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Readings by Sylvia Bovenschen and Martha Gever, among others, will help illuminate the movement and many of these titles. Providing time between screening and discussion will allow students to process their notes and responses, complete readings, and come prepared for discussion. Discussion following a screening allows you to get immediate impressions before students have had a chance to conform their ideas to what critics, scholars or classmates have said about the work, allowing you to build on their reactions and interpretations. Whether you prefer the spontaneity and dynamism of the latter approach or the measured effectiveness of the former will depend on your own teaching style.

The Resources section supports the programs by providing users with Biographies of all the artists and video collectives included in the Survey as of ; Videographies a selected list of video works produced by these artists and collectives between and ; and a Bibliography an extensive listing of essays, reviews, books, and exhibition catalogs as at the time of original publication.

Whether you choose to lecture before, during or after a video screening, to incorporate discussions immediately following a work or in another class session the methods of using video in a class are varied and offer different advantages and drawbacks. If your course is lecture-oriented and designed for a large audience, discussion may seem like a luxury, but including some form of discussion will be especially valuable.

The experience of seeing a program with twenty others and discovering that How to Use This Book. A radical communications paradigm for a participatory democracy The argument was not only about producing new form for new content, it was also about changing the nature of the relationship between reader and literary text, between spectator and spectacle, and the changing of this relationship was itself premised upon new ways of thinking about the relationship between art or more generally representation and reality Sylvia Harvey [1] a.

Cultural agency and new technologies Artists and social activists declared video a cultural praxis in the United States in the late 60s, a period of radical assertions fueled by a decade of civil rights confrontations, controversy surrounding U. Within a charged atmosphere of personal and social change and political confrontation, the production of culture was understood to be a necessary step in the development of a reinvigorated participatory democracy.

The first issue of Radical Software , a tabloid published by the New York media collective Raindance Corporation, asserted that video making and other information software design were radical cultural tools and proposed that, unless we design and implement alternate information structures which transcend and reconfigure the existing ones, our alternate systems and lifestyles will be no more than products of the existing process.

Speculation by the influential Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan on the parallel evolution of communications media and structures of consciousness fueled utopian conjecturing about a new information-based society. McLuhan s writing had particular impact on the post-war generation that grew up with television. In artists and social activists welcomed the new attentional terrain offered by the unintimidating, real-time video medium and the possibility of developing an accessible democratic communication system as an alternative to commercial television.

Unified by cultural imperatives for a more open and egalitarian way of living as well as by the pragmatic need to pool equipment Portapaks, microphones, and a growing assortment of independently engineered tools a number of artists, activists, and electronic tool designers formed working collectives. Woody Vasulka described video in as, a very free medium, and the community was very young, naive, new, strong, cooperative, no animosities, kind of a welcoming tribe.

So we ganged together west coast, east coast, Canadian west and east coasts, and we created overnight a spiritual community. Some would eventually include video in their interdisciplinary investigations. Starting in the late 50s, Happenings expanded paintings into interactive environments, engaging those aspects of art, which, consciously intended to replace habit with the spirit of exploration and experiment. Sculptors who had been working within the emerging vocabulary of post-minimalism found video to be a medium with which they could foreground the phenomenology of perceptual or conceptual process over the aesthetic object or product.

Artists participating in the high art gallery and museum spaces as well as those positioned in the clubs, concerts and mass cultural scenes found reasons to explore the new moving image and sync sound medium. The manifestos and commentary by those caught up in the early video movement of reflected an optimism stemming from the belief that real social change was possible; they expressed a commitment to cultural change that bordered on the ecstatic. During this heady period political theorists, artists, and activists delivered powerful arguments for a participatory democracy.

The possibility of working for radical social change was conflated with the task of personal change and with imperatives to explore one s consciousness through music, art, drugs, encounter groups, spirituality, sexuality, and countercultural lifestyles. The valorization of process and an almost religious return to experience was shared by both political and cultural radicals of the late 60s, even though their agendas and strategies varied considerably.

The social and cultural challenges of the 60s were, a disruption of late capitalist ideology, political hegemony, and the bourgeois dream of unproblematic production. This New Left asserted that necessary social change would come about only by replacing institutions of control not by reforming them. On college campuses, teach-ins, information sharing, and local organizing around issues of housing, health, and legal rights offered practicums for a radically revised education for living. Although deep divisions between political radicals and lifestyle radicals remained throughout the decade, the country experienced a profound transformation of cultural relations in their wake.

