individuality… of becoming isolated from political agency, the fear of being powerless as an individual in a society where the only viable mode of expression left is to consume.” Read more.

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.  It is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Video Data Bank at International Film Festival Rotterdam

 

01072016_Rotterdam

This month, Video Data Bank continues its longstanding collaboration with the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR). The 45th edition of the Festival runs January 27th through February 7th, 2016, and VDB Director Abina Manning will be in attendance until February 2nd.  Please join us for the following special events at the festival:


Borderless: DiNAMO Distributor’s Screening
Sunday, January 31st, 3:00 pm

LantarenVenster Cinema 2
FINALEXITVDB will collaborate with international colleagues in the Distribution Network of Artists’ Moving Image Organizations (DiNAMO) to present the program Borderless, a collaborative showcase of works that play with issues of border crossing and permeability. VDB’s contribution will be Joe Gibbons‘ Final Exit (2001), where an elderly being is confronted with his options in blunt terms.

After the screening, IFFR and DiNAMO invite attendees to celebrate short film in all its forms at a reception in the LantarenVenster Foyer.


Video Data Bank/IFFR Press & Industry Screening:
Saturday, January 30th, 10:00 am
LantarenVenster Cinema 2
Free Entrance with IFFR Guest or Press pass

rhythmmastNewly released titles from the VDB catalog will be showcased at a Press & Industry Screening featuring Sara Magenheimer‘s Slow Zoom Long Pause (2015) and The Rhythm of Plain White (2014), alongside the newly restored Videofreex title Portapak Conversation (1973) .


2016 Short Film Selection: Fountains of Youth
Thursday, January 28th, 8:15 pm, LantarenVenster Cinema
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Saturday, January 30th, 12:15 pm, LantarenVenster Cinema 3

Maxine writing kitchen tweakedIn this program, “desire is the beginning of everything; artists who not only seek but find, bones of mortality vs. eternal youth, hair extensions, solar peptides, beautiful new shapes, colors and sounds: forever young!”  The screening features VDB new release Dear Lorde (2015) by Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby.


2016 Short Film Selection: Original Language
Friday, January 29th, 5:00 pm, LantarenVenster Cinema 2
Saturday, January 30th, 8:15 pm,
LantarenVenster Cinema 3

Chums Still - Bust 2 copyIn this program, “language has the capacity to enlighten and deceive.” Five short films give insight into the power and pitfalls of communication. With humor and subversion, the films reflect on verbal, written and cinematic language. This program features VDB new release Chums from Across the Void (2015) by Jim Finn.


Hivos Tiger Award Competition 2016: A Woman, A Part
Sunday, January 31st, 7:45 pm, Pathe 4

th-5_romantic-lights.jpgEight films have been nominated to compete in the 2016 Hivos Tiger Award Competition, including the new feature by VDB artist Elisabeth Subrin, A Woman, A Part (2016).  In the film, an exhausted, workaholic actress abruptly extricates herself from a successful but mind-numbing TV role, returning to her past life in New York.


Themed Program: ID Check
Various Venues

4934600This year the Festival will present a series of themed programs around the idea of personal identification, to include Jem Cohen‘s Chain (2004) and Michael Robinson‘s The Dark, Krystle (2013).  To quote festival director Bero Beyer, “Society is constantly in flux…. The recent ongoing flows of migrants contributes to an increase in the population, bringing about incredibly swift changes in our society, creating great challenges. During IFFR, within the themed programme ID Check, we will give scope to artistic expressions that approach this situation from a filmic perspective.”


Official Selection: Here Come the Videofreex
Saturday, January 30th, 2016 2:15 pm, Cinerama 5
Sunday, January 31st, 2016 9:30 am, Cinerama 7
Saturday, February 6th, 2016 10:45 pm, Cinerama 7

here-come-the-videofreexThis award-winning film on the Videofreex  collective is an official selection of the Rotterdam International Film Festival!  Jenny Raskin and Jon Nealon’s documentary recounts the story of the pioneering collective of video journalists, active in the late 1960s and 70s, who were the forerunners of public access television.


Screen Shot 2015-01-15 at 4.39.37 PM

Other VDB artists featured at IFFR include Rosa BarbaKevin Jerome Everson and K8 Hardy.  Huge congratulations to all those who will be featured in competition and thematic programming throughout the festival!