The Early Video Project


The Annotated Video Exhibition List (1963-1975)

by Davidson Gigliotti

Editors Note: This list is as complete as my current resources allow. Catalogues, CVs, announcements, and memory were all called into play. Particularly useful was Barbara London's 1983 Circulating Video Library catalog, a publication of the Museum of Modern Art. If anyone has a show, event, or artist inclusion to add to the list, please send your information to: European, Canadian, Australian, African, and Asian exhibitions of this time period are especially interesting. The idea is to compile a complete list.

Personal experience of attending some of these shows and events is included to enliven a bare list of names and dates. Also, there are sometimes brief discussions of artists' work. Some shows are included that did not feature video art, but still set the stage for it.

Special mention should be made of Lucio Fontana, who identified television as a medium for artists in his Television Manifesto of the Spatial Movement, Milan, 1952.









Nam June Paik. Galerie Parnass, Wuppertal-Elberfeld, FDR. March 11-20th, 1963.

Nam June's contributions to video are so many, so important, and so early, that it's hard not to conclude that all later video art is a gloss and commentary on his work. Paik became video's public spokesman very early, and an ensuing array of brilliant, glittering, and often magical video artworks sealed the connection in the public's and, to some degree, the art world's collective mind.

Still, I dissent, somewhat. Video, and video art stems directly from other sources as well. Consider the influence of avant-garde filmmakers like Brakhage Warhol, Snow, and Belson, and more reality-based filmmakers like Wiseman, Leacock, and the Maysle brothers. Remember also the early computer artists like the Whitneys, DeWitt, Stehura, and Vanderbeek, the utopian vision of the New York video collectives, the input from conceptually-based artists like Acconci, Iimura, Oppenheim, Nauman, Graham, Jonas and others, and the work of photographers too numerous to mention. All of these also contributed mightily to the edifice of video as we know it today.

Nam June remains the giant in the field, known for his good nature, generosity to other artists, wonderful conversation and insight, as well as for his work. He is still pre-eminent, as such things are counted, though crowded a bit now by Bill Viola. It's not as lonely at the top as it used to be. He still stands on the gold medal platform, however.


Wolf Vostell:Television De-Coll/age. Smolin Gallery, New York, 1963.

Television was, and still is, for many artists, the evil box, a grand corrupter of culture doing its dirty work directly in the living room. Not an altogether incorrect view, of course. So, some of the early works of artists tended to heavy irony. Understanding Media, the work which brought Marshall McLuhan to public attention and which first suggested the degree to which television was an invasive, though not always evil, agent for cultural change, was not to see print for another year.

New Cinema Festival I. Filmmaker's Cinematheque, New York, November, 1965.
curated by John Brockman
Nam June Paik, USCO & Carolee Schneeman, Ken Dewey & Terry Riley, Les Levine, et al.

A name to conjure with, even today! Literary agent, cultural entrepreneur, and bringer together of intellects of what he calls The Third Culture, Brockman has always been actively engaged at that point in the matrix where art, science, and prediction meet. See his website:


Nam June Paik: Electronic TV, Color TV Experiments, 3 Robots, 2 Zen Boxes & 1 Zen Can.
New School for Social Research, New York, 1965.
Robot 456, performance pieces.


Nam June Paik:Electronic Art. Bonino Gallery (Galeria Bonino), New York, 1965 .

Nine Evenings:Theater and Engineering. 69th Regiment Armory, New York. October, 1966.
curated by Billy Kluver.

Billy Kluver is a professional electrical engineer with a mission to bring together artists and engineers (well, all types of scientists) in collaboration. He himself began working with artists as early as 1960, and assisted such artists as Jean Tinguely, Jasper Johns, Yvonne Rainer, Robert Rauschenberg, John Cage and Andy Warhol. In the process he became an impresario of art and technology. His base of operations was Bell Labs.

Nine Evenings took place in the 69th Regiment Armory, located at 25th & Lexington, which, of course, housed the Armory Show of 1913. Nine Evenings included Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Whitman, Steve Paxton, Alex Hay, Deborah Hay, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, David Tudor, and several others. As its title suggests, it occurred over nine almost consecutive evenings.

It was, by all acounts, an exciting series, attended by over 10,000 people. Michael Kirby described it in The Art of Time as, "probably the most elaborate and expensive presentation of avant-garde performance ever attempted in this country." Some video projection was used. But the major contribution, aside from the performances themselves, was that the idea of art becoming more and more technologically informed was firmly implanted in the minds of many for the first time.

The organizers of Nine Evenings -- Kluver, Rauschenberg, and Whitman -- founded E.A.T., Experiments in Art and Technology, a group dedicated to bringing together engineers and artists in collaborative projects. After a brief high profile existence, E.A.T went low profile and existed, doing its quiet good works, right up until the mid-nineties. Kluver is still involved in large projects from time to time.

Down by the Riverside:The USCO Show.
TheRiverside Museum, New York, Spring, 1966.
curated by Gerd Stern & USCO

This show was an amazing juxtaposition of historic Tibetan and other Buddhist art with contemporary psychedelia, both visual and audible, produced by USCO, a collective located in an old church in Garnerville, New York. USCO was fairly active in the mid-sixties, then the group dispersed. It was certainly prescient in terms of cultural change, offering a sort of new-age appetizer.

Many people attended, and though the show is basically unwritten about today, it was quite influential. There was no video, but it rates a mention as an early use of technologically sophisticated art in a museum setting. Gerd "Beardo" Stern, Michael "Electro" Callahan, and Steve "Wierdo" Durkee, Jud Yalkut. Barbara Durkee, Judi Wilson, Bob Dacy. The Riverside Museum, located on Riverside Drive, had a fine collection of Tibetan art. Unfortunately, the museum no longer exists.


