Film and video-maker friends, Bogliasco Foundation wants YOU to apply for a fellowship on the Italian Riviera. What are you waiting for? April 15, 2012 is the deadline for the winter-spring semester 2013.
Located in the village of Bogliasco, the Liguria Study Center provides residential fellowships for qualified persons working on advanced creative or scholarly projects in the arts and humanities. The Study Center is one of the few residential institutions in the world dedicated exclusively to the humanistic disciplines: Archaeology, Architecture/Landscape Architecture, Classics, Dance, Film/Video, History, Literature, Music, Philosophy, Theater, and the Visual Arts.
I recently joined the Bogliaco Fellowship Advisory Committee, and would like nothing more than to see more moving image artists take advantage of this singular program!
And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, Well…How did I get here?
– Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime (1984)
Presently, I am having the above awakening. It’s as though I aged from 14 to 40 in a flash, and all the memories in between were accidentally deleted from my hard drive. How did I get here? What am I expected to do? Whose house is this, and most importantly, who are these people in the house? They’re freaking me out.
It’s often assumed that artists are exempt from the social realities of adulthood, jobs, parenthood, finances, and civic duty. Not so. Increasingly, artists are grappling with the challenge of being creative persons with unavoidably uncreative roles within society. Few well-known Western artists have escaped dependence on civilization and the rules of participation. (Even Gauguin failed in his attempt to escape Europe for the perceived Utopia of Polynesia, where he ultimately found that societal laws applied there too– he died just prior to serving a three month prison sentence for breaking local ordinances.) Read my q and a with husband and wife artist collaborators, Jennifer & Kevin McCoy on glasstire.com.
“There’s slime in the ice machine” is a Houston saying made popular by the late TV personality Marvin Zindler, a white-suited, surgically-enhanced, makeup wearing investigative reporter cum restaurant inspector for KTRK Channel 13. “Slime” was the worst offense a food establishment could perpetrate; fashion was perhaps Zindler’s. I invoke Marvin Zindler in order to write about Buffet DVD, Volume 1, a DVD magazine of short artist-made videos, because they both address food, Houston and breaking the mold, so-to-speak.
Buffet, Volume 1 features 13 artist-made videos related to Houston and food, plus interstitials (shot at Luby’s, Fiesta, Sengelmann Hall and a private kitchen) made by the creators of the DVD, artists Kelly Pike, Kara Hearn and Sasha Dela (I appear as a grocery shopper at Fiesta, however, the producers did not buy my groceries in exchange for this review). The self-titled “Buffet Chefs” describe Houston as “an endless sterno-warmed parade of variety (food, weather, culture).” It’s the perfect environment to grow cultures. The side of Houston that “Buffet” hopes to capture with this first release is the city where one can establish a career as a respected reporter while dressed as a dandy, build an amusement park in tribute to oranges, or barbeque on your car’s engine without worry. Read the rest of this review on Glasstire.com.
Thinking of Doug Michels made me think of Andy Mann, the person who introduced me to Doug, and the whole history of video art, for that matter. Andy, an early video pioneer, left his entire video collection to Aurora Picture Show, the organization I founded. We were close friends from the time we met (circa 1996) till his death from pancreatic cancer in 2001. This winter, the Andy Mann Video Tree was lovingly recreated by friends at Discovery Green Park.
There is no question that Andy Mann was one of the seminal figures in the early video scene, in particular for his remarkable “street tapes” which continued and amplified a tradition in film history marked by such works as Helen Leavitt’s In the Street.–Gene Youngblood, author Expanded Cinema
Andy Mann’s videotapes are classic examples of the “street tape” genre-a video equivalent of “cinema verite,” drawn directly from life, with a minimum of staging, acting or editing. The direct, candid style of Mann’s tapes reflects the enthusiasm sparked by the new equipment amongst a whole generation of first-time video users; the possibility of capturing subjective experiences and details of the world in which one lived was tremendously exciting at that time, and was reason enough to go out and shoot a video.–Video Data Bank, Chicago
The late media artist Andy Mann (1947-2001) was born in Manhattan, grew up in Yonkers, and, as an alternative to completing a high school term paper on Ayn Rand, joined the Navy in 1965. During his time in the Navy, he worked on several submarines as a sonar technician, which introduced him to electronics and a different way of looking at video. Mann described the images as being “like watching a kind of abstract television,” and credits his technical training as his introduction to good camerawork.
In 1969 Mann moved to Manhattan and began attending NYU, where he quickly became associated with several historic video collectives such as Global Village, Raindance, Perception, Videofreex, and TVTV (Top Value Television), as well as a contributor to the video art magazine Radical Software, founded in 1970. Mann also acted as video documentarian for performances by artists Hannah Wilke and Chris Burden, and interviewed subjects such as Phil Ochs, Mark Lombardi, and Fennie Shakur.
Recognized for his groundbreaking camerawork, Mann was one of the earlier artists in the US to receive grant funds from the National Endowment for the Arts to produce video art (1975 and 1978). His videos were included in the 1973 and 1975 Whitney Biennials at The Whitney Museum of American Art; the 1973 Sao Paulo Bienal; the 1977 Documenta VI, Kassell, Germany; as well as exhibitions at the Walker Art Center; Los Angeles County Museum of Modern Art; and Leo Castelli Gallery. Mann moved to Houston in the 1980s and began working in video installation and public sculpture. He was a producer for Access Houston cable since its 1987 inception, hosting a hybrid live video art program/talk show. Mann continued to produce videotapes until a few weeks before his death in 2001.
There is an excellent interview with Andy on Davidson Gigliotti’s site “The Early Video Project.”