Sunday, May 24, 2009

Artists Television Network: Archive at U of Iowa

I discovered an online inventory of videos in the Artists Television Network (ATN) Archive at the University of Iowa, where I earned my PhD. I worked with this collection -- and with the extensive collection of related paper documents -- while I was a grad student and created a catalogue of my own. I often wondered what happened to those videos. I'm glad they've been preserved and made available to researchers. A sampling of videos can be previewed in the Iowa Digital Library, although permission is evidently required, since I could not access the clips.

From the Web site:

The Artists Television Network (ATN) was an artists' organization that aired video art, performances, interviews, music videos, and a variety show series from 1976 through 1983 on Manhattan Cable Television. The station sought not only to bring art into viewers homes and to explore the possibilities of a new art venue, but also to counter-act and speak out against the commercialization and anti-democratization of cable television as a social space. The collection offers an intimate look into the convergence of Modern and Post-Modern art making tendencies within the then experimental medium of video. Formalist pursuit of deviation, anti-form, Fluxus, social activism, and the no wave punk movement all played a role in exploring the boundaries video and of broadcast television.

ATN was discontinued in 1984, and the video archive was donated to the University of Iowa in 1986. The Artists Televsion Project was then formed. I worked with Hans Breder and Herman Rapaport on that project.

No comments: