Skip Blumberg

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Video Artist/Independent Television Producer "I want to warm up the cool medium of television." Skip Blumberg is one of the original video artists, picking up the Sony Video Rover (reel-to-reel/ b&w) when it was first introduced in the 1960's. He is producer/director of TV shows and segments about contemporary culture and performance around the world. His first video's were impressionist and experiential explorations of the video screen and the new video medium ("JGLNG" and "The First International Whistling Show"). In the thriving art community in New York City in the 1970's, he participated in the earliest video production groups (Ant Farm, TVTV, Videofreex/Media Bus, Portable Channel, Paper Tiger TV), and their happenings, exhibitions, and events. He was a pioneer in video documentary: process video (lost tapes of the early 1970's), non-fiction TV ("Four More Years"), video verite ("When I was a worker like Laverne"), sit-doc ("Earle Murphy's Winter Olympics") and other new formats unique to video. Recognizing the impact of television as a mass medium, he experimented with live broadcast TV: Lanesville TV (a pirate TV station in upstate NY), "The 5-Day Bicycle Race" (Image Union's 5-night live cable TV coverage of the 1976 Presidential convention), and Nam June Paik's live multi country satellite TV extravaganzas. As President of Media Bus, Inc, he administered a non-profit media arts center and helped start local cable access channels. In addition to curating video art shows both in galleries ("Image Union" at the Whitney Museum of American Art) and traveling exhibitions ("Foreign Correspondence: Central America" and "U.S. Express: American video artists look at American culture"), Blumberg has produced media art events (including a dozen "Camcorder Scavenger Hunts" and "Dance/Video/Games" at the Atlanta Art Festival). His video installations have been at The Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), the Crystal Court at the IDS Center (Minneapolis), and at the Videomedien at the Berlin Film Festival. After working briefly as an engineer at KQED-TV in San Francisco, Blumberg began actively independently producing international cultural documentaries (such as "Elephant Games" and the classic documentary video "Pick Up Your Feet: the Double Dutch Show") and avant-garde performance videos. (including his Great Performances/Dance-in-America production of "In Motion with Michael Moschen" and "Alive from Off-Center" shows and shorts with Spalding Gray, Blondell Cummings, Brenda Bufalino, Keith Terry, Women of the Calabash, Robert LaFosse, Harold Nicholas, Steve "Wiggles" Clemente and others). Skip Blumberg's independently produced TV programs and shorts have appeared on PBS, Showtime, Disney Channel, The Learning Channel, USA Cable Network, and other networks. Blumberg has produced more than one hundred short camcorder reports on cultural phenomena for PBS series ("The 90's," and "Weekend TV") as well as cable networks ("National Geographic Explorer" and the Sci-fi Channel's "Inside Space") and independent TV stations ("Chicago Slices" on WPWR-TV). The TV programs have won critical acclaim and a wide variety of awards including NYC EMMY's for Camera, Editing and Best Sports Show, National Black Programing Consortium Award, Corporation for Public Broadcasting Best Local Show, Ohio State Journalism Award, Best of Festival at the NYC Documentary Festival and the Atlanta Film Festival, and a Blue Ribbon at the San Mateo County Fair and Flower Fiesta. His works were screened at the Arizona Film Festival (Tucson, 2003), ILJU Art House Archive (Seoul South Korea, 2002), Palm Beach Art Institute (Florida, 2001), Anthology Film Archives & Museum of Radio and TV (NYC, 1999), Transmediale (Berlin, 1998), Columbia County (NY) Film Fest (1998), Dallas Video Festival (1997), Video Shorts (Seattle, 1996), New York Film Festival (1992 and 1995), City Lore "City Streets" Film Festival (1994), Copenhagen Film Festival (1994), NY Underground Film Festival (1994), in retrospectives at the Berlin Film Festival Videofest (1989) and the Rotterdam Film Festival (1988), in one-person exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art and the International Center of Photography, and are in the permanent collections of Museum of Modern Art (NYC), Centre Pompidou, Museum of Radio and TV, Museum of Broadcasting , National Museum of the American Indian, Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library, Walker Art Center, Everson Museum of Art and others. Feature articles about Blumberg have appeared in VIDEOGRAPHY, VIDEO PRO, INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY, VIDEOMAKER, THE INDEPENDENT, CURRENT, and AMERICAN FILM magazines. Blumberg was selected for the ESQUIRE MAGAZINE 1984 REGISTER OF OUTSTANDING YOUNG AMERICANS. He is the keynote speaker at the 2003 Videomaker Expo in the Meadowlands Arena. Blumberg has received numerous grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the New York State Foundation for the Arts and from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Weekend in Moscow received support from the Experimental Television Center's Finishing Funds Program in 1993. He has been artist-in-residence at WNET/13 (NYC), WXXI (Rochester), WCNY (Syracuse), KCTA (Twin Cities), and the Lake Placid Winter Olympics. He attended summer dance/video programs at Sundance Institute and taught at the University of Hawaii Summer Film and Video Institute. Weekends in Moscow is distributed by Video Data Bank.