New York Annual Avant-Garde Festival (1963--1980).
In 1978 the Festival was held in Cambridge, Mass. There was no Avant-Garde Festival in 1979. The last Festival was held in 1980 at the Passenger Ship Terminal, pier 92.
curated by Charlotte Moorman

Charlotte Moorman (1933 - 1991) staged fifteen Annual New York Avant-Garde Festivals at locations around the city. The first one, in 1963 at CAMI Hall on 57th Street, was mainly intended as a showcase for avant-garde music (Charlotte was a cellist), and featured the work of John Cage, David Behrman, Edgar Varese, Earle Brown, Morton Feldman, and Frederic Rzewski.

The one-day Festivals grew, year by year, to include a diverse group of artists, as many as two or three hundred, and did as much as anything to create a sense of community among New York's avant-garde. Not that the Festival had a great deal of status. Charlotte was not selective -- the main requirement for inclusion was a sincere desire to participate.

Still, although artists from many aesthetic persuasions participated, the event did have a certain Fluxus flavor about it. Many of the regular participants - Nam June Paik, John Cage, Yoko Ono and John Lennon, the Hendricks brothers, Alison Knowles, Phil Corner, Yoshi Wada, etc, were identified with Fluxus, as was Charlotte herself to some extent.

The public and the media came in numbers to the unusual locations that Charlotte chose - Shea Stadium, Grand Central Station, the Alexander Hamilton (an old excursion steamer) at the South Street Seaport Museum, the World Trade Center, Floyd Bennett Field - and the Festival experience was always chaotic.

Artists crammed their pieces into unlikely spaces, often overflowing into the aisles. Video installations, marathon performance pieces, piles of soil, piles of leaves, piles of spaghetti, aromatic dead fish, miles and miles of black polyethylene (to create darkness for projections of every sort), food art, light art, noise art, were all jammed cheek by jowl into spaces clearly not meant for the purpose - a great optimistic feat of cacophonous chaos.

Video was a part of the Festivals from 1967 on, and the culmination of the day's events was frequently a collaborative performance piece, often involving video, with Nam June Paik and Charlotte.

Like altogether too many events, the Festival's importance is most clearly recognized after it's gone. The impact of this great event, coming year after year created a definite sense of community among the artists, and introduced a bewildered public to avant-garde art. They were quite wonderful. Someone should write a book about them.


Festival of Lights. The Howard Wise Gallery, New York, 1967.
[See Light/Motion/Space below]


Light/Motion/Space. Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. 1967.
curated by Howard Wise

This exhibition grew out of the Festival of Lights show at the Howard Wise Gallery which, with some additions, moved to the Walker. There were 44 artists in the show and among them were Nam June Paik, Jackie Cassen, Rudi Stern, Chryssa, Otto Piene, Martial Raysse, Thomas Tadlock, Takis, USCO, and Thomas Wilfred. Willoughby Sharp wrote the catalog essay.

A note about Thomas Wilfred (1889-1968). His work inspired many. From the early 60s his clavilux (light organ) Lumia Suite was a fixture at MOMA; a tall metal cabinet located not far from the film theater, with a screen of constantly changing colored light shapes and forms. It seemed magical then. Wilfred, who was born with the name Richard Edgar Lovstrom, was from Denmark. He began his career in music as a singer, and while in New York became strongly inluenced by the work and personality of Claude Bragdon, an architect who developed early light shows. Wilfred built is first clavilux in 1921. He also made several versions for home use.

Light shows were a common phenomenon in the sixties and not just in discos and nightclubs, but in other venues as well. Jackie Cassen and Rudi Stern came to video from their show called Theater of Light. Pablo Light Show and Joshua Light Show were also among the big ones in New York. They often accompanied music performances, but some light shows stood on their own.


Cybernetic Serendipity:The Computer and the Arts. Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.,1968.
curated by Jasia Reichardt and James Harithas.
Traveling exhibition, included work by Nam June Paik and others.

Jim Harithas' peripatetic career as a museum director is legendary. From the Corcoran he went to the short-lived Reese Palley Gallery in SoHo (where The Blood Show crowned his Reese Palley career), and from there to the Everson Museum in Syracuse, and on to the Contemporary Art Museum in Houston. At every job he created a high degree of cultural and iconoclastic excitement and deserves a reputation for excellent, well-mounted exhibitions of very unusual stuff. He was the first museum director (while at the Everson) to initiate a regular program of video art exhibitions. He hired David Ross right out of Syracuse University and, in his way, taught him the museum business. Ross became his video curator, the first in the country.

Harithas never really fit the mold of the typical Museum director. He was aggressive, tough, bold, short-tempered on occasion, and truly dedicated to the power of living art and living artists. He was an artist-centered Director rather than a Board-centered or even visitor-centered Director. Directors like that tend to be popular with artists, but not always with their Boards.

Harithas is currently the Director of the Art Car Museum in Houston, Texas.


Nam June Paik:Electronic Art II. Bonino Gallery (Galeria Bonino), New York, 1968 .

Intermedia '68. Brooklyn Academy of Music, 1968.
Nam June, Paik, Ken Dewey, Les Levine, Aldo Tambellini, Terry Riley, Jud Yalkut. USCO, etc.
curated by John Brockman

This show traveled in New York State, and included occasional live performances, including Nam June Paik, Trisha Brown, Simone Forti, and films by Jud Yalkut.


Bruce Nauman. The Castelli Gallery, New York,1969.

Commercial art galleries, uptown and downtown, were very wary of video art. There were reasons for this; they didn't know the artists, they didn't understand the art, and didn't see how they could sell it. Not only that, but no one was writing about it in any major art publications. There were other reasons as well. The New York art world of the late sixties and early seventies was being battered by new ideas based on premises that just didn't compute with traditional painting and sculpture.

