Politics

In 30 Seconds Hate, Fox News and Henry Kissinger want to kill you as a tribute to George Orwell’s 100th birthday. Suckers gives a half-minute history of Halliburton in Iraq.

41 Shots, 2000

19 out of the 41 shots fired in 10-seconds by four members of the NYPD Street Crimes Unit hit the defenseless body of one Amadou Diallo as he stood in the vestibule of the building where he lived in the Bronx. This video essay seizes on the grotesquely bald, factual precision of this numerical data, proceeding remorselessly on up from number 1 to 41, rubber-banding 10-seconds into fourteen minutes, and then snapping it tight, in an intense, formal contemplation of how police violence is produced and then addressed by other forces on the city streets.

a/k/a Mrs. George Gilbert extends Coco Fusco’s in-depth examination of racialized imagery. Fusco combines fictional and documentary source materials to reflect on the use of electronic surveillance against Black intellectuals and activists in the 1960s and 1970s as part of covert FBI operations. These actions bear a striking resemblance to contemporary Patriot Act-inspired activities of American law enforcement.

Anthony Ramos' astute deconstruction of television news focuses on his part in the media coverage of President Jimmy Carter's 1977 declaration of amnesty for Vietnam draft evaders. Ramos, who had served an 18-month prison sentence for draft evasion, was interviewed by news reporter Gabe Pressman, whose film crew meets Ramos' video crew in a confrontation between technologies and sensibilities. At the time, some broadcast television news crews still used 16mm film, although the expensive transition to ENG (electronic news gathering) systems had begun in 1974.

Abscam (Framed) frames the FBI sting operation known as "Abscam" by mixing FBI surveillance footage of Congressman Michael "Ozzie" Meyers with footage shot by Lord at the Motel where the original sting occurred—in the process, inserting the artist into this moment in history.

In the video An Evening with Kembra, Glennda and Brenda attend one of Kembra Pfahler's dinner shows on New York City's Lower East Side. At her show, she performs cabaret versions of songs from her band The Volumptuous Horror of Karen Black. After the show, the group discusses the relationship of her work to queer culture. Interspersed throughout the video are two short clips: a skit entitled Drag Queen Starter Kit, and a call to boycott a bakery due to its discriminatory behavior. 

In conversation with curator and educator Mary Jane Jacob, visual artist Ann Hamilton (b. 1956) talks about care, interactivity, and social relations — key concepts that preoccupy her practice — and why she feels compelled to revisit these issues under the Trump administration. Hamilton was trained in textile design and sculpture, and she received her MFA from Yale University School of Art in 1985.

Another Clapping explores the relationship triangle between a daughter, her mother and the Chinese Cultural Revolution. It is an experimental documentary based on the mother's violent past with its traumatic political history and an unsuccessful marriage. Through their subsequent experiences as immigrants in Canada and the complex process of remembering and reviewing the past, history comes to signify the characteristic of the individual. The tracing of memory illuminates the difficulties of identifying mother and daughter as different people.

Apeshit, 1999

Employing footage from an obscure 8mm film trailer for Battle for the Planet of the Apes to highlight the unstable relationship between the real, historical past and the distant, imaginary future, this project revolves around a central question: Is alien-ness indeed the metaphor for the 20th Century as power relationships have been embodied within our subconscious? Is there a relationship between these forgotten formats and the discontinued political ideologies that they depict?

Arcade, 1984

“The syntactic structure and lateral movement of Arcade match its fairground equivalent. The work includes a series of images recycled from television and film, interspersed with location footage of Chicago El stations and punctuated with paintings created by Paschke on a computerized paint box. Flashing insights and lights, the ready-made imagery presents a sideshow of current concerns playing on the slippage between the televised and the real.”

Manipulating a variety of sources, Vasulka uses creative imaging tools to situate historical images against Southwestern landscapes of incredible beauty. Contorting the images into a variety of isomorphic forms, Vasulka creates a literal shape for these memories, developing these shapes as metaphors for the processes of fragmentation, condensation, and inversion, that inevitably contort fact into memory.

Q: What was the Cubists’ greatest contribution to modernity? A: The invention of camouflage. The Art of Protective Coloration asks us to consider the less-than-innocent connections between the making of art and the making of war. Such questions are the first few steps into the deceptively shifting terrain of this videotape, which leaps into a lurid meditation on aggressive male fantasies, linking the domains of art, war, and sex. It looks at binocular voyeurism, the regressive illusion of the perfected body (whether female or male), the phallic gun-toting pin-up, and camouflage.

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 was wrongfully imprisoned for inciting riots at the Democratic National Convention a year earlier. This video documents an interview with the wife of Bobby Seale, Artie Seale.

In Bad Grrrls, Glennda and Fonda LaBruce attend a Riot Grrrl conference on New York’s Lower East Side. At the conference, they conduct interviews with punk women, performers and artists, including Penny Arcade and Sadie Benning. In doing so, Glennda and Fonda navigate a range of perspectives on feminism, punk, and underground activism. Furthermore, they engage with questions of drag’s relationship with feminism, and how one would reconcile the problems of punk with Riot Grrrl’s desire for women’s liberation. 

Because of the War things were changing. Very few toys or games were left and music was almost over. Tap water was tasting female and television only came in nasty spasms…

A surreal and sometimes comic meditation on how war affects the hopes and dreams of ordinary people.

"I, Soldier is the first part of a video series in which I am dealing with the state-controlled ceremonies for the national days of the Turkish Republic. The nationalistic attributes attached to these large-scale ceremonies are underlined in a non-descriptive and almost voyeuristic point of view. I, Soldier was shot at the National Day for Youth and Sports; the day that marks the start of the independence war of the Turkish public under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, against the Allied Forces back in 1919.

In Birth of a Nation, Jem Cohen takes his camera to Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration and to the next day’s protests.

BIT Plane, 1999

BIT Plane is a highly compact spy plane, wingspan 20 inches, radio-controlled, video-instrumented and deployed over areas of scenic interest. Due to its refined dimensions, BIT plane is able to enter territory inaccessible to other aircraft. Pioneering flight: in an aerial reconnaissance over the Silicon Valley, California 1997, BIT plane flew solo and undetected into the glittering heartland of the Information Age.

Subtitled A Rebellion against the Commodity, this engaged reading of the urban black riots of the 1960s references Guy Debord’s Situationist text, “The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity Economy,” Internationale Situationniste #10 (March 1966). Along with additional commentary adapted from Barbara Kruger and musicians Morrissey and Skinny Puppy, the text posits rioting as a refusal to participate in the logic of capital and an attempt to de-fetishize the commodity through theft and gift.

Blight, 1996

"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.

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.

Book Report explores themes of sexual assault, the weaponization of language, and the futility of escape. It combines short sequences of Mad Men's Don Draper with relevant facts about the 2016 presidential campaign — including a history of the hashtag #trumpbookreport and notes on a payment to the mysteriously named “Draper Sterling” ad agency. A choral voice-over, drawn from the infamous Access Hollywood transcript, revises the misogynist “locker room talk,” turning it against the original speaker.

®™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.

"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.

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.