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ETC History 2009-10

The EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION CENTER was founded in 1971, an outgrowth of a media access program established by Ralph Hocking at Binghamton University in 1969; today, the Center continues to provide support and services to the media arts community. We offer an international Residency Program, Grants to individuals and media organizations, and Sponsorship assistance for independent media and film artists, as well as an online resource the Video History Project.

 

RESIDENCY PROGRAM

The RESIDENCY PROGRAM offers self-directed creative time to mediamakers from throughout the country. Since 1971 we have assisted over 1500 artists in the creation of works using new electronic video, sonic and digital technologies. Each year about 40 artists are invited to work in the studio, offering in a retreat-like workshop environment, access to an image processing system, intensive individualized instruction and time for exploration and personal creative growth. The system is a hybrid tool set, encouraging artists to create interactive relationships between older historically important analog instruments and new digital technologies, and to explore boundaries and intersections within narrative, documentary and experimental forms. With assistance from mediaThe foundation for the last several years, we have been able to continue to advance the digital components of the imaging system, incorporating several Apple computers, other sonic and control modules by Doepfer, interactive software including Max/MSP, Jitter and Pluggo as well as DVD authoring and editing software.

From over 80 applicants, 47 artists representing 13 states, as well as the UK, Norway, Sweden and Canada worked in the Residency Program. Residents this year included 99 Hooker (NJ); Mara Alper (NY); Kristen Anchor (MD); Elise Baldwin (CA); Marko Bandobranski (Sweden); Allison Berkoy (NY); Kjell Bjorgeengen (Norway); Jenna Bliss (NY); Peter Byrne (NY); Lana Caplan (MA); Juan Cisneros (TX); Dearraindrop (NY); Cecelia Dougherty (CT); Carola Dreidemie (TX); Darren Floyd (NY); Benj Gerdes (NY); Tim Geraghty  (NY); Alex Hahn (NY / Switzerland); Pamela Hawkins (NY); Allison Holt (MA); Sara Hornbacher (GA); Peter Kerlin (NY); Meg Knowles (NY); Katherine Liberovskaya (Canada); Justin Lincoln (VA); Terese Longva (Norway); Al Margolis (NY); Timm Mason (WA); Brian Milbrand (NY); Lee Montgomery (NM); Jared Nielsen (CA); Rebekka Palov (NY); Laura Paolini (Canada); Blithe Riley (NY); Julie Rooney (IN); Kamran Sadeghi (NY); Luke Schantz (NY); Tomas Stark (Sweden); Samuael Topiary (NY); Matt Underwood (RI); Roger Wyatt (NY); Frances Young (UK); Dustin Semel (OR); Greg Zifcak (CA).

Tapes produced at the Center were again included in exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe and on the Web. Recent exhibition venues have included Light Industry, Hallwalls, Le Petit Versailles Garden, Eyebeam and Issue Project Room as well as galleries in London, Paris, Berlin and Rome.  They have been selected for inclusion in exhibitions and festivals including Ladyfest:Toronto, Holland Video Festival, Mixology at Roulette, Boston Cyberarts Festival, the ArcheTime Video Festival, Video_Dumbo and the Yogya International Media Art Festival. Tapes are distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix, Filmmakers Coop, Drift Distribution, Facets, Microcinema International, Women Make Movies and many others. Artists working at the Center this year have received awards and recognition from State Arts Councils and numerous private foundations and have received awards and citations in festivals around the world.

Focused on our commitment to EDUCATION, we also participate in online salons hosted by media arts, information and advocacy groups. Through the Media Arts Technical Assistance Program we work with organizations from all regions of New York State to develop the media arts field. The Center also serves on an advisory for the New York State Media Arts Map, a comprehensive portal website for media arts in the State, www.nymediaartsmap.org. The website is produced by Rhizome and launched at Location One in Manhattan in December 2008. Through Technical Assistance ETC helped organizations attend several conferences and festivals including the AMIA Annual Conference, the 56th Flaherty Film Seminar, Art House Convergence at the Sundance Institute,  a membership convening of the Central NY Programmers Group, International Documentary Festival and the  NAMAC Leadership Institute.

