Videofreex Archive

Videofreex, one of the first video collectives, was founded in 1969 by David Cort, Mary Curtis Ratcliff and Parry Teasdale, after David and Parry met each other, video cameras in hand, at the Woodstock Music Festival. The group soon grew to ten full-time members--including Chuck Kennedy, Nancy Cain, Skip Blumberg, Davidson Gigliotti, Carol Vontobel, Bart Friedman and Ann Woodward--and produced tapes, installations and multimedia events. In 1971 the Freex moved to a 17-room, former boarding house called Maple Tree Farm in Lanesville, NY, operating one of the earliest media centers. Their innovative programming ranged from artists' tapes and performances to behind-the-scenes coverage of national politics and alternate culture. During the decade that the Freex were together, this pioneer video group amassed an archive of 1,500+ raw tapes and edits.

The Videofreex Archive, now housed at VDB, chronicles the counter-cultural movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The titles listed here are the early results of an ongoing project to preserve and digitize important examples of this early video art collective.

 

More About the Videofreex Archive Preservation

 

Lanesville TV: January 26th, 1973
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On January 26, 1973, the Videofreex’s installment of Lanesville TV (Channel 3) consists of an interview with a follower of the Divine Light Mission, a semi-religious organization lead at the time by then-17-year-old Guru Maharaj Ji.

 

Collection: New Releases, Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: interview, television

St. Marks: New Years Eve
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St. Marks: New Years Eve combines political commentary with non-narrative segments that celebrate the medium of video. The video’s tonal climax occurs at its beginning, in which a large crowd gathers at a live music event and stands to...

 

Collection: New Releases, Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: media analysis, politics

Electric Yogurt
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Electric Yogurt documents different modes of childlike play, beginning with footage of a group of people dancing together with arms outstretched against a background of growling, cooing, and coughing. As the dancing continues, the...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: image processing

Hells Angels Party
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In a conversation with one of the Hells Angels at a party the motorcycle gang has thrown in Manhattan, the interviewee introduces “Kenny, from the Videofreex” to his friends, commenting (presumably explaining the Videofreex project): “like low...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive

Tags: culture jamming, interview, politics

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In October 1969, the Videofreex visited the home of wealthy political and social activist, Lucy Montgomery, as she was hosting the Black Panther Party of Chicago during one of their most fraught times — the period just after Chairman Bobby Seale...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: activism, documentation, interview, journalism, politics, television

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In October 1969, the Videofreex visited the home of wealthy political and social activist, Lucy Montgomery, as she was hosting the Black Panther Party of Chicago during one of their most fraught times – the period just after Chairman Bobby Seale...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive

Tags: activism, african-american, documentation, interview, journalism, politics, social justice, television

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Eerily drifting through soft fades, superimposed images, close-ups, and visual feedback, this tape follows less a narrative structure and more a stringing together of seemingly random activities, set against two very different soundtracks. The...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: documentation, gender, labor

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“Trolling for news we call it,” says Bart Friedman a minute into this video, as he pushes down a road the Lanesville TV News Buggy – a baby carriage filled with video equipment, spilling over with wires. The buggy allows for easy transportation...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: art collective, documentation, interview, television

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Less than two minutes long, this short tape makes playful and surreal use of video’s editing capabilities. Set to a sped-up version of The Band’s “The Weight” – complete with the falsetto vocals, and accelerated tempo that come with time...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: art collective, humor, image processing, performance, technology