As part of the progressive dialogue on college campuses between and , tracts by writers like Herbert Marcuse were broadly circulated and discussed. They described the media as a consciousness industry responsible for the alienation of the individual, the commodification of culture, and the centralized control of communications technologies. In his widely read books, One-Dimensional Man and An Essay on Liberation , Herbert Marcuse identified a relationship between the consciousness of the individual and the political, asserting that radical change in consciousness is the beginning, the first step in changing social existence: the emergence of a new Subject.

This new citizen, aware of and actively dealing with tragedy and romance, archetypal dreams and anxieties would be less susceptible to technical solutions offered through contemporary society s homogeneous happy consciousness. In Depth: Tony Conrad Hill: Could you talk about the confluence of experimental film, music, and video making in the late 60s? Conrad: In the context of the underground Of course, out of this potpourri, there began to emerge other terms of this crossover having to do with the imbrication of high culture with the low culture.

Already in the Velvet Underground you have the Exploding Plastic Inevitable shows at the Fillmore East or at the Dom [in New York City] where Gerard Melanga theatrically wielded a whip on stage, the band played pop music, and there would be a light show. A lot of the syncretism of different elements was abetted by the taste for that kind of overlapping and totalizing experience on the part of the drug culture.

There were two things going on at the same time, as sort of dialogical forces one was minimalizing and one was totalizing. In some respects these weren t so remote from one another as they appeared to be, other than as functions of temperament. The totalizing drug culture of course was not as repressive, characteristically. There were people who were mixtures, like Andy Warhol, who is in a way the exception that proves the rule in both cases. One was the serious discovery on the part of the artists that by confining their tools and concerns more narrowly than had ever been proposed, that they could achieve wider understandings and more profound circumstances for the reception of their work.

That perception was encapsulated in the maxim less is more. The second thing that went into the hopper was that [minimalism] was a route to irony and humor. That is, there was both the possibility of disturbing the bourgeoisie, but more generally in taking advantage of the expectations that were to be found in the environment of high culture. For example, Maciunas [Fluxus] concerts were frequently staged as high culture events, but then deviated radically from the forms of high culture.

The spirit that motivated this had a lot to do with having fun. The third element in all of this, I think, was the fact that the gallery scene found it possible to cash in on these developments. There was a ready-made ideology and set of circumstances which resulted in a high level of salability The Kitchen environment was set up to sort of overlap between video, technical work with video, work that was concerned particularly with a technological engagement, a buildit-yourself ethos, a dirty hands ethos in the approach to video.

There was a lot of enthusiasm which underlay By , through confrontation and consciousness raising the sharing and study of personal experience and history African Americans and women had declared themselves new historical subjects. Strategizing around separatism and alliances, their liberation movements developed solidarity with other U.

The gay rights movement born after the Stonewall confrontation, and the American Indian Movement AIM also asserted political and cultural identities through public actions and cultural networking during the early 70s. These new movements focused both on histories of economic exploitation and systemic cultural domination. The Port Huron Statement had demanded a less alienated society and claimed a definitive subjectivity for the generation coming of age in the 60s; these new movements also sought profound transformation in both socioeconomic and cultural relations.

Although the New Left and the anti-war movement in the late 60s had close ties with progressive documentary filmmakers, for example the Newsreel film collective, their reports and analyses were disseminated primarily through an extensive underground press. Planning for the anti-war protests in Chicago during the Democratic National Convention did include strategizing around national press coverage, but it was fringe groups like the Yippies that specifically sought confrontation with and coverage by commercial media.

Forays into network broadcasting, such as the Videofreex collaboration with CBS on the aborted Subject to Change project, revealed the industry s contradictory aspirations for new broadcast programming and reinforced alternative videomakers wariness of allying with corporate television. By the early 70s video theorists writing in Radical Software along with Marxist critic Todd Gitlin and German socialist Hans Magnus Enzensberger had outlined arguments for an alternative, independent electronic media practice.

The radio and television industries had centralized and controlled access to the production, programming, and transmission of media, and limited those individual receivers to participation as consumers. However there was nothing inherent in the technology that could not support a more reciprocal communications system such as, for example, the telephone.

