Re: The Tank

From: Susan Agliata (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Aug 22 2006 - 11:34:10 PDT

I have only recently taken on the task of programming the New York
Experimental Film + Video series at The Tank and am not familiar with
either the founding members of the collective or previous
screening/exhibition programs. I deal only with the film/video director
on a limited basis and the screenings that I organize are completely
independent from their other programming. I regret to hear of any
negative professional experiences with the organization.

I would like to emphasize that at New York Experimental screenings the
proceeds of the ticket sales that are due to the artist/filmmaker are
given directly to them at the event. Furthermore, no artist will be
turned down if they are unable to pay the submission fee. Beyond my own
volunteer programming work I know nothing of the other activities of The

My only goal in this endeavor is to screen experimental films and videos,
with a focus on emerging artists, to the general public at an affordable
price. I do this on a volunteer basis simply because of a love for
experimental film and video, and as previously stated reap no financial
benefits. If at some point attendance to the screenings increases and is
consistent perhaps the submission fee could be reconsidered, but at this
point that does not seem to be a possibility.

Each filmmaker/artist has different expectations and requirements in
regards to festivals and screenings. Many are willing to pay $40.00 to
submit to the Ann Arbor Film Festival and others are not. Each individual
will find the festivals and screenings that appeal to them in regards both
cultural context and personal conscious and that is what makes an artistic
community diverse.

While I understand that dialogue concerning submission fees and
professional relationships with such organizations is integral to the
greater community, I do hope that this small screening series can be
appreciated for what I hoped it would be: an opportunity for the general
public to see underrepresented moving picture works and provide an
opportunity to emerging and established artists, no more and no less.

Susan Agliata
The Tank: New York Experimental
email suppressed
> Just so you all know, I once curated a video art show at Spaceworks @
> the Tank and was guaranteed
> payment for two artists.  The rest of my money for the exhibition came
> out of my pocket. One was an artist
> who had recently moved to the U.S. from Asia and who was supporting a
> new family, the other someone who couldn't
> afford airfare and who flew in to perform an evening of music upstairs
> at the Tank that brought in a full paying
> audience.  They did not pay either one the nomimal fee promised, and
> that happened after both artists participated
> in the show.   I happen to know that one of the members of the
> collective had made some big mistakes with
> money in unrelated matters.  Not only did this harm my professional
> reputation -- somehow the collective at
> the Tank managed to portray me as being in the wrong. The shows was
> popular - the opening screening had
> many who stayed and watched for hours.   Additionally, the staff waited
> until just days before the event to clean up the room for
> the screening, and installation-wise they did not follow through with
> anything near what they had promised in the
> weeks and weeks of meetings and prep together.  The Tank not only
> never paid the artists what they had
> promised, they removed the show, Dialogue with Pop, from their archive
> listing because I was so mad about this.
> Meanwhile I had to scramble to do damage control.  Fortunately I have
> screenshots that it existed.
> One of my worst professional experiences.
> On Monday, August 21, 2006, at 10:46  AM, Susan Agliata wrote:
>> Hello,
>> I would like to clarify the mission of The Tank and address some
>> issues a
>> few individuals seem to have with the submission process:
>> The Tank is a not-for-profit organization for the visual and performing
>> arts and operates with an almost entirely volunteer staff to program,
>> manage, and maintain the venue. New works find a home here, artists
>> find
>> an environment where they can create as well as present, and audiences
>> find welcoming ticket prices to a dynamic schedule that has given
>> unconventional programming a stage in the heart of Manhattan.
>> The Tank keeps only a very small percentage of the ticket sales to the
>> screenings and the remainder is given DIRECTLY to the
>> artists/filmmakers.
>> Once again, the programmers/organizers do not receive financial
>> compensation.
>> A submission fee for festivals and screening opportunities is standard
>> practice and is necessary to pay bills and rent for running a monthly
>> screening in Tribeca.  All submission fees go directly towards
>> maintenance
>> of the venue and once again the organizers are not compensated
>> financially
>> through these fees.
>> It is truly disheartening to me that this has been met with such
>> cynical
>> criticism.  The Tank is merely one venue of a community of non-profit
>> organizations dedicated to screening underrepresented experimental film
>> and video to the public on a continuing basis, and it is integral that
>> this endeavor is sustained through the support of the greater
>> experimental
>> moving picture community.
>> --
>> Susan Agliata
>> The Tank: New York Experimental
>> email suppressed
>> __________________________________________________________________
>> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.