The Early Video Project


Letters from:


Phyllis Segura (Gershuny)

Grayson Mattingly

Michael Rush

Steve Seid

DeeDee Halleck

Carlota Schoolman

Dean and Dudley Evenson

Chuck Reti

Elayne Zalis

Jack McFadden

Subject: Radical Software
Date: Wed., 11 September 2002
From: "phyllis segura" <>
To: <>

350 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10001

To the Editor:

It was a pleasant surprise to read Mr. Joselit's intelligent article about Radical Software. As the journals cofounder and editor it's wonderful to receive some acknowledgement. It is true, as he noted that the use of video as a societal aid or an activist's tool, aside from Video Art, has been disenfranchised or written out of history. Hence, many important visions and visionaries have been forgotten.

Mr. Joselit correctly noted our emphasis on feedback as a tool for self-correction for individuals and systems. We had a belief, however naïve, in being able to alter our pre-1984 information environment in non-commercial ways. Viewing oneself on Video then was akin to seeing your photograph or mirror reflection for the first time. The potential was not yet commodified or codified. Today's information environment is congested with standardized formulas. I am hopeful that there is still a chance to rectify that.

I created the initial concept, editorial content, and formatting with Beryl Korot of Radical Software prior to any Raindance involvement. 1970 was still a time when the integration of women into counterculture organizations was not fully accomplished. Radical Software is the legacy of us two women, as well. Ironically, its very eclectic mix brought me a lot of flak at the time. I therefore left after the second issue.

My personal inquiry into Art and Technology, pre-dating what was to become Radical Software, was about the Electromagnetic Spectrum. In the world I had been born into the Spectrum had already been sold and apportioned. The invisible had been bought up. At the brink of the emerging Information age tools of communication were not available to the public and most research was conducted and owned by private corporations with military affiliations. That purchasing power led to the mass manipulation of communication employed in the managing of people, nations and their products.

Today there is great concern about the privatization of water rights, disappearing habitats and species. Humans are the only species that pays rent. Does that insure our habitat? It is worthwhile to speak of our cultural communication environment as a society and an in-the-museum art culture. What ideas, theories and philosophies have emerged that flow more than one way? What enterprises do we engage in collectively and unconsciously? Is our psychological atmosphere more or less restrictive today? How can the viewing environments of Video Art progress into an architectonic showplace with body and mind considerations? What can be done to ease human suffering?

I am available for all discussions of related subjects.

-Phyllis Segura

Subject: Early Video Projects
Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 14:53:45 -0500
From: "Mattingly Productions" <>
To: <>

Thank you for the nice comments regarding Introducing The Single Camera VTR
System on the alibris "Early Video Books" page.. I am still around, you can
check out our web site at Still doing video after
all these years!

Thank you - Grayson Mattingly

Subject: Video Art book
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 17:20:01 -0700 (PDT)
From: Michael Rush <>


I am writing a book on Video Art for Thames and Hudson.
I just spoke with Paul Ryan.. and last week Frank
Gillette-- and before that others, all of whom mention
you! Thank you for your good work and website!!!

I want you to know about my book (also my other book
recently published, NEW MEDIA IN LATE 20TH CENTURY
ART). I hope to have most of it written this summer.

I have kind of a left-field question: Do you have a
counterpart in Europe who's doing with Europe what
you're doing with US video history?? Any leads in this

I'd appreciate any info.--- and anything else you
think important.

Many thanks,
Michael Rush

27 W. 44th Street #24
NY NY 10036

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Subject: early video
Date: Fri, 9 Jun 2000 10:40:52 -0700
From: Steve Seid <>

Hi Davidson,

I'm writing from the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley. Gene Youngblood just told me about your project--which I had never heard of, though I had certainly heard of you.

I am in the final stages of a preservation project which has been going on for two years--it concerns the National Center for Experiments in Television which was affiliated for a time with KQED, the public station in San Francisco. I have cleaned and transferred dozens of works from 2" and 3/4" dating from 1967 to 1975 (they used 1/2" as source material, but never as the final resting place).

If you are not aware of the NCET, it was an interdisciplinary research project that brought filmmakers, engineers, poets, painters, composers, dancers etc together and gave them access to KQED's studio and eventually to their own facility. Stephen Beck developed the Direct Video Synthesizer there. I could talk about their philosophy, the results of the project, their demise etc etc. But that is for some other note.

In the meantime, I will begin exhibiting the tapes in mid-September with many of the artists--now between the ages of 50 and 70--in attendance. There will also be a gallery exhibition here (the Berkeley Art Museum) with The Videola, an installation from 1973 developed by Don Hallock of the NCET, the Beck Direct Video Synthesizer #1 (though partially scavenged), viewing stations, and artifacts (posters, essays, photographs, books etc).

This is not my first preservation project. I've preserved the early works of Paul Kos, some unreleased Wegman tapes, transferred the more obscure Ant Farm tapes to Beta, and preserved The Dilexi Series, a group of works from 1969 commissioned for broadcast and made by such artists as Terry Riley, Frank Zappa, Andy Warhol, Walter DeMaria and Robert Frank.

I've just started going through your web-site--so far it looks great, even found a book I'd never heard of "Video Visions" by Jonathan Price. I'll continue on my journey...

Maybe we should talk someday?
Sincerely, Steve Seid

Steve Seid
Video Curator
Pacific Film Archive
2625 Durant Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94720-2250

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Subject: good site
Date: Fri, 02 Jun 2000 15:46:24 -0400
From: DeeDee Halleck <>
Organization: Deep Dish TV


hey Davidson,
nice to know about your site. It is very useful

I am embarking on publishing a book called:
"Hand Held Visions: The Uses of Community Media"
Fordham press.

check out the deep dish site
and of course


DeeDee Halleck

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Subject: Re: Announcements...
Date: Fri, 09 Jun 2000 19:22:57 +0100
From: "Carlota Schoolman" <>
To: Davidson Gigliotti <>


Hi Davidson,

I finally checked in with the site. I was away from e-mail for a while.
Great job!!!

At some point when I'm not going off to Long Island, such as now, I need to rethink
my personal time-line as it fits into the one you've got going. As I recall,
I went to The Kitchen in November of '74, and one of my jobs was to create
on ongoing series of exhibitions - single channel and installation. As far
as I know, it was the first regularly scheduled day time public series of
video exhibitions in NYC, each lasting one month. The installations included Shigeko Kubota, Ira Schneider's Manhattan is An Island, Peter Campus, Beryl Korot's Dachau, Lawrence Weiner, Vito Acconci, Rita Myers, Bill Viola, David Cort... and many single channel tapes. I have none of the documentation, or very little, but I'm sure The Kitchen has it should anyone ever want to re-examine.

I also produced a series for Experiments in Art and Technology (and then on
my own), before I went to The Kitchen. It was artists films and videotapes
that Billy Kluver and Julie had selected (Nancy Graves' Camels, Michael Snow, ...I
selected a fabulous tape of Eric Emerson singing at the cabaret at the
Mercer Street Art Center which I've always regretted not copying...and a fair amount of
video which I produced in the basement of Automation House (Trisha Brown, Gordon
Matta Clark, Tina Girouard, Richard Serra, Joan Jonas ...). The series was
called Art Works on TV, and I think it was the first such thing on Public
Access. Is that possible? At the time EAT was housed at Automation House and
involved with the idea of public access which had just begun. I arranged
screenings at bars that had cable since no one else did at the time.

Carlota Schoolman

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Subject: Re: Thanks!
Date: Sat, 03 Jun 2000 10:58:12 -0400
From: "Dean Evenson" <>
To: Davidson Gigliotti <>


Dear Davidson:

Thanks for getting it together! How can we help? We are right now working
on a video documentation of Tibetan monks about chanting and healing. They
stayed with us and did ceremonies in our little town by the bay. It will go
along with the 40 hours of footage from india and interview with H.H. the
Dalai Lama.