 

 ARTISTS’ SPONSORSHIP

The Center serves as a SPONSORING ORGANIZATION for artists’ projects in the electronic and film arts, providing support services, assistance with development and fiscal and administrative management services. We sponsor about 20 projects each year.  In 2009-10 we helped artists to raise over $ 100,000 in support of independent media projects. Completed projects have seen worldwide exhibition and distribution, and have been supported by the NYS Council on the Arts, the Open Meadows Foundation, the Silverman Foundation and private contributors.

Past artists have included Irit Batsry, winner of the prestigious Bucksbaum Award for Neither There Nor Here, with a world premiere at the International Film Festival, Rotterdam and inclusion in the Whitney Biennial; Alan Berliner for The Sweetest Sound, featured on POV and for Wide Awake, screened at the Sundance Film Festival; Skip Blumberg for Untitled, a reimagining of a tape created by the artist in 1976; Slawomir Grunberg for the Emmy-award winning documentary School Prayer: A Community Divided; Alex Hahn for Propitious Stars and the Master of the Staring Eyes; Kristin Lucas for Supervision. These projects have been supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, Funding Exchange, NVR and the Distribution Fund, Creative Capital, New York Foundation for the Arts, Swiss Cultural Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and Khalid Shoman Foundation.

For 2009-10 the following artists have received awards from the New York State Council on the Arts. Benton Bainbridge for Brother Island, an experimental documentary installation, also supported by Eyebeam; Alan Berliner for Arithmetic, an installation that uses the basic functions of mathematics to explore a new way of thinking about the relationships between sounds and images; Janet Biggs for Fade to White, an exploration of loss and change in the high Arctic, premiering at Connor Gallery in Washington, and featured at the Mint Museum of Art (NC); Herb Brown for Oil and TV, an installation which updated his early 1960s paintings on glass installed in front of working video monitors which is distributed by BLT Gallery in New York; Ken Jacobs for The Nervous System, restorations and reimaginations of live cinema performances; Jeffrey Lerer for The Gilbert Hotel Project, a multidisciplinary immersive installation featuring the complete animation, along with drawings and sculptures; Jason Livingston for Interstate an experimental revisioning of an early open-reel video documentation of the Onondaga Nation's fight against New York State; Susan Muska and Greta Olafsdottir for Edie & Thea: A Very Long Engagement, a documentary portrait of a devoted lesbian couple in a long-term relationship. The work has received support from the Silverman Foundation and the Open Meadow Foundation in addition to NYSCA. The work has been shown at the Frameline Film Festival, the Hamptons International Film Festival and Image Out among many others and won numerous awards.

 

 

GRANTS PROGRAM

Since 1989 the Film and Electronic Arts GRANTS PROGRAM, has awarded over one million dollars to individual artists and arts organizations in the State.

Finishing Funds 2010 supported 22 new media, film and sonic art, web projects, performances, site-specific installations and interactive projects. This year’s requests totaled over $550,000 from artists in 25 counties across New York State. There was a 6% increase in the number of applicants. Finishing Funds is supported in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts and by mediaThe foundation.  For 21 years, the program has provided funds directly to New York State artists to assist with the completion of diverse and innovative projects which challenge the traditional boundaries of the media.

This year’s awards recognize work which is very diverse, encompassing web projects, animation, generative systems, public art and performances, and include experimental, documentary and narrative cinema and the sonic arts. The works approach a wide variety of topics including abolitionist movement in NYS, architecture, data as sonic information, visions of utopia, gays in Poland, portraiture and interactive theater.

The recipients of Finishing Funds 2010 awards are Kai Beverly-Whittemore (Body of Work), Michael Bosworth (installation for Beyond/In Western NY), Karen Brummund (Virtual Installation on the Built Environment), James Case Leal (The Republic of Heaven), Alex Chechile (Data Decay/Rebirth), Toni Dove (Lucid Possession), Max Goldfarb (Deep Cycle, Mobile Broadcast), Dara Greenwald (Spectres of Liberty: The Great Central Depot in the Open City), Slawomir Grunberg (Coming Out in Poland), Eunjung Hwang (Future Creatures), Jill Johnson-Price (Rheumers), Ernesto Klar (Luzes relacionais), William Lamson (A Burning Line), Marie Losier (The Ballad of Genesis P-orridge), Adriel Luis (USBuiLLD), Jamie O’Neil (Skippisox), David Sampliner (My Own Man), Paul Slocum (Conway's Game of Life Spacetime Visualization), Candace Thompson (Other People), Diertra Thompson (The New Sentence) and Mark Tribe (The Dystopia Files). With an award from mediaThe foundation, Finishing Funds is supporting an interactive performance Liminal by Angie Eng