Enzensberger concluded that new portable video technology set the stage for redressing this contradiction: For the first time in history the media are making possible mass participation in a social and socialized productive process, the practical means of which are in the hands of the masses themselves. Such a use of them would bring the communications media, which up to now have not deserved the name, into their own. In its present form, equipment like television or film does not serve communication but prevents it. It allows no reciprocal action between transmitter and receiver; technically speaking, it reduces feedback to the lowest point compatible with the system.

McLuhan wrote in Understanding Media that human history was a succession of technological extensions of human communication and perception where each new medium subsumed the previous technology, sometimes as an art form. Through the inherent speed and immediacy of electronic video technology, television had become an extension of the human nervous system. His notion of television s flowing, unified perceptual events bringing about changes in consciousness spoke directly to the contemporary psychedelic drug experience, as well as to artists experimenting with new electronic visualizations.

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His aphorism the medium is the message suggested that consciousness change was brought about primarily through formal changes in communications technologies rather than the specific content delivered by those media, which resonated with the concentration on formalist investigations practiced in the contemporary arts at the time. Although McLuhan s and others prescriptions for technological utopia appeared poetic to many, he popularized the notion of television, a high participation cool medium, as a generational marker and as a potentially liberatory information tool in the hands REWIND McLuhan did not address ways of restructuring a more democratic telecommunications system, but did inspire others to apply his ideas as they investigated video production and theorized about the new medium.

The belief that new technologies would inspire and generate the foundation for a new society was underwritten in part by the American post-war investment in the grand cultural imperative of science, which had brought about the international green revolution in agriculture and the space race. Americans had landed on the moon in , in the biggest show in broadcast history. Critic Susan Sontag articulated this new sensibility as it related to the arts: What gives literature its preeminence is its heavy burden of content, both reportage and moral judgment But the model arts of our time are actually those with much less content, and a much cooler mode of moral judgment--like music, films, dance, architecture, painting, sculpture.

The practice of these arts--all of which draw profusely, naturally, and without embarrassment, upon science and technology--are the locus of the new sensibility In fact there can be no divorce between science and technology, on the one hand, and art, on the other, any more than there can be a divorce between art and the forms of social life. Through the writing of McLuhan, Norbert Wiener, Buckminster Fuller, Gregory Bateson and others [14] the intersection of information and systems theory with biological models provided communications and human potential references for a generation that had grown up with the increasing availability of powerful and expressive personal tools cars, televisions, transistor radios, 35mm and 8mm movie cameras, electronic musical instruments, and now portable video cameras and recording decks.

The mixed metaphors of science, biology, and revolution, dubbed cyber-scat by critic David Antin [15] are evident in Michael Shamberg s description of Media-America : It may be that unless we re-design our television structure our own capacity to survive as a species may be diminished. For if the character of our culture is defined by its dominant communications medium, and that medium is an overly-centralized, low-variety system, then we will succumb to those biologically unviable characteristics. Fortunately techno-evolution has spawned new video modes like portable videotape, cable television, and videocassettes which promise to restore a media-ecological balance to TV.

Early video collectives The video collectives that formed between embraced the new portable video technology and assumptions about the need for cultural and social change that could include humanely reconfigured technologies. The individual groups were bonded by the practical need to share technical resources and to collaborate on the many tasks required for productions.

Some groups functioned as communes, with members living together as well as working regularly with video. Parry Teasdale, a member of the Videofreex, recalled, the video medium There was the individual vision and the individual maker working with a set of tools to do something.

The tools were something I could get access to one way or another, without a lot of money. The other concern was the serious business of making revolution. These things were not separated. These things were a part of everybody else s concern too. The masthead from the first issue articulates the broad aspirations of the editors proposed cultural intervention: the establishment of a place like the Kitchen When I was invited to do a piece at the Kitchen in I wanted to suggest a subjectivist and spiritual reading of this environment, that is, to encourage in the terms of that time a meditative approach to the exercise.

Encouraging the audience in a meditative direction was a way of creating an atmosphere of sacred expectations that was achieved in the gallery or museum through the imposition of the white cube and the silent treatment. The way reflection could be understood and made legible in that day was to carry over audience expectations based on the drug experience and on meditational experiences. Although today we tend to look back and discount some of these seemingly spiritual elements as artistic chaff, in effect, that s a discrimination which is made unevenly. It is allowed to condemn the idealism of New Age thinking but not of the Civil Rights Movement, and is allowed to condemn the hubris of the anti-war movement but not of the gallery or museum The work is part of a larger cultural object, which includes the production and viewing situation, and that the object itself cannot be sensibly taken out of context as an object of contemplation in and of itself.

That it is simply incomplete or fragmentary without regard to its functioning as a consequence of the circumstance of its generation and the audience 11 Attention! Efforts have been made to formalize these sorts of networking contextualizations by speaking of the space, the space before the camera, the space of the image, the space on the screen and so forth. Interviewed March Tony Conrad produced experimental music and films in the 60s and since the 70s, has worked with video, performance, and music.

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Videotape can be to television what writing is to language. And television, in turn, has subsumed written language as the globe s dominant communications medium. Soon accessible VTR [video tape recorder] systems and videocassettes even before CATV [cable antenna television] opens up will make alternate networks a reality. Hands-on technical guides like Spaghetti City Video Manual , written by the Videofreex, and Independent Video by Ken Marsh, co-founder of People s Video Theater, demystified the technology and encouraged independent problem solving and self-sufficiency with video tools.

These publications were critical in promoting a vision of radicalized personal communications, providing an education for the uninitiated and curious, and identifying a network of fellow enthusiasts. Their pragmatic approach to the present and sometimes utopian visions for the future were shared by others who examined and challenged the delivery of basic institutional systems education, communications, government, health and envisioned new grassroots configurations which often centered on new or reconfigured technologies.

The first edition of the widely referenced Whole Earth Catalog begins with a section on understanding whole systems, including communications, featuring descriptions of Super-8 filmmaking and audio synthesizer construction and describing the role that accessing and understanding tools might play in a new society: So far, remotely driven power and glory as via government, big business, formal education, church has succeeded to the point where gross defects obscure actual gains.

In response to this dilemma and to these gains, a realm of intimate, personal power is developing power of the individual to conduct his own education, find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share adventure with whoever is interested. Tools that aid this process are sought and promoted by the Whole Earth Catalog. Specific audience feedback structures were envisioned which exercised portable video s capacity to render real time documentations of everyday events, perceptual investigations, and experimental tech performances.

These structural concerns combined with the imprecision of early video editing initially overshadowed the production of a singular tape in favor of the documentation of process. The work of the early collectives revealed their acknowledgement of video as mediating social relations managing or guiding the attention of viewers, directly engaging viewers in some aspect of the expressive, performative or production process, and educating audiences as new users.

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The often-stated goal of radicalized communications was further reflected in the early collectives strategies for the distribution of information they produced. Tape libraries, tape exchanges, and mobile services were established; the print media journals and books were considered important adjunct communications software ; experimental video labs and theaters accommodated interactive screenings; transmission using low power broadcast, cable television, and public broadcast television was explored. The diverse cultural data banks inventoried in the early issues of Radical Software read as maps to the counter cultural imagination of the time.

Like home movies, they were collections of personal experiences, but unlike those private records, these tapes were contributions to an information bank from which anyone could draw, where often no one person was specifically credited with having produced the tape. Descriptions of a few of these early projects give some sense of the range that existed across the country.

PVT videotaped interviews and events on the streets of New York during the day and then invited interviewees to their loft theater in the evening for screenings and further discussions as part of activating the information flow. Ken Marsh regarded video production at the time as an aspect of citizenship. The rhetoric that we subscribed to was that the people are the information Everybody could do it and everybody should do it. That was the mandate pick it up, it s there. Like the power to vote vote, take responsibility. Make it and see it. Another seminal group formed around experimental filmmaker and dancer Shirley Clarke.

Her T. Video Space Troupe produced interactive exercises and events using video, dance, and performance, which also served as a video training model for participants. One of Clarke s exercises, a sunrise project, concluded when participants reconvened at her Chelsea Hotel rooftop apartment at sunrise to replay the evening s Portapak documentation of New York s nightlife. A little further west, the Ithaca video commune collaborated with local social service projects and screened their sometimes controversial programming in bars and bookstores, generating discussion about local and national issues as well as educating local audiences to the possibilities of portable video.

Philip Mallory Jones and others eventually initiated the Ithaca Video Festival, the first touring video festival and an important showcase for early video art and documentary. At Antioch College in Ohio an active national tape exchange was maintained by students through their Community Media Center. At the Antioch Free Library people were welcome to borrow tapes or add their own tapes to the collection. Through the college s alternating semesters of work and study and its new program in communications, media students became actively involved in planning and establishing public access cable operations all over the country.