Abstract expressionism, pop art, color field painting, minimalism -- whatever you might say about them, at least they were painting and sculpture, and therefore marketable. But what could they say about Dennis Oppenheim creating patterns in wheatfields with snow-fencing, or Carl Andre with his rows of bricks, or Michael Heizer digging holes in the ground, or Vito Acconci who seemed to be making art by encouraging people to whisper confidences in his ear? Who knew?

The Castelli Gallery was, for a time, one of the a lone exceptions. As the 70s rolled on, Leo Castelli and his staff were willing to show video art by artists known to them, who had reputations in other media. Under Joyce Nereaux and Pat Brundage, Castelli-Sonnebend Tapes and Films was formed and an interesting group of conceptual and performance artists got their video showcased and distributed -- Bruce Nauman, Keith Sonnier, Vito Acconci, Dennis Oppenheim, Joan Jonas, and several others. Castelli-Sonnebend was always careful to refer to their product as "artist's videotapes" rather than video art, the implication being that these artists were mostly busy making art, and sometimes had the time to make the odd videotape or two, which might be of interest to collectors.

Black and white, reel-to-reel, they were still an awkward sell. Most of Castelli-Sonnebend's tape business was in rentals to institutions.

The videotapes themselves were often astonishing, and good; Richard Serra's still relevant "Television Delivers People", Vito Acconci's chaotic "Red Tapes", Dennis Oppenheim's haunting "Bar Time". "Organic Honey's Vertical Roll" by Joan Jonas was an inspired utilization of certain aspects of early reel-to-reel video by a extraordinarily talented video, film, and performance artist.


Bruce Nauman:Corridor. Nicholas Wilder Gallery, Los Angeles, 1969.
Video installation.

This might have been the first gallery video exhibition on the West coast.


The Medium is the Medium. WGBH-TV, Boston, 1969.
Produced by Fred Barzyk.

Nam June Paik, Aldo Tambellini, Otto Piene, James Seawright, Thomas Tadlock, Allen Kaprow.

Fred Barzyk always suspected that you could do more with television than they taught at broadcast school and he first began experimenting with the medium in 1964. By 1967 he was broadcasting "What's Happening, Mr. Silver" with a British host, David Silver, who had very few inhibitions. Nudity was not unknown. But it was much more than that. For those days, they went wild. There was much spontanaity and role reversal, and before they knew it, their show was very popular. The hardest job was getting the broadcast technicians to cooperate.

In early 1969, the Medium is the Medium, a thirty minute program incorporating the work of each artist was aired to bewildered Bostonians. Allen Kaprow's piece "Hello" was probably the most successful, using, as it did, features of the broadcast medium for spontaneous multi-directional communication.


Television As A Creative Medium. Howard Wise Gallery, New York, (1969)
Nam June Paik, Moorman, Serge Bouterline, Aldo Tambellini, Frank Gillette, Ira Schneider, Paul Ryan, Earl Reiback, John Seery, Wynn Chamberlain, Thomas Tadlock, Eric Seigal, Joe Weintraub.
curated by Howard Wise.

Howard Wise (1903-1989) loved kinetic art. His uptown gallery became known for championing kinetic art in the sixties, and he numbered some important collectors as his clients. One of them, David Bermant, was a developer of shopping malls. Bermant's Long Ridge Mall, in Greece, New York, was encrusted with a quite incredible collection of kinetic art, much of which came through the Howard Wise Gallery. Bermant had a special crew of workers whose job it was to maintain the art, and the mall provided Rochester area inhabitants with a unique aesthetic experience. People who have visited the Long Ridge Mall recently have told me that it's all gone now. Too bad. It was a wonderful environment.

TV As A Creative Medium opened in the Spring of 1969 and featured some interesting video art, but WipeCycle by Ira Schneider and Frank Gillette took the cake. It was right in front of you as you stepped off the elevator.

It was an array of monitors and decks. The images on the monitors kept changing, and some were broadcast feeds and some were pre-recorded tapes, and, most interesting of all, there was a camera pointed at the door of the elevator, so you saw yourself as you came in.

In front of the monitor array were three decks rigged in the following manner: deck one was a record deck, and it was recording the output from the camera located in front of the door. The tape, however, came off the supply reel, passed over the recording head, but instead of accumualting on the take-up reel, the tape was fed over to the next deck, Deck Two, and passed over the playback head , initiating an 8-second delay. The effect was to initiate a delay. The taped again bypassed the take-up reel and went on to Deck Three, initiating a 16-second delay. So you saw yourself coming in (if you were alert) and then you saw yourself coming in again eight seconds later, and then you saw yourself coming in again, eight seconds after that.

Now people see themselves on videotape all the time and it is quite possible that some experience the effect of this in an interesting and revealing manner, and it also might be true that some are blasé to the whole idea, but in those days that particular effect was much discussed -- a psychological phenomenon, if you will. Also it was in black and white, with a bad signal to noise ratio, and so the effect was certainly strangely compelling.

Wise discovered video in the late sixties. You might say that was unusual -- he was himself in his mid-sixties; not an age when people of his generation were usually susceptible to new ideas. But Wise was engaged in the events of the time. Deeply concerned about societal issues, keenly disturbed by the Vietnam War and the prospect of nuclear annihilation, he saw his video artists as involved with the same issues he was, and saw their work as directly concerned with questions of cultural change.

The artists whose work he supported include Nam June Paik, Frank Gillette, Ira Schneider, Juan Downey, Eric Siegal, and ultimately quite a few others. He at once understood that gallery exhibitions were not a medium that suited the work of many artists and he closed his uptown gallery and founded Electronic Arts Intermix, a tape distribution and editing facility. Originally located in a building on the northwest corner of 5th Avenue and 14th street, EAI was a very busy place. Now located in Chelsea, it has one of the largest and most important collections of video art in the country.