This year’s peer review panel was composed of Meg Knowles of Buffalo and Kristin Lucas of Beacon.  Meg Knowles is an award winning documentary and experimental video artist whose work has been screened at festivals, galleries and museums including the Museum of Modern Art, the Dallas Film Festival, the Athens International Film & Video Festival as well as on Free Speech TV and PBS.  Meg is a Director and Producer for the Termite TV Collective and an Assistant Professor of Media Production at Buffalo State College. Kristin Lucas is a social practice artist who works primarily with electronic media. She is a faculty member of the Studio Art program at Bard College.

 

Presentation Funds provides support to New York State organizations for in-person appearances by film and media artists. The program brings innovative cinema programming, including independent film and media art, as well as audio installation works to new audiences and to underserved communities in all regions of the State. In addition, the program assists organizations which serve special constituencies and encourages the development of new presentation venues throughout the State.

In 2009-10 we provided assistance to 55 sponsoring organizations in 20 counties across New York State, where over 200 artists presented work to over 20,000 people, with additional cable and web audiences conservatively estimated at an additional 100,000. These organizations contributed over $ 700,000 toward these media exhibition projects.

This year’s recipients included Abrons Art Center, Anthology Film Archives, Anti-Social Music, Artists Space, Auburn Public Theater, Bronx Museum of Arts, Brooklyn Arts Council, Broome County Arts Council, Chelsea Art Museum, Chocolate Factory Theater, Cornell Cinema, Council on the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island, Crandall Public Library, Culture Push, Deep Listening Institute, Dumbo Arts Center, Electronic Arts Intermix, Emily Harvey Foundation, Experimental Intermedia Foundation, Felice Lesser Dance Theater, Filmmakers Cooperative, Forward Motion Theater, Foundation for the Advance of Dance, free103point9, George Eastman House, Hallwalls, Harvestworks, Here Arts Center, Ignivomous, Image Out, Institute for Electronic Arts, International Film Seminars, Issue Project Room, Kinetic Awareness Center, Loisaida Arts, Migrating Forms Festival, Millennium Film Workshop, MiShinnah Productions, New Dance Alliance, PS 122, Rattapallax,  Rhizome, Rivertown Film, Roulette, Schweinfurth Memorial Art Center, SITU, Squeaky Wheel, Summer School for the Arts, The Kitchen, The Tank, Ti-Ahwaga Theater, UnionDocs, University Art Museum and ZEYBRAH.

 

Now in its 10th year, the Media Arts Technical Assistance Fund is designed to strengthen media arts organizations in all areas regions of New York State. The Fund assists media arts organizations, their staff and board members in working with outside consultants on issues of organizational and professional development, as well as on research and planning for new program initiatives. The Fund is designed to advance leadership and management skills critical to a sustainable and vital media arts community. provides support for organizational and professional development, assisting organizations to enhance leadership and management skills critical to the vitality and longevity of those organizations and of the media arts community. Organizational Ddevelopment helps offers support groupsto stabilize, strengthen or restructure capacity and services.   Professional Development supports training and continuing education, through workshops as well as staff participation in media arts conferences, convening and festivals..  The Fund is supported by the Electronic Media and Film Program at the New York State Council on the Arts, a public agency.

Another important component of the Technical Assistance Program encourages the media arts community to convene and discuss issues which have bearing on the field’s vitality and longevity. Media Arts Breakfast Meetings and other gatherings Upstate are held on a regular basis to share visions and concerns.

In addition to direct support, Technical Assistance helps organizations to attend professional conferences, seminars and festivals. This year organizational representatives attended the 56th Annual Flaherty Film Seminar hosted by Colgate University, Art House Convergence at the Sundance Institute,  a membership convening of the Central NY Programmers Group, International Documentary Festival and the  NAMAC Leadership Institute, This year’s total request to Technical Assistance was over $ 150,000.

