Various - U.S. Express - 1980's Video Art (2005)

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U.S. EXPRESS : 1980s
8 videos 88 minutes

1. CASCADE (Vertical Landscapes)
MICA TV – Michael Owen & Carole Ann Klonarides 6:30 1988

Landscapes are usually horizontal, but from MICA-TV’s perspective landscapes cascade
vertically, putting the viewer in a seamless freefall. Collaborating with artists Dike Blair,
Dan Graham, and Christian Marclay, MICA-TV created a postmodern depiction of the
contemporary American landscape, a technical and artistic achievement that was way
before its time. Michael Owen and Carole Ann Klonarides began MICA-TV in 1980, and
produced several award-winning, witty and technically sophisticated tapes until 1993.
Their work often mimics TV formats, subverting them in the service of contemporary art.

2. Pick Up Your Feet: The Double Dutch Show
Skip Blumberg 28:20 1981

Skip Blumberg developed his own form of reality TV using the attributes of the video
medium to capture the essence of his subjects. Blumberg aims to “warm up the cool
medium of television,” focusing on action, gesture, personality and the natural humor of
real life. Pick Up Your Feet is a quintessential example of this; it’s an entertaining, classic
documentary video about personal achievement and teamwork, featuring the Fantastic
Four and other championship rope jumping teams.

3. Instant This: Instant That
TwinArt 3:57 1980

Just before MTV began, TwinArt made this early music video. The tape chronicles a day in
the lives of the very stylish Nancy and Susie TwinArt and simultaneously celebrates and
lampoons America’s superficial materialistic culture. TwinArt is the bi-coastal Emmy-
award-winning designer/director team, Ellen Kahn & Lynda Kahn (real life identical twins).
Their work has been exhibited internationally in museums and galleries such as the
Whitney Museum (NY), The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Pompidou Center in Paris.

4. Three Drugs (Abused by Americans)
Chip Lord 2:15 1983

Chip Lord’s work merges social observation with a dry, sardonic humor in this ersatz
commercial spot that darkly defines our pleasures as addictions. Like other video artists,
he subverts TV formats to critique contemporary pop culture and everyday life. Lord is a
prolific video artist who has produced both single-channel videos and installations; he was
a founder of Ant Farm and is the Chair of the Department of Film and Digital Media at the
University of California, Santa Cruz.

5, Love Tapes in New York (excerpts)
Wendy Clarke 13:45 1980

Black & white.
An interactive video booth in the lobby of the World Trade Center twin towers yielded 357
3-minute “love tapes,” tender to rough expressions of and about love. This edit contains
excerpts from 10 of the people who recorded their very personal messages to the world.
Wendy Clarke has produced many interactive video installations in public spaces around
the world and several tapes (including more than 2500 Love Tapes). She has received
numerous awards for her videos including grants from the National Endowment for the
Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation. She also makes wearable art.

6. World Eskimo-Indian Olympics (excerpt)
Skip Blumberg 2:30 1983

This excerpt from a half-hour arctic sports spectacular features such sports as blanket
toss, knuckle hop and high kicks, in an effort by an indigenous people to keep their culture
alive.

7. Flying Morning Glory (on fire)
Skip Blumberg 4:00 1985

This tape is a zany, hot, performance cooking video recorded in the Phitsanuluk, Thailand
market. The video’s playful approach to the magnanimous chef delights the viewer and
encourages us to see the magic in the mundane (and to make our own magic).

8. Bye Bye Kipling (Remix)
Nam June Paik 24:45 1986/2004

Nam June is considered the “father of video art.” Bye Bye Kipling was Paik’s second
multicultural live TV satellite special. Today it looks like an early form of channel surfing.
Cultures clash and blend in an international multi-media performance art video variety
show extravaganza, conceived and coordinated by video ringmaster Nam June Paik! With
Keith Haring, Dick Cavett, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Paul Garrin, Kit Fitzgerald, Dan Sandin, the
Phillip Glass Ensemble, Shigeko Kubota’s Sado Island, Dean Winkler’s Celerity, Skip
Blumberg’s Seoul Brother Report, Betsy Connors, Yion Yon Kim, Kyung-Hwa Chung, the
Alvin Ailey Repertory Dance Ensemble, Sankai Juku, Robin Byrd, Konishiki, David Van
Teighem, Samul-Nori, Issay Miyake, Arata Isozaki, Arman, the Lou Reed Band, Mary
Perillo, Jon Sanborn, Calvin Tompkins, Roger Angell, elephant races and incendiary
videographics. Produced by Carol Brandenburg. Condensed from a 90-minute show that
was broadcast worldwide live from Tokyo, Seoul and New York on October 4 in North
America and simultaneously in Asia on October 5, 1986.




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