The History of the Future: A Franklin Furnace View of Performance Art

Franklin Furnace Archive Inc.

2010 | 04:47:48 | United States | English | Color | 4:3 | DV video

Collection: Box Sets, Single Titles

Tags: Activism, Art History, Documentation, History, Performance

Welcome to The History of the Future: A Franklin Furnace View of Performance Art.  This disc set is based upon a live event that took place at the Abrons Art Center in New York City on April 27, 2007.  Within this box set, you'll find performances from that event as well as historical videos that capture the thrills and chills of performance art during the last 30 years.

Pope.L, "Tompkins Park Square Crawl
Pope.L, "Tompkins Park Square Crawl," July 1, 1991

This disc contains the performances of Michael Smith, Alien Comic, Martha Wilson, Reverend Billy and the Stop Shopping Gospel Choir, and Julie Atlas Muz live at The History of the Future.  It also contains video excerpts from past performances by William Wegman, Martha Rosler, John Jesurun, Blue Man Group, Eric Bogosian, Kipper Kids, X-Cheerleaders, William Pope.L, Coco Fusco and Guillermo Gómez-Peña, Annie Sprinkle, John Fleck, Karen Finley, Tim Miller, Holly Hughes, Sapphire, and Ron Athey.

1. Holly Hughes, 30 minute excerpt of "Preaching to the Perverted," 2000, 30:28
2. Ron Athey, "Four Scenes in a Harsh Life," 1994, 34:09

1. Annie Sprinkle, "Post Port Modernist," 1990, 15:49
2. Tim Miller, "Stretch Marks," 1990, 42:12

1. Ishmael Houston-Jones, "In the Dark: PowerPoint Version," performed for "The History of the Future," 2007, 11:49
2. Alba Sanchez, "Sweet Dreams," from "The Tall Blonde Woman in the Short Puerto Rican Body," performed for "The History of the Future," 2007, 10:03
3. Moe Angelos and Peg Healey, "Dreamworld," 1996, 4:28
4. Nicolás Dumit Estévez, "For Art's Sake," 2005 to 2007, 16:51

1. Michael Smith, "Baby IKKI," 1978, 4:12
2. Stuart Sherman, "Seventh Spectacle," 1976, 26:27
3. THE BODY OF THE NET, recorded for "The History of the Future,", 2007, 17:46, Murray Hill hosts a slide presentation of the works of Jack Waters, Mouchette, Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga, Adrienne Wortzel, Grupo 609, Joshua Kinberg/Yury Gitman, and Wooloo Productions.

William Wegman and Man Ray
William Wegman and Man Ray, Reading at Franklin Furnace, February 15, 1977

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Exhibitions + Festivals

The History of the Future, April 27, 2007

Stream Single Title

Title Awards Image Major Exhibitions/Festivals Description
Sea in the Blood

Equal First Prize for Best Male Short, Inside Out, Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Sea in the Blood

OutFest (LA, CA.), 2001

Rotterdam International Film Festival (The Netherlands), 2001


Athens Int'l Film/Video Festival (OH), 2001



Sea In The Blood is a personal documentary about living with illness, tracing the relationship of the artist to thalassemia in his sister Nan, and AIDS in his partner Tim. At the core of the piece are two trips. The first is in 1962, when Richard went from Trinidad to England with Nan to see a famous hematologist interested in her unusual case. The second is in 1977 when Richard and Tim made the counterculture pilgrimage from Europe to Asia. The relationship with Tim blossomed, but Nan died before their return. The narrative of love and loss is set against a background of colonialism in the Caribbean and the reverberations of migration and political change.

"Sea in the Blood was to be a meditation on race, sexuality and disease, but after working with the material for three years, it was the emotional story that came through. It's hard to work with such personal material, but in the end the work takes on a life of its own. 'Richard' is a character. Because of the subject matter — disease and death — I wanted to avoid sentimentality. I'd like the audience to think as well as feel."

— Richard Fung