Wise was also an important sponsor of Charlotte Moorman's New York Avant-Garde Festival, an annual exercise in artistic freedom which sprouted every Fall somewhere in the city. Wise was a kindly and generous man and, well, wise.


Channel One. 1969
Ken Shapiro, Chevy Chase, Eric Segal.

Channel One had a movie theater ambiance, with a projector and several monitors showing a program shot and edited by the principals. They often featured Chevy Chase, of course, and I don't know if you could say that this was where he started, but it certainly was a passage in his life. I remember seeing Channel Ones in other cities as well as New York, so Shapiro et al may have franchised them. They were a short-lived phenomena though. Sadly, I don't remember Channel One's location in New York, but it was somewhere on the lower east side.


Vision and Television. The Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Mass. 1970.
curated by Russell Connor

In 1970 Russell Connor was the Rose's Assistant Curator, and Vision and Television was his project. Connor has had a varied background in the arts; a painter, a cultural TV host at WGBH, and an arts administrator of note. He was the first head of TV Media at NYSCA, the executive director of Cable Arts, the Director of Education at the the Whitney Museum under Tom Armstrong. Now he is a painter again, and a writer, and a happy man.

Vision and Television , the first group video exhibition to take place in an actual museum, was an install-it-yourself show; nearly the entire New York video community traveled to Waltham, Mass., to set it up. Inevitably it became a "family" event as well. Good thing - it was January and there was a blizzard the night of the opening which lasted the entire weekend, so attendance was, uh, concentrated.

Artists included Nam June Paik, Charlotte Moorman, Frank Gillette, Ira Schneider, Paul Ryan, Aldo Tambellini, the Videofreex (most of them), Eric Siegal, Paul Ryan, Les Levine, Ted Kraynik, John Reilly & Rudi Stern, Jud Yalkut, Joe Weintraub, USCO/Intermedia, and Eugene Grayson Mattingly. Incidentally, the catalog, written by Connor, may have contained the first usage of the term "video art." Gene Youngblood also used the term, but his book, Expanded Cinema, didn't hit the shelves until a few months later. Up until that time writers weren't sure what to call it -- neither were the artists.


Body Works. Museum of Conceptual Art, San Francisco. 1970.
Vito Acconci, Bruce Nauman, William Wegman, Keith Sonnier Dennis Oppenheim, Terry Fox.
curated by Willoughby Sharp.

A distinguished show in another museum that no longer exists. Willoughby Sharp was, and is, a prominent personality in New York's avant-garde art world, and has been from the sixties on. With Liza Bear, he was the editor and founder of Avalanche Magazine, a well designed and influential publication of the late sixties and early seventies, the first to concentrate solely on conceptual art. Eccentric, witty, smart and big; a nattily dressed wearer of the black long before it was fashionable, Sharp has been a gallery owner, editor, curator, artist, cultural entrepreneur, and an important contributor to the development of video art.


The Major Museum Exhibition Climate (1967-70)

Software. The Jewish Museum, 1970.
curated by Jack Burnham

The Machine as seen at the End of the Mechanical Age. The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1968
curated by Pontus Hulton.

Information. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. 1970
curated by Kynaston McShine

By 1968, thanks in part to the previous efforts of Kluver and the E.A.T. people, Nam June Paik and his robots, and Howard Wise, John Brockman, USCO and others and the activities they were supporting, the major museums had accepted that art and technology were in some way linkable, and these three shows were their response. These shows are well-documented so I won't discuss them right now.

Back to the top of the page.

The New York Video Collectives

Commediation, 1968.
Frank Gillette, Harvey Simon, David Cort, Howard Gutstadt, Ken Marsh.

The proto video collective, although perhaps more a discussion group than a real collective. Still, the idea of cooperation as opposed to competition was a strong element in the early video community, though sometimes more honored in the breach than in the actuality. Ultimately the members went off to form their own collectives, but Commediation was a nucleus. Nam June Paik sometimes sat in on their sessions.


The Videofreex, 1969.
Skip Blumberg, Nancy Cain, David Cort, Bart Friedman, Davidson Gigliotti, Chuck Kennedy, Mary Curtis Ratcliff, Parry Teasdale, Carol Vontobel, Ann Woodward.

The Videofreex was started by Cort, Teasdale and Ratcliff in the summer of 1969. That autumn it started to grow into a cohesive group, mainly around a CBS initiative set up by Don West, who was then Assistant to the President of CBS at the time, Frank Stanton. It was West's idea to gather New York's then tiny video community around the concept of a "counterculture" television show, shot and edited by the video community, and aired, perhaps, by CBS. CBS broadcast executives like Mike Dann and Fred Silverman approached that idea with silver bullets, bags of garlic, and wooden stakes, but West had accumulated a lot of favors owing, and got some money from CBS to give it a try.

The actual result, entitled Subject to Change, was an interesting program for the time. Edited by Cort, Teasdale and Ratcliff, it featured an interview with Fred Hampton, a Black Panther leader later killed in his bed by the Chicago police; a visit to Pacific High School in Palo Alto, one of the country's first alternative schools; an afternoon with Hovey Burgess and his troupe of jugglers and clowns; and several other features not usually found on television in 1969.

The boys at Blackrock didn't buy it though, in fact they were repelled by the whole idea. West's position next to Stanton didn't save him. He was fired immediately and went on to become the editor of Broadcast Magazine.

The Videofreex, however, refusing to be downhearted by events, went on with a program of their own; applying for grants, teaching video, shooting numerous records of counterculture lifestyle, and founding other media centers around New York state.

In 1970, shortly after they finished off CBS, the Videofreex initiated a series of Friday night open video shows at their top floor loft at 96-98 Prince Street. Attendance grew, and the event became a weekly social gathering for some members of the video community.

