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 Overview I
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"Between March 1972 and February 1977, the Videofreex aired 258 television broadcasts from a home-built studio and jerry-rigged transmitter in an old boarding house they rented in the tiny Catskill Mountain hamlet of Lanesville. It was a...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, documentation, family, film or videomaking, future, portrait, television

Lanesville TV Edit--Catskill Game Farm
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Videotaped on August 13th 1972, this tape features a number of scenes shot for Lanesville TV, including the Videofreex at the Catskill Game Farm shooting footage of the animals. There are some oddball images… a woman on an exercise machine, and...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: animals, tv production, youth/childhood

David Cort + 1 other
1971 | 59:45
Mayday Realtime
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Shot over one day, this program records the events and protests in Washington DC on May Day, 1971. This was the day when one of the most disruptive actions of the Vietnam War era occurred in Washington, DC, when thousands of anti-war activists...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, city, documentation, film or videomaking, history

New Haven: Abbie Hoffman and the National Guard
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Footage of a May 1970 rally featuring political speakers, including members of the Black Panther Party. Abbie Hoffman talks about fighting imperialism at home, and the Chicago 7 Conspiracy Trial. As the crowd chants “Free Bobby Seale,” the...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, documentation, history, politics, war

Process Video Revolution
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This tape, shot in April 1971, documents the making of a WNET/13 TV show about video collectives and how they use the new video technology.

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: documentation, film or videomaking, future, history, politics, television

1971 | 17:50
Ricky's Magic
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Shot by Mary Curtis Ratclif at the O.K. Harris Gallery on Prince and Green Streets, New York, this tape focuses on performer “Ricky Jay” as he performs card tricks at his magic table for an enthusiastic audience.

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: dance, documentation, history, performance

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In this spoof program produced for Lanesville TV, the premise is that a “Sheik” has come to buy all the land in Lanesville. Videofreex member Carol Vontobel reports that the sheik (Davidson Gigliotti), escorted by his real estate agent (Parry...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: history, humor, performance, tv production

Trashing and Gassing in Miami: The 1972 Republican Convention
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This tape was shot in August 1972 by the same crew that had convened for pioneer video collective TVTV’s (Top Value Television) project Four More Years. Videotaped at the 1972 Republican Convention, it begins with the cameraman taping...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: activism, crime or violence, documentation, film or videomaking, history, media analysis, politics, television

1970 | 23:30
Women's Lib Demonstration NYC
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Ten thousand women marched down New York's Fifth Avenue on August 26th, 1970, to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote. The march was part of a "Women's Strike for Equality"...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Early Video Art, Single Titles

Tags: activism, documentation, feminism, film or videomaking, gender, history, labor