The program provided over $ 75,000 in support of requests from 48 organizations in 10 counties across the State. Organizations included American Documentary / POV, Anthology Film Archives, Art Mission, ArteEast, Breakthrough, BRIC, Center for Urban Pedagogy, Children's Media Project, Cinema Tropical, Cornell Cinema, Dance Films Association, Deep Dish Television, Electronic Arts Intermix, Film and Video Center at the Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, Filmmakers Coop, Foundation for Jewish Culture, Ghetto Film School, Harvestworks, Havana Film Festival, Independent Media Arts Preservation, International Black Film Festival, International Film Seminars, Maysles Institute, Media Rights, Millennium Film Workshop, MoMA, Paper Tiger TV, Rhizome at The New Museum, Roulette, Squeaky Wheel, Standby Program, Tribeca Film Institute, UnionDocs, Upstate Films and the Woodstock Film Festival,.

 

HISTORY and PRESERVATION

The Center is committed to the early HISTORY and PRESERVATION of media art. Housed at the Center is a collection of over 1000 videotapes which chronicle work produced here over the last 30 years. We are a founding member of Independent Media Arts Preservation, and past participants of the Regional Cataloging Initiative and the National Moving Image Database project of the American Film Institute.

Begun in 1994, the Video History Project is an online research initiative which reflects the complex evolution of the media arts field, the multiple and interrelated histories of the media arts field, and encourages a collective voice in the crafting of our histories.

The goals of the Video History Project are: to provide a dynamic vehicle for the creation and dissemination of an inclusive media history, crafted by those who are shaping it; To further the critical discourse among scholars and historians engaged with the study of the origins of media art; To capture the cultural environment, technological visions of individuals, and the modes of institutional support present during the early developmental years of media; To raise cultural awareness of the origins of media art; To increase public awareness of and appreciation for media history throughout the State and internationally. Goals are realized in an interrelated set of activities combining research and scholarship, through the enrichment of History Web content, and as collaborative projects supporting issues in electronic moving image preservation through the hosting of conferences and seminars.

The first conference, Video History: Making Connections, (1998) brought together over 250 pioneering practitioners and contemporary artists working in new media and interactive technologies.  In June 2002, the Center invited over 60 media arts professionals, conservators, technical experts, and artists to gather at the historic firehouse home of Downtown Community TV Center in New York for Looking Back/Looking Forward, a two-day working symposium on moving image preservation. The symposium was organized by the Experimental Television Center, in association with Independent Media Arts Preservation (IMAP) and Bay Area Video Coalition. Focused on the physical preservation of independent electronic media works and related issues concerning tools and ephemera, Looking Back/Looking Forward facilitated an honest and sometimes disturbing evaluation of our progress as a field and informed discussion about necessary and realistic initiatives and partnerships. The edited proceedings and reports are posted on the Experimental Television Center’s Video History site.

Research and scholarship is an important aspect of our program. We contributed to Playback: Preserving Analog Video, a DVD produced by BAVC (2003) with major support from the National Endowment for the Arts. We provided research into the early commercial video recorders relying on original manuscripts, technical data, and product literature, as well as photo and video documentation of the early equipment.

The Preservation area of the Video History website contains two commissioned texts. Video Preservation: The Basics (2000, 2002) by Sherry Miller Hocking and Mona Jimenez, and Reel to Real: A Case Study of BAVC’s Remastering Facility (2002) written by Luke Hones, and edited by Sherry Miller Hocking and Mona Jimenez. The Preservation resource area also contains a selection of historically important texts concerning early efforts at media preservation.

In 2003 we completed a CD Early Media Instruments featuring a database of significant imaging devices which played a critical role in the historical development of independent media art. The database contains photographs of the devices, examples of product literature, as well as texts and manuscripts describing the tools. The devices include video, audio and computer-based tools, both commercially available and designed by artists and engineers. The CD was featured in a three month long exhibition “Origins” at ArtsInteractive Gallery, curated by Mary Ann Kearns for the Cyberfest in Boston, along with representative tools from the era of the early 1970s.

The focus since 2000 has been on the continued enrichment of content on the Video History Web and the development and implementation of collaborative strategies for advancement of electronic moving image preservation resources and tools. The Video History Web functions as a both a dynamic and interactive on-going research collection and dissemination vehicle for media professionals, educators, and media programmers as well as the general public. Resources include critical essays, manuscripts, interviews, biographies, an extensive bibliography with nearly 3000 entries and information on collections, distribution, tools, preservation, organizations, and individuals. Visitors can generate a timeline of events in media arts history, or view the events within a defined range. Visitors are encouraged to contributed information and texts concerning the evolution of media art and community television. 

The fully searchable site structure serves information contained in 12 databases holding over 6000 records. Results are reported topically, organized by resource area. The search function allows visitors to search all of the records, encouraging the visitor to discover broad interconnections among people, places and events.

