Re: looking for good intro text

From: Bernard Roddy (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Dec 04 2009 - 12:30:44 PST

Thank you, guys.

In contrast to my dream list a while back this title makes obvious educational and financial sense, particularly if the history of video art in the U.S. and Canada were covered (Experimental Television Center, Video Data Bank, Electronic Arts Intermix, VTape, Bay Area Video Coalition, Visual Studies Workshop, etc. etc.). This could be an inquiry into course packs, but it's ridiculous we still have to rely on that. We're not talking here about graduate education, where course packs are understandable. A published text book signals to new students that there is a credible discipline. Such a text would not be some final authority, but would provide a variety of entry points for different kinds of courses taught by faculty who work in film or video and who share a particular orientation toward art and art history. For me it is essential that there be a theoretical basis that motivates insisting on individual practices. David James would be ideal where
 film is concerned. Where video is concerned this is an even greater challenge. But such a text also requires the pen of someone who has weathered the storms of actual practice. Scott MacDonald comes very close. But he seems engaged in a kind of archeology of cinema at the expense of video.

It seems that whenever I search for such a text I am either reading about British work and/or reading the writing of artists about their own work (criticism/journalism). When I consider extremely accomplished thinkers the work discussed is not avant-garde (and here the term must retain its radical edge) and/or it is serious scholarship.


--- On Fri, 12/4/09, Jonathan Walley <email suppressed> wrote:

> From: Jonathan Walley <email suppressed>
> Subject: Re: looking for good intro text
> To: email suppressed
> Date: Friday, December 4, 2009, 12:58 PM
> Brett is absolutely right about Renan's book. I
> didn't mention it because it ends at 1967 (obviously). A
> somewhat "journalistic" account, but an easy and
> entertaining read. Renan's enthusiasm for the subject,
> unadorned by a lot of theoretical jargon, is
> refreshing.
> JW
> Jonathan
> WalleyAssistant Professor, Department of
> CinemaDenison UniversityGranville,
> Ohio 43203
> On Dec 4, 2009, at 12:10 PM, Brett Kashmere
> wrote:
> It's
> not perfect, and it's probably no longer in print, but
> I've always been partial to Sheldon Renan's "An
> Introduction to the American Underground Film"
> (1967). 
> It's written in a straight-forward manner and
> covers a pretty wide range of filmmakers and trends,
> including some consideration of expanded cinema, intermedia
> performance, computer films, etc, towards the end.
> I
> don't remember exactly, but I believe there is also some
> attention given to developments in the distribution and
> exhibition of avant-garde films, and to publications like
> Film Culture.
> Brett
> KashmerePittsburgh 
> ----------------
> Date:    Thu, 3
> Dec 2009 19:25:44 -0800From:    Bernard
> Roddy <email suppressed>Subject:
> looking for good intro text
> Greetings,
> frameworkers:
> Can
> anyone think of an introductory text that combines a history
> of experimental film and video IN THE U.S. with a strong
> discussion of the history of artists' organizing,
> writing, and distribution IN THE US? 
> For
> Great Britain there's David Curtis' A History of
> Artists' Film and Video in Britain.  This has the
> distinct advantage of combining film and video art criticism
> with strong (and introductory) writing about the social
> history behind production, distribution, and critical
> reception. 
> It includes discussion of "little
> magazines," the "schooling" of film artists,
> institutional support for artists' work in film such as
> the Experimental Film Fund and the Arts Council, as well as
> issues motivating and confronting artists' organizations
> like the London Filmmakers' Co-op.
> I'd
> love to find something like this for the U.S.  It would include
> a history of things like Canyon Cinema and the
> Film-Makers' Co-op, Cinema 16 and Anthology Film
> Archives, in addition to offering a critical context for
> student work.
> Thanks
> in advance.
> Bernie
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