Videofreex Archive

Videofreex, one of the first video collectives, was founded in 1969 by David Cort, Mary Curtis Ratcliff and Parry Teasdale, after David and Parry met each other, video cameras in hand, at the Woodstock Music Festival. The group soon grew to ten full-time members--including Chuck Kennedy, Nancy Cain, Skip Blumberg, Davidson Gigliotti, Carol Vontobel, Bart Friedman and Ann Woodward--and produced tapes, installations and multimedia events. In 1971 the Freex moved to a 17-room, former boarding house called Maple Tree Farm in Lanesville, NY, operating one of the earliest media centers. Their innovative programming ranged from artists' tapes and performances to behind-the-scenes coverage of national politics and alternate culture. During the decade that the Freex were together, this pioneer video group amassed an archive of 1,500+ raw tapes and edits.

The Videofreex Archive, now housed at VDB, chronicles the counter-cultural movement of the 1960s and 1970s. The titles listed here are the early results of an ongoing project to preserve and digitize important examples of this early video art collective.

 

More About the Videofreex Archive Preservation

 

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In October 1969, the Videofreex visited the home of wealthy political and social activist, Lucy Montgomery, as she was hosting the Black Panther Party of Chicago during one of their most fraught times — the period just after Chairman Bobby Seale was...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: activism, documentation, interview, journalism, politics, television

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In October 1969, the Videofreex visited the home of wealthy political and social activist, Lucy Montgomery, as she was hosting the Black Panther Party of Chicago during one of their most fraught times – the period just after Chairman Bobby Seale was...

 

Collection: New Releases, Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: activism, african-american, documentation, interview, journalism, politics, social justice, television

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Eerily drifting through soft fades, superimposed images, close-ups, and visual feedback, this tape follows less a narrative structure and more a stringing together of seemingly random activities, set against two very different soundtracks. The video...

 

Collection: New Releases, Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: documentation, gender, labor

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“Trolling for news we call it,” says Bart Friedman a minute into this video, as he pushes down a road the Lanesville TV News Buggy – a baby carriage filled with video equipment, spilling over with wires. The buggy allows for easy transportation of...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: art collective, documentation, interview, television

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Less than two minutes long, this short tape makes playful and surreal use of video’s editing capabilities. Set to a sped-up version of The Band’s “The Weight” – complete with the falsetto vocals, and accelerated tempo that come with time...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: art collective, humor, image processing, performance, technology

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A collage of informal interviews and short clips, this collection of material comes from guerilla TV excursions at the 1976 Democratic National Convention. Conducted off hand, usually amidst crowds of other journalists, the footage oscillates...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: activism, interview, journalism, politics, technology

1972 | 17:20
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Simultaneously dark, surreal, and unnerving, this seventeen-minute tape is a stark departure from the usually playful productions of the Videofreex. Through the use of slow fades, processed audio, and the juxtaposition of often-times violent imagery...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: art collective, image processing

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In this March 9th, 1974 episode of Lanesville TV, the Videofreex screen their recently shot ringside footage from a boxing match that took place over the weekend in Marion Square Gardens of nearby Tannersville, NY. The event, which pitted (volunteer...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: documentation, television

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This tape, shot at the YMCA in Rochester, New York on July 18th, 1971, preserves the informal and communal atmosphere of an event known as the Women’s Conference. The participants, predominantly young white women, appearing to be in their early...

 

Collection: Videofreex Archive, Single Titles

Tags: activism, documentation, feminism