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

 

Videofreex, Laughing Song and Crying Song
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A Videofreex performance.  Bart Friedman plays the pump organ and David Cort sings.  He asks Bart to "Play something that I can laugh to," and much laughter ensues.  Then, "because of American society," there is a sad song, and much...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: art collective, humor, music, performance

1971 | 05:53
Videofreex, Chicken Dinner
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The Videofreex tape a group of young people working on a farm run by Chris Locke and his wife in Shandaken, NY.  After learning how to take care of the chickens, they are taught how to kill and pluck one.  Later they sit down for a...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: animals, art collective, consumer culture, environment, youth/childhood

After the Bar with Tony and Michael
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An early example of video erotica from the Videofreex. A group of naked people lounge around smoking and listening to music. A male and female couple is making love on the floor in a room full of monitors.

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: body, documentation, film or videomaking, sexuality

Building Dome in Riverbi Earth People's Park
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A great example of early 1970s counter-cultural activity and the influence of Buckminster Fuller. The video, shot in Woodstock, NY in November 1971, includes footage of a communal meal being eaten in the woods, and of children playing in the mud....

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: architecture, culture jamming, documentation, history

CBS--Lily and Cleaver Tapes
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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...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, african-american, documentation, film or videomaking, history, politics, television

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

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, documentation, history, politics

Chicago Travelogue: The Weathermen
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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,...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, crime or violence, documentation, politics

Davidson's Jail Tape
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Footage from the May Day 1971 events in Washington DC. Davidson, a Videofreex member, gets arrested, and what follows is rarely seen footage of the inside of the detainment bus and the jail cell, videotaped by an arrestee.

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, documentation, history

Fred Hampton: Black Panthers in Chicago
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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.

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, african-american, crime or violence, death and dying, history, interview, race