Access to cable and public broadcast TV Alongside the inspiration of the Portapak, the burgeoning cable television industry was heralded as a promising technological development by artists writing in Radical Software, as well as by community activists and urban policy planners. Portable video technology could introduce non-professional people to production, and cable television companies that contracted with individual municipalities could use their local systems to disseminate the citizen-generated and community-responsive programming.

Cable companies anxious to expand into new markets offered public access provisions as incentives to potential municipal clients. For public policy planners and community media activists public access provisions could be negotiated as a resource in exchange for the companies receiving access to municipal infrastructures utility poles, right-of-way to lay cable. Citizens access to cable TV was welcomed by diverse factions as potentially invigorating the voices of those largely unrepresented by commercial television. Smith cited post-war federal commitment to building the interstate highway system as a precedent for mandating similar planning in the public interest for the development of an electronic highway in the 70s.

Smith s prescient article concluded: It is hard to assign a dollar value to many or most of the educational, cultural, recreational, social and political benefits that the nation would receive from a national communications highway. In Depth: Parry Teasdale Hill: With the Subject to Change project, were you and the Videofreex interested in the reflection of your generation on television, or were you so opposed to television that this wasn t a key issue for you? Teasdale: We knew that there wasn t an accurate representation of the generation on television, and I think we were naive at the beginning of the CBS project to think that there could be.

The net result is that we found that that avenue was closed so we had to find new avenues to do it and that s what we did. We first of all started with our shows in the loft [in New York City] and moved on ultimately to broadcasting [pirate low power TV in Lanesville, NY] because that was the way that we could control the entire process. By having the live phone line, by going out and talking to people in the community, by trying not to edit them in a way that would be unfaithful to what they had to say, and by letting them participate in the making of the shows we were representing them more faithfully than television could We not only used [Lanesville, TV] for ourselves, but we extended the principles of representation to the people we were supposedly representing through our station, because it was everybody s station.


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You want to come use it? You can do it. You want to talk? We don t cut anybody 13 Attention! If you want to go on and on, you can go on and on. In one sense of the representation issue, we embodied a different approach to it completely We were defining ourselves in terms of what we were not not being manipulative and not being controlling in the same way as the networks.

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We had our own goals but we were willing to listen to other people s goals as well. The problem was that we weren t dealing always with an educated or interested audience, because people had lives to lead, as is true in relationship to all media To the extent that they watched and participated, they had a chance to have an outlet and we encouraged that constantly because we felt that that was an integral part of what we were doing The other element that we always included We felt that [media] should be interactive, that people should be encouraged to respond to what they see on television and that the people who are producing television should be responsive.

We hoped that it would improve the community in some way, if only It is easier to assert the negative that the nation probably cannot afford not to build it It cannot be assumed that all the social effects of the cable will be good. For example Lack of concern and alienation could easily deepen, with effects that could cancel the benefits of community expression that the cable will bring to inner-city neighborhoods. At the very least, such dangerous possibilities must be foreseen, and the educational potential of the cable itself must be strongly marshaled to meet them Roger Newell argued for minorities stake in the cable business and community projects that would keep the public informed and also operationally involved.

He pointed out that in the findings of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorder the Kerner Commission , blacks interviewed by investigators for the commission felt that the media could not be trusted to present the true story of conditions that led to the riots. Furthermore, proponents of the use of cable in minority communities saw it as the clear alternative to commercial broadcasting Cable gives us a second and perhaps last chance to determine whether television can be used to teach, to inspire, to change humans lives for the better.

The task will be demanding and expensive. Dorothy Henaut and Bonnie Klein describe the investment of citizens participating in Challenge for Change in the first issue of Radical Software: Half-inch video allows complete control of the media by the people of a community. They can use the camera to view themselves and their neighborhood with a new and more perceptive eye; they can do interviews and ask the questions more pertinent to them; they can record discussions; they can edit tapes designed to carry a particular message to a particular audience an audience they have chosen and invited themselves.

In , Stoney and Red Burns founded the Alternate Media Center at New York University with support from the Markle Foundation and, shortly thereafter, the National Endowment for the Arts to train organizers to work with interested community groups, cable companies, and city governments to develop public access to cable TV around the country.

Cabled: Teleprompter, Sept 14, 16, It was the first time Joel had gone out alone, so he gave the mike to the people because he had no partner to take sound. At the beginning, Joel asked questions, but then the people just started relating to each other and totally ignored Joel. He felt they really wanted to get something out and had a strong need to speak. He played the tape back for the people through the camera and they dug it The stereotyped image of a Black voice is destroyed by the information on the tape showing the difference of views.