This year the site had hundreds of thousands of visitors. It is a resource used by researchers, historians, artists, archives and video enthusiasts. We routinely respond to queries from researchers, scholars, educators and home enthusiast. The site has been an important tool for a range of activities – including original research for writing of books, catalogs and monographs; a method for locating primary source materials; a way for people to locate others they have lost contact with over the years; a source for preservation information.

In 2004-06 the Daniel Langlois Foundation for the Arts assisted with the continued development of the Video History Website. The Foundation supported eight organizations that encourage the meeting of art and science in the field of technologies. The Foundation received 168 submissions in response to its call for proposals within this program, of which eight were selected: four from Canada, two from the United States, one from India and one from Peru.  With the assistance of the Langlois Foundation, as well as of the New York State Council on the Arts, we are focused presently on early video/media instruments - those tools designed individually or by artists and technologists working collaboratively, as well as innovative commercial devices. This research links associated texts, documentation, technical data, maker biographies and interviews, and tapes produced on these systems.  Content derives from our tool and paper archives. We are also photographing the devices, and scanning associated texts, documentation, and ephemera related to events which include posters, exhibition program notes, exhibition catalogs; and audio and video interviews. The data is being published on the History Project Website.

We are collaborating with Kathy High of Rensselaer Polytech and Mona Jimenez of New York University on a book to be published in association with Felix: A Journal of Media Art and Communication. This project has received support from the NEA. The intent is to draw into the discussion new makers who have a relationship with analog devices either as part of their art practice or as an essential element of their conceptual base, and new media artists whose conceptual approaches are similar to those of early media practitioners.

The National Television and Video Preservation Foundation provided in-kind support in 2004-05 to preserve and remaster 10 hours of very early videotapes from the Center’s collection; the works were produced in the 1970s and showcase early analog and digital video imaging tools. The project focused on those instruments - tools individually designed by artists and the collaboration of artists and engineers/technologists, modifications to existing technology, and innovative applications of commercial technology – and the collaborative relationships between artists and engineers, and the interdisciplinary nature of early media arts practice. The tapes feature important early video devices designed in the early to mid 1970s, including those created by Nam June Paik (wobbulator or scan processor, and the construction of the Paik/Abe Video Synthesizer and its use with the TV Bed, exhibited at the Everson Museum in 1972), David Jones, Bill Hearn, Steve Rutt and Bill Etra, Dr. Don McArthur, the Vasulkas and Dan Sandin. We have informational materials, technical information, ephemera including early posters and programs, and photographs related to the tools. 

We received an Artist in Residence Award from the Institute for Electronic Arts (2005-07) for the creation of series of 10 DVDs – Early Media Instruments - which document the operation of artists’ designed instruments, including the Paik/Abe Video Synthesizer, Paik Raster Manipulation Unit, Rutt/Etra, Sandin Image Processor, Jones Colorizer, Frame Buffer, Keyer and Sequencer. This set is distributed by Dave Jones Design.

We continue to work on the Migrating Media project, a partnership of Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Squeaky Wheel, Burchfield Penney Art Center and the Experimental Television Center. The project was developed as a model for new ways to prepare older media for a digital future ensuring a vital contemporary presence for the moving image art of the late 20th century. Migrating Media offers non-profit arts and cultural organizations in Upstate New York a forward-looking and efficient means to safeguard significant video collections of tapes that would otherwise be lost. Please see http://migratingmedianet.org for more information.

We have released Experimental Television Center: 1969-2009 a 5 DVD set with 130 page catalog of works created at the Residency Program over the last 40 years.  The project manager was Aaron Miller, and the Designer Diane Bertolo and was supported in part by the Digitization Project of the New York State Council on the Arts and mediaThe foundation. The set is distributed by Electronic Arts Intermix.

 

 

               The Center's programs are supported by the Electronic Media and Film Program at the New York State Council on the Arts • Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science, and Technology • Media Arts Program of the National Endowment for the Arts • mediaThe foundation • NYS Challenge Grant Program • The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts • the New York Foundation for the Arts • Media Action Grant Program of Media Alliance • Institute for Electronic Arts at Alfred University • Everson Museum of Art • IMAP • BAVC • VidiPax • and by corporate support from Dave Jones Design • Black Hammer Productions  •  the contributions of many individual artists