1! is part of the Pop Manifestos series, a five video project realized in collaboration with Cokes' former students Seth Price and Damian Kulash, and originally conceived as part of a series for the conceptual band SWIPE. “I closed the Pop Manifestos series as originally conceived with 1! (2004) where I present the titles of 100 CDs I've valued most from the years 1997-2002 set to music composed by Michael Bell-Smith.
A Pilot For A Show About Nowhere is a two-channel video that examines the politics of television viewership, incorporating footage from a number of sources to create a plurivocal narrative. It is a sitcom pilot, but does not resemble a conventional episode. Black sitcoms are central in their potential to undermine television conventions and spark unpredictable and radical impulses, but also in their role in the erasure of the struggles and realities of poor Black populations.
Anthony Ramos' astute deconstruction of television news focuses on his part in the media coverage of President Jimmy Carter's 1977 declaration of amnesty for Vietnam draft evaders. Ramos, who had served an 18-month prison sentence for draft evasion, was interviewed by news reporter Gabe Pressman, whose film crew meets Ramos' video crew in a confrontation between technologies and sensibilities. At the time, some broadcast television news crews still used 16mm film, although the expensive transition to ENG (electronic news gathering) systems had begun in 1974.
"Ad Vice consists of a succession of colored projection surfaces with segments of text from the worlds of advertising, sport and popular culture. These projection surfaces in turn alternate with images of a rock band whose music continuously frames the whole. As regards form and content, the video looks like a commercial, an advertising spot for SWIPE country. The fast changing images, the continual music, and the starting and ending credits refer to it. The viewer is greeted with the words: welcome to SWIPE country... enjoy the sound... make contact...
The HalfLifers exhume cinema’s favorite incarnation of mindless, decaying mortality, the Zombie, in the hopes of breathing new life into this misunderstood figure. From a panel discussion in an old TV studio to a quarantined helicopter high above California’s rolling hills, these life-challenged entities walk, talk, and chew over some of the more difficult questions of this “whole linear birth-death system."
"This video reflects my interest in examining cultural institutions. In The Amarillo News Tapes, we were interested in observing and dissecting what makes news in a small, Midwestern television market. The video shows the three of us in our respective roles as anchor, weatherman, and sportscaster, interacting with the real Pro News Team on the set.
And They Came Riding into Town on Black and Silver Horses looks at how media representations shape our perception of violence and violent crime, in effect creating racist stereotypes. Andrews suggests that the evidence against young black men is gathered not at the scene of the crime but at the scene of representation.
This compilation is a fresh, witty, and compelling addition to video’s rich legacy of media deconstruction. Through appropriation and reassemblage, these intriguing works upset the hypnotic spectacle of TV viewing by displacing its logic and forcing viewers to make new connections among its codes and conventions. While this disruption is playful, it also reveals the tragic underbelly of corporate message-making—the way it appropriates and suppresses nature and "unpredictability," the way it preys on human vulnerability, and the way it shamelessly celebrates mediocrity and distraction.
Employing footage from an obscure 8mm film trailer for Battle for the Planet of the Apes to highlight the unstable relationship between the real, historical past and the distant, imaginary future, this project revolves around a central question: Is alien-ness indeed the metaphor for the 20th Century as power relationships have been embodied within our subconscious? Is there a relationship between these forgotten formats and the discontinued political ideologies that they depict?
Animal Charm's Ashley seems to develop a conventional story about a modern mother and wife with typically modern desires. But the insertion of incongruous soap opera scenes soon ensures that the seductive images take on an absurd and oppressive charge. “The antiseptic cleanliness of the imagery has a superficial appeal, but begins to feel claustrophobic—or toxic—after prolonged exposure.”
"Between the Lines is an exploration of what Muntadas terms the 'informational limits' of television—the selections, programs, decisions, edits, time schedules, image fabrications and so on—specifically addressing the means by which 'facts' in the network news are transmitted on television. Muntadas slows and examines the process, observing a newscaster’s exercise in assembling events, locating images, and constructing the news."
—Bob Riley, Currents: Mediated Narratives (Boston: Institute of Contemporary Art, 1984)
Big_Sleep™ explores problems in our archival urges. Via a single-channel desktop screencast, informatic elements ebb and flow—creating and relating interface absences. These gaps suggest that no amount of hard drive space can defy mortality.
An Anthology of Collaborative Works by Guillermo Gómez-Peña
This "conceptual package" of collaborative videos and writings by leading theorists is a unique opportunity for students, artists and educators to explore the psyche, experimental aesthetics, activist ethos and spiritual cosmology of legendary rebel artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña.
Isaac Artenstein, Adriene Jenik, Patrick Litchy, Jethro Rothe-Kushel, Daniel Salazar, Henry Sayre & Sandy Brooke, Roberto Sifuentes, Liz Singer, Gustavo Vazquez