In 1971 they moved to Lanesville, New York, where they continued their statewide activities, published a book, The Spaghetti City Video Manual, operated an editing room for the use of artists and video producers, and founded a tiny broadcast TV station, Lanesville TV, in the Catskills of Greene County.

Almost from the beginning, a steady stream of visitors from all over the country and the world began to drift through Maple Tree Farm, studying the Videofreex, making videotapes, enjoying cook-outs, sleeping in the well-appointed guest rooms; the Videofreex became video hoteliers.

They began to disband in 1975 as the recession took hold and the Carey administration began cutting back NYSCA funding for media. The last Videofreek moved out of Maple Tree Farm in 1978. Mediabus, their non-profit agency, continues to this day, headed by Bart Friedman, with headquarters in Woodstock, New York.

Lively and good-natured, the Videofreex were very social and readily formed fairly strong relationships with other groups. Two more different outfits than Raindance and the Videofreex, for example, could hardly be imagined, yet there was always a bond between them. Elements of the Videofreex also had strong relationships with the Ant Farm, a West coast art collective; with TVTV, an ad hoc production company put together by Michael Shamberg; and with other collectives in New York State and elsewhere. Their location in the Woodstock area gave them ready access both to Manhattan and the cities of upstate New York, and this, plus their general out-goingness and amiability, worked for a time to give the Videofreex a central position in the video community of New York State. Read Parry Teasdale's Videofreex, Black Dome Press, 1999, for a first person account of life with the Videofreex. Nearly all the Videofreex are still active in media.

Peoples Video Theater, 1970
Ken Marsh, Howard Gutstadt, Elliot Glass.

People's Video Theater's main thrust was community video, and they were videotaping on the streets of New York regularly. Marches and demonstrations, the Young Lords, Black Panthers, community boards, and neighborhood issues were among their subjects. Disillusioned with network television's 'objective' covering of local events, People's Video Theater sought to fill the gap with the opinions and points of view of people the networks never covered. Part of their program was to use videotape recording and playback as a means of ameliorating differences, and there were plenty to choose from in those days.

Evenings were given over to their video theater at 544 6th Avenue, where they would play their tapes back and hold lively discussions afterward with participants and viewers.

There will be an interview with Ken Marsh appearing on the Articles page soon. Howie Gutstadt went on to form another group, Survival Arts. He then moved to Jamestown, New York, and operated a video facility there for a while, later moving to San Francisco. For many years he was an associate at Diaquest, a manufacturer of video animation equipment and other hardware in Oakland. He is now with Autodesk. Serving with him at Diaquest was Bill Claghorn. Claghorn himself, complete with white shirt and pocket protector, was a very important video technician and inventor of early video equipment in New York; an important consultant for artists with technical problems. Marsh is a painter and graphics designer, and lives in Westchester county. Elliot Glass lives on Long Island and operates Crossroads Video.


Raindance, 1970
Frank Gillette, Ira Schneider, Paul Ryan, Beryl Korot, Michael Shamberg, Megan Williams, Louis Jaffé

While the Videofreex represented the world around them with videotape, and People's Video Theater attacked social problems, Raindance had quite different aspirations -- to bring together the world of video and the world of cultural and cybernetic thinkers: McLuhan, Fuller, Bateson, Wiener, Shannon & Weaver, C.S. Peirce, Michelet, Vico -- these were the names that got bandied around at Raindance. They were visionaries, at home with ideas and dedicated to evolutionary change. They made videotapes, too, but probably their most significant production was the periodical Radical Software. It was the brainchild of two women, Beryl Korot and Phyllis Gershuny. Working in a Chinatown loft, Korot and Gershuny cut, pasted, interviewed writers, selected art, and worried over what to call it. From a number of sources and suggestions, the title Radical Software emerged.

It was a great title, and the first two issues, edited by Gershuny and Korot, contained interesting material and an interesting graphic style, and it did not take a great leap of imagination to see that Radical Software could have had a real future as a video magazine and, later, journal. The first Radical Softwares were quarterfolds, a popular style in those day for publications somewhere between a magazine and a newspaper, and printed in blue ink. Later editions reverted to a more conventional magazine format.

Still, while some later editions did keep the implied promise, Raindance's democratic decision to farm out the publications to various video groups resulted sometimes in spotty quality. The publication was later taken over by Gordon and Breach, and was discontinued in 1974.

Raindance also did another publication, a book, Guerrilla Television, written by Michael Shamberg and published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston, but largely informed by the Raindance staff. It was very enthusiastic.

Gillette, Schneider, Ryan and Korot are significant and influential artists. Ryan, like Gillette and Schneider, tends to reclusivity, but his keen insights into information and culture, coupled with his passion for interaction, still has impact with many. Beryl Korot went on to career in video installations and is active in the field today, mainly collaborating with her husband, composer Steve Reich. Phyllis Gershuny returned to painting. Michael Shamberg is a Hollywood film producer.

Global Village, 1969
John Reilly, Rudi Stern, Ira Schneider (for a short while).

A list of all of the people who took video production classes at Global Village through the 70s and 80s would probably turn up some surprises. It became one of the more active video teaching organizations in New York that grew out of the collective experience, introducing hundreds of students to the intricacies of shooting and editing videotape. A look at the credits of any evening's television programming would possibly reveal some former Global Village students.

But it did not begin that way. In the beginning Global Village was a place for open-screenings and a headquarters for John and Rudi's video activities. Reilly was a controversial character, active, aggressive, and politically astute, but not always easy to get along with. He had his dedications, however. At real risk of life and limb he journeyed with Stefan Moore to Belfast at the height of the troubles to shoot "The Irish Tapes," a dangerous odyssey that was not for wimps. Reilly now lives and teaches in Hampton Bays, Long Island.

