Culture Jamming

Ad Vice, 1999

"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...

Magenheimer’s video explores the bounds of narrative and the illusion of received wisdom in the seven minutes and twenty-two seconds it takes to rob a house. Here, images of medieval art, popular cinema, and “live” news reportage speak candidly to the constructedness of all storytelling traditions.

Ashley, 1997

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.”

Zach Blas is an artist, writer, and filmmaker whose practice spans technical investigation, research, conceptualism, performance, and science fiction. Currently a Lecturer in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London, Blas has exhibited internationally, including at the Walker Art Center, Gwangju Biennale, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and Whitechapel Gallery.

The BLVD, 1999

An experimental documentary about the street drag racing scene on Chicago’s near West Side. This is a rambling textured film about obsession. It is about the mythos of speed for its own sake, but it’s also about waiting, and it is through waiting that The BLVD exposes community, inner-city landscapes and nomadic experiences of place. The film treats storytelling as a living medium for determining history. And it commands respect, for those who transform cars, or anything else, through passion.

Body Prep, 2001

Body Prep helps fortify and support the body during any level of activity—low, medium, or high intensity. It compares various alternatives to weightlifting with natural and artificial light sources. Exercise is explored through the change of seasons.

This title is also available on Animal Charm Videoworks: Volume 3, Computer Smarts.

Brite Tip, 2001

"Brite Tip explores the indoctrination of children and police through an assortment of cross-fades, wipes, and other stock transitions. A highly danceable essay on breastfeeding."

—Gavin Smith

This title is also available on Animal Charm Videoworks: Volume 3, Computer Smarts.

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. The video goes on to document the building of a geodesic dome. As the group works, many of them naked, they are interviewed to camera, and explain how to build a dome. 

By accident, the content of a computer encyclopedia is transferred into the brain of an animated parrot resulting in the emotional breakdown of a fine peach.

"I would never have known how to do anything on my computer if it wasn't for Computer Smarts."

—Mark Roth

This title is also available on Animal Charm Videoworks: Volume 3, Computer Smarts.

Appropriated network-TV footage of Jimmy Carter’s "I see risk" speech from the 1980 Democratic Convention meets Reagan’s gloomy inaugural ride through D.C.: "If you succumb to a dream world, you’ll wake up to a nightmare."

This title is also available on Presidents and Elections.

Family Court introduces us to the world of good, clean, family fun and leisure. 

This title is also available on Animal Charm Videoworks: Volume 2, Hot Mirror Mix.

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 class society type shit.” At the Hells Angels party, the Videofreex exemplify their position as a documentarian group for alternative media, navigating the cramped space of the party to conduct interviews with members of the highly controversial Hells Angels group.

A hyper-collage endurance test of sado-masochistic proportions, mixing an anthology of corporate video music with a feng shui video.

This title is also available on Animal Charm Videoworks: Volume 2, Hot Mirror Mix.

You never thought that Franco-American relations could be so fun! A French thriller in the tradition of the Marquis de Sade, getting it on with Roger Corman's from-the-hip philosophy.

This title is also available on Animal Charm Videoworks: Volume 3, Computer Smarts.

It's not my memory of it is a documentary about secrecy, memory, and documents. Mobilizing specific historical records as memories which flash up in moments of danger, the video addresses the expansion and intensification of secrecy practices in the current climate of heightened security. A former CIA source recounts his disappearance through shredded classified documents that were painstakingly reassembled by radical fundamentalist students in Iran in 1979.

Among the handful of video recordings of Lanesville TV that exist today, this tape is particularly special for its documentation of one of its very first programs to run on the air. The tape captures the energy and excitement of the Videofreex as they prepare to go live, and Parry Teasdale taking calls during the show to drum up interest and also monitor sound quality.

On April 6th, 1974, this episode of the Videofreex’s production of Lanesville TV aired, including four segments: a choreographed piece by the Elaine Summers Dancers, a Vietnam tape titled “Where do you get your money?,” several phone conversations with local audience members, and a comical interview with a fictional fish, Sam Trouta.

Fuelled by lavish doses of disjointed hyper-editing, super-talented Jim Bailey dances with wild animals in Animal Charm's hot and exciting performance of "Fever."

Lost Sound documents fragments of discarded audio tape found by the artists within a small area of East London, combining the sound retrieved from each piece of tape with images of the place where it was found. The work explores the potential of chance, creating portraits of particular places by building formal, narrative, and musical connections between images and sounds, linked by the random discoveries of the tape samples.

Marbles, 1998

Meatballs - (Bill Murray + leading cast) = Marbles. A Hollywood classic re-visited and re-edited until our hero is no longer in sight.

This title is also available on Animal Charm Videoworks: Volume 2, Hot Mirror Mix.

Mark Roth, 1998

An electronic disturbance created during a live audio meltdown by Animal Charm as part of their Hot Mirror Mix in the fall of 1998.

This title is also available on Animal Charm Videoworks: Volume 2, Hot Mirror Mix.

West coast artists, Mike Mandel (b.1950) and Larry Sultan (1946-2009) became artistic collaborators in 1972 while both enrolled in the San Francisco Art Institute’s MFA program. This interview captures the duo’s camaraderie (look closely, they are wearing matching shirts!) and youthful optimism as they describe the impetus behind their California billboard installations of the early seventies.

Money, 1970

Taped on Prince Street in Soho, New York City, Skip Blumberg creates a one-word performance. Shouting the word "money" over and over, he attracts the attention of New York's finest. The video crew attempt to explain to the policemen that there is no public disorder as the streets were empty when they began to tape.

The video is an unwitting early example of the reaction of the state to the use of video cameras on the streets.

O.U.T. is a work documenting the emergence of computer games which train players to fight in cities among civilians, (Military Operations in Urban Terrain). O.U.T. contains sampled footage and machinima (stories told with video games) from five military simulation games. Following is a documentation of the performance, (Operation Urban Terrain), an urban wireless intervention by Anne-Marie Schleiner and an international cast of game expert and art activist collaborators.

Take a joyride through comfortable suburbia—a landscape molded by seductive television and corporate America (and keep in mind: disaster is another logo for your consumption...). This is the age of the "culture jammed" consumer preened with Friends hair, Survivor courage, and CNN awareness. A generation emptying their wallets for the most important corporate product of all: lifestyle. The psychological road trip across a slightly battered America travels at One Mile per Minute.