Ken Marsh

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As the porta-pak emerged on the scene in New York City in the late 1960s, I was among those whose imaginations were set afire with dreams of an utopianesque mass and personal media. I had been exposed to the cinema verite work of Leacock-Pennebaker as an assistant editor in the early 1960s during a year leave of absense from Cooper Union. Finding the complexities of celluloid a turn off, my return to school was also a return to painting, the medium of expression I invariably return to again and again. In the late 60s, I met Eric Siegel, who turned me back on to the moving image, this time via magnetic tape and electronic cameras. As a close associate of David Cort, and collaborator with Howie Gutstadt, following the lead of Videofreex, Raindance and Global Village, I co-founded People's Video Theatre with Elliot Glass in 1970. Seeking an environment in which to do community television, I moved out of NYC to Woodstock in 1971 and set up Woodstock Community Video. There and in the area for the next 8 years, with help from both friends and others, among whom were Bob Dacey, Gary Hill, Toby Carey, Morty Schiff and many others who gave and took something from the experience, I developed and programmed a town cable-TV channel, produced annual video exhibitions, maintained a post-production studio for artists; and wrote two books, Independent Video and The Way The New Technology Works. With Elaine Milosh, my partner during this period, my daughter Katherine was created. I left the world of video upon leaving Woodstock in 1979, only to visit on occcasion cashing in on the currency of my place in its earlier history. I confess to entertaining periodic fantasies of future acts of video, but until then, I remain a retired video pioneer.