Rudi Stern had started with light shows, working with another artist who also later became involved with video, Jackie Cassen. Ultimately he left Global Village, got interested in art-neon, published a book on the subject (Let There Be Neon), and opened a neon art gallery in SoHo of the same name. He is now developing light shows again.

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Keith Sonnier. Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1971
Projects Room curated by Riva Castleman.


Tapes from All Tribes. Pacific Film Archive. Berkeley, Cal., 1971.
Curated by Video Free America.
Video Free America was an early West coast video collective based in San Francisco. They were very active in the early days. Who will ever forget the video saga of Carol and Ferd?


Douglas Davis:Electronic Hokkadim. The Corcoran Gallery, Washinton, D.C., 1971
An interactive event involving telephone callers and broadcast television (WTOP-TV).


Ten Video Performances. Finch College Museum of Art, New York, 1971.
Curated by Elayne Varian.
Included Nam June Paik, Vito Acconci, Peter Campus, Steve Reich, Dan Graham, Douglas Davis, Robert Rauschenberg, Eric Seigal, Simone Forti, Alex Hay, Bruce Nauman, Claus Oldenburg.

Another museum that no longer exists. Elayne Varian was hip, smart, and highly opinionated, and she explored some interesting areas. She mounted one of the first holographic art shows, and conducted interesting panels on occasion. She took no prisoners. Poor Steve Beck showed a piece at one of them, only to be told immediately after, in public, that his work was "not art." Hoo, boy!


The Television Environment. University Art Museum, Berkeley, 1971.
William (Billy) Adler, John Margolies


Electronic Art III. Bonino Gallery (Galeria Bonino), New York.
Nam June Paik and Charlotte Moorman, 1971.

Paik Abe Synthesizer.
A film was made by Jud Yalkut of this show. It is available at Electronics Arts Intermix.


New American Filmmakers Series: Videoshow. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, (1971).
curated by David Bienstock
Davis, Paik, Tambellini, Vasulkas, et al.



Peter Campus. Bykert Gallery, New York, 1972.
curated by Klauss Kertess

From the start, Peter Campus's video art didn't look like anybody else's. I reminded him of this once, and he tersely informed me to "make sure it stayed that way." Campus's work deserves major space in any discussion of early video art.

Consider, for a moment, Campus' Interface (1972), a visually elegant, unself-consciously involving installation created with a minimum of equipment; a video camera, a video projector, and a piece of glass.

One's attention is called specifically to the large (6'x8') glass screen hanging about nine feet in front of a white wall. By the wall, just off center, is a black-and-white camera on a light tripod with a long lens pointing through the glass and focussed at a point twelve feet or so in front of the glass screen. The signal is routed to the projector, located just under the screen, projecting the image onto the white wall. As with many of Campus' installations, part of the game is finding out where you have to stand. When you find the place, both your projected image and your reflected image come together on the glass screen, both about life-size. Of course, they are reverse images to each other, emphasizing both the difference between the reflected mirror image and the actual right-side-to image, and black-and-white from natural color. Interface tends to be a solitary experience. It is a powerful work, though typically the viewer is never completely sure why. One reason might be that it allows the viewer to look directly and correctly into ones own eyes; a more rare and unusual event than it seems at first thought.

First Annual National Video Festival. Minneapolis College of Art and Design, 1972.
Curated by Tom Drysdale
Peter Campus, Ed Emshwiller, Nam June Paik, Ira Schneider, Aldo Tambellini, There were panels. Panelists included: Russell Connor, Barbara Rose, George Stoney and Gene Youngblood.

Video Exhibition. Wesleyan University, Middletown, Conn., 1972.

Douglas Davis:Inside and Outside. Everson Museum, Syracuse, N.Y., 1972.

Douglas Davis is both an artist and a professional art writer, and has expounded on video in print from the early 70s on. Davis was always one who believed that video was much bigger than its place in avant-garde art would indicate, consistantly projecting the idea that video art was an important step in the development of a much larger informational world.


Concerto for TV Cello/TV Bra. Everson Museum, Syracuse, 1972.
Nam June Paik with Charlotte Moorman.


First Women's Video Festival. The Kitchen, Mercer Arts Center, 1972.
Curated by Susan Milano
Jackie Cassen, Maxie Cohen, Keiko Tsuno, Steina Vasulka, Yoko Maruyama, Susan Milano, Elsa Tambellini, Judith Scott, Queer Blue Light, Women's Video Collective.

"Attention must be paid" as Ralph Kramden used to say, and certainly the Kitchen merits a large measure of attention in any discussion of video history. It was founded in 1971 in what was the kitchen of the Broadway Central Hotel, and was originally part of an ill-fated though very well-intentioned effort called the Mercer Art Center. The old hotel spanned the block between Mercer and Broadway, and the entrance to the Art Center was on Mercer. The Art Center contained a Cabaret, two small theaters, and the Kitchen. Founded by Woody and Steina Vasulka with Andy Mannik, a lover of new music, it was dedicated to video and the performance of new music. The founders were ably assisted by Shridar Bapat (now deceased), Bob Harris (now teaching at Ithaca College), and Dmitri Devyatkin.

One day the old Broadway Central mysteriously fell down in a heap - really! - so the Kitchen moved to Broome Street. Great directors (Bob Stearns, Mary MacArthur) and a great board kept it going and growing. The Kitchen still exists, now on West 19th Street, a much larger and quite different organization. This institution is too important for a short and somewhat impromptu discussion like this to do it justice. The Kitchen needs a biographer. It is a book waiting to be written.

A sidenote: The old Broadway Central (just north of Houston Street) also housed, from about 1969 to 1970, a very large, interesting and lively bar and restaurant called St. Adrian's, a frequent late night hangout for downtown artists of all kinds, rivaling Max's Kansas City for while. A very large number of people in New York in those days, some video artists among them, never went to bed before 4am and never got up until noon.