Dean and Dudley

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Subject: Early Video Project
Date: Thu, 01 Jun 2000 19:59:25 -0400
From: "Chuck Reti" <>


I just discovered your Early Video Project site, by way of Yahoo's Picks of
the Week newsletter. Great stuff! I've been in video since college days at
Wayne State Univ in Detroit 1966+++. Was particularly happy to see your
reference to Shamberg's "Guerilla Television." I have a pristine copy which
I procured, possibly from Shamberg himself, at the Alternative Media
Conference held at Goddard College in Vermont in June of 71 or 72 (it's a
bit of a foggy memory!). Recall also seeing/meeting some of the Videofreex
group there. I wonder how much if any of the hours of Bucky Fuller tapes I
saw there remains. I also have a copy of Shamberg's "Radical Software,
#5"(1972) which also delves deeply into the film and video resources then
available. If I find any material in my archives, print or video, that might
enhance your site, I'll be happy to pass it along.

Obviously no longer a student film/video maker, I'm plying my craft for
Corporate America at HQ of Kmart Corp. in Troy MI. Gotta pay the bills.
But it's still video and it's still fun to make!
Chuck Reti Detroit,MI

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Subject: early video project
Date: Sat, 20 May 2000 13:28:34 -0700
From: "Elayne Zalis" <>
To: <>

I just discovered the Early Video Project Web Site and am intrigued by the undertaking. With a Ph.D. in Video Art Studies and as the former Video Collection Archivist at the Long Beach Museum of Art, I am pleased to see video represented on the Web. I recommend that you add to the archival resources the collection at the Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach, CA. If you are unfamiliar with the National Moving Image Database (NAMID) at the American Film Institute in
Los Angeles, you might want to include that resource also. Contact Henry Mattoon, Director of NAMID,

Currently, I'm interested in examining what video art / independent media (not limited to early video, encompassing work produced through the 1980s and early 1990s as well) can offer producers and critics of new media, particularly in relation to experimental autobiographies/biographies/diaries/memoirs. I'm also interested in studying the evolution of selected videomakers who now work in new media. My focus has been on single-channel videos rather than on installations.

Good luck with your project, and let me know how it develops.

Elayne Zalis
Long Beach, CA


Subject:Videopolis tapes
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 19:39:45 -0500
From: Jack McFadden <>


Just dug out my carton of videotapes, thought you might like a sampler
of titles. A mix of 1/2 inch open reel (30 min.) and Beta tapes (dubs of
stuff produced originally on 1/2 inch). I have no way to play these and
can't recall what all titles mean, so a complete inventory would be
tough to create. Anyway, just for an idea:

1. "Ears" 3/18/75 - Chicago Jazz group
2. copy of Alternate Media Center (NYC, Red Burns/George Stoney)
Access Programs in 12 U.S. Cities" done for House Committee on
Communications 8/9/76
3. Oct. 1974 "Chagall Unveiled at Metro High School", Chicago
4. Moming Sampler (Chicago dance group)
5. Daley action (community group video)
6. "It's a Living" 1976 (I remember this one: shot & edited mainly by
Videopolis founder Anda Korsts at Maxwell Street flea market in Chicago
- a neat piece)
7. Barney (?)
8. Lakeview Community School

--UT School of Social Work (shot on first Beta portapak):
1. Stripmining & Impact on Campbell County
2. Return from Foster Care
3. Bobby and Mandy (mother & son from rural East Tennessee)

I've also got a ton of stuff on my (now 22 year old) daughter shot on
Beta, edited on Sony 8650 (1/2 inch open reel CrO2 editor) and dubbed back
onto Beta - from her birth in June 1978 to 1981. Man, I haven't thought
about this stuff for ages, but I can remember just what that 8650 deck looked
like and how much it weighed (55 pounds). Also remember my friend's
cracked windshield from the time he left a 12 volt NiCad 10 cell leather
case battery on his dashboard in the summer - it exploded in the heat.

Let me know when there'll be an opportunity to wax nostalgic about all
this. If you happen across Anda Korsts in this quest, I'd like to
know, too.

Jack 615-386-9520 home phone 615-383-7781 home fax

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© Davidson Gigliotti, 2000CE