People talk to each other as well as to the camera. This legislation provided the groundwork from which citizens, municipalities, or cable companies could initiate public access production and programming anywhere in the country. Cable access facilities typically supported local production by providing consumer video equipment, training, and programming access to cable channels, and were funded primarily by federally mandated fees paid by cable companies to cities.

By , former AMC interns had established the National Federation for Local Cable Programmers NFLCP , an umbrella organization whose newsletters and conferences generated communication and ongoing education within the growing number of access centers. The NFLCP continued to support citizens, municipalities and cable companies interested in initiating public access cable facilities around the country, and their legislative and grassroots advocacy impacted significantly on national communications legislation throughout the decade.

By there were over 1, public access facilities in the United States, actively supporting local productions and programming by the public on cable TV. Port Washington Public Library s video director Walter Dale asked the questions: Could the library maintain in the area of video those qualities it fought for in print; namely, the right to read all views and expressions?

Could the library become a true catalyst for the free market place of visual as well as printed expressions? Although cable could reach potentially large television audiences, not all communities were cabled, and because cable companies charged viewers for their service, many households chose not to subscribe. So despite the opportunities offered by cable TV, local public broadcast television remained important channels for early video producers. As video began to replace film for news productions, independents using portable video equipment began calling for more diversity in points of view, challenging existing union policies as well as programming policies.

At the same time debates, which continue today, began to take shape around independents access to new technologies and the receptivity of public television and its legislative and corporate funders to independent programming. Reflecting back on the formative period , both technological utopians and social historians testified to an inspired engagement with the possibilities of a new society.

Hans Magnus Enzensberger commented on the year , when Liberation had ceased to be a mere wishful thought. It appeared to be a real possibility. That is to say they were adopting enough of the technology, at a level of expression which was just adequate to do the job and no more, to achieve what they wanted to achieve They were way ahead of their through communication.

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The thinking process ended with the virtues of response rather than [asking] what does that do for anybody, but the passivity of television was so extreme that just breaking that cycle of information delivery or, as [Les] Brown puts it in that wonderful book, the business of television is delivering an audience to an advertiser. That always was a startling revelation to me. Basically the job of television should be to deliver information but also to connect people to their communities, to connect people to ideas, and to connect people to each other.

That was something that could be used to the betterment of the community and of humanity. Jones: We were all talking about making revolution because we all had similar basic sympathies and we all understood the tools as part of that process. This was an opportunity to redefine the way information is made, distributed, and experienced. There were glorious and grand schemes and expectations about what small gauge video was going to do.

It didn t happen. What the early video makers were looking for largely didn t happen because the money was more powerful than we knew at the time. Television was more powerful than we recognized at the time and it didn t cave in. It just bought it and ran away with it, claimed it and largely didn t acknowledge where any of this came from. I m still seeing today things that video artists were doing 20 years ago and it s new on TV In terms of making revolution, there was a critical, concrete need to make things and distribute things.

And that was not luxurious; it was very exciting because the people who were doing it didn t have a lot of precedents to go on. The 16mm documentary techniques were not really applicable. Television techniques were not appropriate. The experience had to be sorted out and the ways of doing time. Some thought of this as a healing process or Such emphatic commitments focused a radical subjectivity that identified itself as an alternative to the alienated and spiritually bankrupt bureaucratic mainstream. Collectives and networked individuals invented new cultural forms and nourished an energy that focused, invigorated, and sustained productive social scenes.

Existing institutions television networks, museums, schools, libraries were challenged to respond to the interests and needs of their audiences, markets, and users. Optimistic about the role the new media technology could play in a new society, these early video tribes committed themselves to the performance of a radically de-centralized and potentially more democratic electronic communication practice. This alternative vision of decentralized media culture s was funded starting in the early 70s as not-for-profit artists projects, artist-run spaces, video access centers, and public access cable facilities by federal, state and local arts councils, private foundations, public television and cable companies.

Invisible histories reconstructing a picture of decentralized media practice Few of the tapes from the immense body of work produced by these early collectives and access projects have been restored and are available today. Farrell, Laura R. Olevitch, Laura K. Jackson, Jr. Withey, Ronald P. Rowell Huesmann, Leonard D. Brooks, James, L. Wahl,Scott A. Stern, Raymond F. Person, Jr.

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