St. Jude Video Art Invitational. de Saisset Gallery and Art Museum, Santa Clara, Cal., 1972.
Curated by David Ross
John Baldessari, Lynda Benglis, Douglas Davis, Taka Iimura, Shigeko Kubota, William Wegman, et al.


Works from the Experimental TV Center. Binghamton. Everson Museum, Syracuse, 1972
curated by Ralph Hocking

Since its founding in 1971 by Ralph Hocking, The Experimental Television Center, located in Binghamton, New York, has been a rock of support for video artists. From the beginning they offered residencies for artists and technical solutions implemented by David Jones, a brilliant video engineer and designer.

Ralph Hocking himself was the driving force: bluff, direct, determined, and with a good sense of humor. Hocking is also an astute cultural politician of the type that seems to breed in upstate New York. Nathan Lyons of the Visual Studies Workshop is another prime example.

In recent years the Center, directed by Sherry Miller, has expanded its role to include conferences, seminars, and websites. If you thought that this was the only website devoted to early video, think again. Though parts are still under construction, their Video Chronology page is amazing, an absolute "must see."

The Center also supports early video research with excellent links, and has a pretty complete collection of early video equipment.

Women in the Arts. Finch College Museum, New York, 1972.
Curated by Elayne Varian.

White, Black, Red, and Yellow. The Kitchen, Mercer Arts Center, 1972.
Mary Lucier, Shigeko Kubota, Charlotte Warren, Cecilia Sandovar.

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Women's Video Festival. University of Illinois, Circle Campus, Chicago, 1973.


Shigeko Kubota. Wabash Transit Gallery, School of the Art Institute, Chicago, 1973.


International Computer Arts Festival. The Kitchen, Mercer Arts Center, 1973.
curated by Dmitri Devyatkin.


The Irish Tapes. The Kitchen, Mercer Arts Center, 1973.
John Reilly and Stefan Moore.


Electronic Video. The Kitchen, Mercer Arts Center, 1973.
Nam June Paik.


Videotapes from thePerpetual Pioneer of Video Art. The Kitchen, Mercer Arts Center, 1973.
Nam June Paik.


Whitney Biennial. Whitney Museum of American Art, 1973.
Joan Jonas, Peter Campus, et al.


William Wegman. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 1973.
Curated by Jane Livingston.

Frank Gillette:Video Process and Meta-Process. Everson Museum, Syracuse, 1973.
Frank Gillette (built and installed by Bill Viola)

One of the first of the big muli-channel installations. Gillette was a pioneer of the form.

Circuit:A Video Invitational. Everson Museum, Syracuse, 1973-74.
Curated by David Ross
Traveling exhibition, 65 Artists: went to several museums including the Koelnischer Kunstverein (Cologne, Germany), Boston Museum of Fine Arts, LA County Museum, Cranbrook Academy, Henry Gallery in Seattle, Everson Museum, etc.
Vito Acconci, David Atwood, John baldessari, Stephen Beck, Lynda Benglis, George Bolling, Chris Burden, Donald Burgy, Elizabeth Clark, Peter Campus, Frank Cavestani, Douglas Davis, Dmitri Devyatkin, Ken Dominick, Juan Downey, Ed Emschwiller, Terry Fox, Charles Frazier, Hermine Freed, Howard Fried, Frank Gillette, Joel Glassman, Cynthia Grey, Mike Goldberg, Ron Hays, Ralph Hocking, Nancy Holt, Jeff Hudson, Taka Iimura, Joan Jonas, Steve Kolpan, Beryl Korot, Paul Kos, Shigeko Kubota, Jane Logermann, Richard Landry, Andy Mann, Robert Morris, Rita Myers, Bruce Nauman, Jack Nelson, Dean Nimmer, Dennis Oppenheim, Nam June Paik, Anthony Ramos, Peter Van Riper, Van Schley, richard Serra, Willoughby Sharp, Eric Seigal, Keith Sonnier, Aldo Tambellini, Woody Vasulka, Bill Viola.



Videa 'n Videology.1974.
Nam June Paik


Projects: Video. Museum of Modern Art, New York, (1974)
Curated by Barbara London


Art Now: A Celebration of the American Arts, John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington, D.C., 1974.
Curator unknown.
Perhaps the first major exhibition where video artists were included in a context with artists of other disciplines, ratifying to a degree video art's 'arrival' as a fine art.
Artists showing video included: Vito Acconci, Lynda Benglis, Peter Campus, Douglas Davis, Juan Downey, Terry Fox, Hermine Freed, Frank Gillette, Joel Glassman, Nancy Holt, Joan Jonas, Beryl Korot, Paul Kos, Shigeko Kubota, Andy Mann, Nam June Paik, Ira Schneider, Keith Sonnier, Bill Viola, William Wegman.


New Learning:Spaces and Places. Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, 1974.
Frank Gillette, James Byrne,Peter Campus, Juan Downey, Ira Schneider, William Wegman, Andy Mann, and University Community Video.


Women in Film and Video. SUNY Buffalo, Buffalo, 1974.

Shirley Clarke, Hermine Freed, Julie Geiger, Jenny Goldberg, Sami Klein, Beryl Korot, Shigeko Kubota, Joan Jonas, Susan Milano, Steina Vasulka, Jane Wright.


Projekt 74, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Köln, Germany, 1974.


Electronic Art IV. Bonino Gallery (Galeria Bonino), New York, 1974.
Nam June Paik.


Collector's Video. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, 1974.
Curated by Jane Livingston.
Peter Campus, Terry Fox, Frank Gillette, John Baldessari, Nancy Holt, Bruce Nauman, Robert Morris, Paul Kos, Dickie Landry, Andy Mann, Richard Serra, Joan Jonas, Keith Sonnier, Richard Serra.

