Politics

1996
Blight

"Blight was made in collaboration with composer Jocelyn Pook. It revolves around the building of the M11 Link Road in East London, which provoked a long and bitter campaign by local residents to protect their homes from demolition. Until 1994, when our houses were destroyed, both the composer and I lived on the route of this road. The images in the film are a selective record of some of the changes which occurred in the area over a two-year period, from the demolition of houses through to the start of motorway building work.

2007
Blood and Guts in High School

Blood and Guts in High School features actress Stephanie Vella in a series of video installations* that re-imagine punk-feminist icon Kathy Acker's book of the same title. The book received noteriety from 1978-1982 during the rise of Reagan republicanism and the emergence of punk rock. In Parnes' interpretation, each video-chapter presents a typical scene in the life of Janie bracketed by U.S. news events from the time period in which the book was written.

2013
Blood and Guts in Hollywood: Four Works by Laura Parnes

Video Data Bank is proud to present the wonderful work of artist Laura Parnes. This two-volume box set features four video works that highlight her interest in the deconstruction of narrative film conventions, including her reimagining of Kathy Acker's 1984 novel, Blood and Guts in High School.  Included in the set is a 44-page monograph containing an essay on the collection and interview with Parnes by writer and novelist Chris Kraus.

1998
Lyn Blumenthal Videoworks: Volume 1

The two Social Studies videos call into question fundamental assumptions about the cross-purposes of entertainment: to entertain, to present cultural values, to mediate public policies, and to define social relationships.

 

2001
Bringing It All To You!

®™ark is an organization dedicated to bringing anti-corporate subversion and sabotage into the public marketplace. This updated video compilation includes a glitzy promotion for the ®™ark system (Bringing It All to You!); a behind-the-scenes look at some ®™ark propaganda efforts; an ®™ark PowerPoint presentation concerning "the Y2K bug”; a Danish television report about ®™ark and Hitler; a Boston news report about ®™ark; and, finally, the grand prize winner of ®™ark 1998 Corporate Poetry Contest, reading his winning entry.

2016
Jem Cohen "Bury Me Not"

This film is closely related to my last feature-length project, Counting. I take the temperature of a neighborhood. In this case, the place is my New York. I think about street life and its threatened demise – a death ushered in as Big Money relentlessly re-makes cities in ever more categorical ways. I think with the camera, on the move, in fragments.

1990
Paul Garrin, By Any Means Necessary

Spanning two years of protest and resistance, this video chronicles the politically-motivated police harassment of the homeless population in Manhattan’s Lower East Side; including suspected arson, illegal eviction, and the demolition of buildings that forced families onto the street. Taking its title from a quote by Malcolm X, By Any Means Necessary is an indictment of government systems that violate the law willfully and at random in the service of wealthy real estate developers.

1990
Canon: Taking to the Streets

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. This localized student activity then progresses to, and is contrasted with, the 1988 National Student Convention at Rutgers University. Through this dynamic portrait, Birnbaum posits a series of compelling questions: How can the voice of the individual make itself seen and heard in our technocratic society? What forms of demonstration support this expression? How is a voice of dissent made possible?

1971
CBS--Lily and Cleaver Tapes

The Videofreex had several experiences with the Black Panther Party, including interviewing Illinois Chapter Deputy Chairman Fred Hampton and New Haven Minister of Information Cappy Pinderhughes. In this tape, recorded on March 5th 1971, the Videofreex one-person camera crew Bart Friedman is walking the hallways of CBS, trying to find out where a video statement by Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver is located. The shots are mostly close up on people’s torsos and there is some image loss, but the sound is intact. The tape has an eerie espionage feel.

2007
Charged in the name of terror

Video portraits of activists, lawyers, artists, and people simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, accused by the U.S. government of being or aiding terrorists, in these great times. Official selection of the 2007 Sundance Film Festival. An ongoing series curated and produced by artist Paul Chan. A portion of the royalties earned by this program will be paid into The Friends of Claude Cahun Fund, and will fund future works in the series.

1969
Chicago Travelogue: Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and the Yippies

Shot in October 1969, this tape gives an inside view of the workings of late-sixties radical groups and the debates going on within their ranks. At a meeting of Yippies, there is a discussion about the nuts and bolts of fundraising through benefit concerts and events in an attempt to finance support efforts related to the Chicago 8 Conspiracy Trial.

1969
Chicago Travelogue: The Weathermen

An interview with a group of people shot in October 1969, some of whom were involved in The Weathermen’s "Days of Rage" actions. As those present recount the significance of the actions, and the possible ramifications on the movement as a whole, some critics voice serious complaints.

2012
Christmas with Chávez

"Weeks before the 2006 midterm elections in the U.S., Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez came to the United Nations and blew everyone's minds with his "smells of sulfur" speech about Bush. It was an emperor wears no clothes moment with perfect comic timing. Bush was officially a lame duck after that speech. No matter what nutty things Chávez ever did, our nation's children will always be grateful." 

– Jim Finn

2015

Little Radek, the step-dancing Bolshevik; Machera, the Andean Robin Hood, and Maria Spiridonova, the Russian socialist assassin are your guides for Past Leftist Life Regression therapy. In this third Inner Trotsky Child video, narrator Lois Severin— a former Trotskyite turned suburban housewife—attempts to radicalize the personal fulfillment and self-help scene.

1999
Tony Cokes Videoworks: Volume 1

In this agit-pop double feature, Cokes celebrates civil disobedience and deconstructs race relations. Cokes inter-cuts political slogans and social facts with an array of footage and juxtaposes the images with pop, rock, and rap soundtracks.