The title was probably a hint.

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Radical Software. Kölnischer Kunstverein, Köln, Germany, 1975.


Video Art. Institute of Contemporary Art. Philadelphia, Pa., 1975.
Curated by Suzanne Delehanty.

Group show, tapes and installations. Traveled to five cities including Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Steina Vasulka, Frank Gillette, Joan Jonas, et al.


Everson Video 75, Everson Museum, Syracuse, 1975.
Curator: Richard Simmons.
Ant Farm, Community Video/Cast, David Cort, Dance Media, Dimitri Devyatkin, Electron Movers, Dieter Froese, Beryl Korot, Shigeko Kubota, Andy Mann, Paul Ott & Fred Kesler, Peter Van Riper, Bill Viola.


The Southland Video Anthology, Long Beach Museum of Art, 1975.
Curated by David Ross
Both an exhibition and a tape anthology. Included Alan Ackoff, Billy Adler, Dave Anderson, Eleanor Antin, John Baldessari, Dede Bazyk, Lynda Benglis, Chris Burden, Thomas Burton, Shelly Chamberlain, Brian Connell, Lowell Darling, David Dashiell, Susan Davis, Ken Feingold, Charles Frazier, Roberta Friedman, John Gordon, Eileen Griffin, Thomas Jancar, Bryan Jones, Alan Kaprow, Donald Karwellis, Stanton Kaye, Rodger Klein, John Knight, Lisa Koper, Shigeko Kubota, Suzanne Lacy, William Leavitt, Jane Logemann, Joan Logue, Fred Lonidier, Bruce Lyon, Cynthia Maughan, Jay McCafferty, Paul McCarthy, Susan Mogul, Bruce Nauman, Tim Owens, Nam June Paik, Michael Portis, Tom Radloff, Raindance, Anthony Ramos, Martha Rossler, Allen Ruppersberg, David Salle, Van Schley, Michael Scroggins, Ilene Segalove, Alan Sekula, Barry Singer, Barbara Smith, Nina Sobel, Phillip Steinmetz, Marc Stern, Wolfgang Stoerchle, John Sturgeon, Telethon, Ben Thrall, Michael Tucker, Peter Van Riper, William Wegman, James Welling.


Americans in Florence/Europeans in Florence. Long Beach Museum of Art, 1975.
Curated by David Ross and Maria Gloria Bicocchi

Media Burn. 1975.
Cow Place, San Francisco.
Ant Farm.
Performance and Media Event.


Bill ViolaInstallation. Everson Museum, Syracuse, 1975.

His first museum show, I believe.


Commissioned Video Works. 1975.
Curated by Jim Melchert.
Tapes. Antin, Baldessari, John Fernie, Dennis Oppenheim, Bob Watts, Wegman, et al.

Video Art: an Overview. San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, Cal., 1976.
Curated by David Ross
Twenty-nine artists' tapes and installations.


First Ithaca Video Festival. Ithaca, New York, 1975.
Phillip Malory Jones.
Annual travelling video show.


Projected Video. Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, 1975.
Nam June Paik, Shigeko Kubota, Peter Campus, Douglas Davis, Hermine Freed, Bill Etra, Steina and Woody Vasulka, John baldessari, Keith Sonnier, William Wegman, Lynda Benglis, Richard Serra.


Moebius Video Show. San Francisco Art Festival, San Francisco, 1975
Terry Fox, Skip Sweeney, Ant Farm, Joanne Kelly, Phil Garner, Darryl Sapien.

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Alternate Media Conference. Spring, 1970.
Goddard College, Plainfield, Vermont.

No-one who attended the Alternate Media Conference with ever forget this wonderful mini-Woodstock for about 300 alternate media people. There were, in fact, lectures and panels, but it was Spring, the weather was perfect, and there were a number of quite naked Californians walking around to the amazement of the New Yorkers who, for the most part, had skins the color of fishbellies. The Videofreex were there with a huge blue and pink inflatable bubble with a rear-projection screen heat sealed into it designed and built by Davidson Gigliotti and sculptor Pedro Lujan. A Hog Farm detachment was there, nice people, and evenings were given over to Jordan Belsen and Scott Bartlett films and Dr. John, the Night Tripper.

The conference went on for several days, full of networking and conversation in a pleasant wooded environment, complete with swimming hole, tents and tipis, music and fun. The setting was Goddard College in Vermont, a semi-rural and pleasant place in those days. Goddard was, and continues to be, a very unusual school.

Open Circuits:The Future of Television. 1974.
The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Fred Barzyk, Douglas Davis, Gerald O'Grady, Willard van Dyke.

A stream of lectures, pontification, and chance social meetings: Hans Magnus Enzenberger, Vilem Flusser, Hollis Frampton, Richard Serra, et al. When Richard Serra was asked his opinion of matters he put his hand to his chin and said, "Well, actually, I was trying to decide if this room was a perfect square or not." Hollis Frampton read his contribution, and an hour or so later Michael Snow got up and read it again! I hope I don't sound like I'm putting this conference down. It WAS interesting. I don't recall if there was a resulting publication. There should have been, of course.

Video and the Museum. 1974.
The Everson Museum, Syracuse, New York.
David Ross, Jim Harithas.

This particular conference was a bit more lively than Open Circuits, and featured some interesting art and entertainment as well as panels. Juan Downey did a macho performance with Carmen Beuchat, lashing video cables around like whips as he did a furious dance with his camera and his black leather outfit and boots. Andy Mann, Ira Schneider, and Frank Gillette also had less aggressive, but still nice pieces in the Everson for the occasion. There was a pretty good band and I danced the night away with Lucy Kostelanetz. Those were the days.

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