April 27: "Edited at EAI": 1972-77
June 16: "Edited at EAI": Artist to Artist
June 22: "Edited at EAI": Videos by Tom Rubnitz
July 27: "Edited at EAI": Restless Generation
Aug 16: "Edited at EAI": Video Interference
Sept 22: "Edited at EAI": Dara Birnbaum
As part of EAI's ongoing 45th anniversary celebrations, we launched a series of screenings that highlight a less well-known but historically important and creatively fertile area of our programs: EAI's Editing Facility for artists. Established in 1972 with early 1/2" open reel editing equipment, EAI's facility was one of the first such post-production workspaces for artists in the U.S. Over five decades, an extraordinary group of artists has used EAI's facility to create some of the most significant works in media art's diverse histories. Many of these artists and works will be featured in screenings throughout our 45th anniversary year.
The first screening on April 27, "Edited at EAI": 1972-77 featured an eclectic selection of works from the 1970s, charted the alternative artistic, political, and cultural expressions of artists experimenting with emergent video editing technologies and strategies. The program included early works from the 1970s by Ant Farm, Juan Downey, Jean Dupuy, Shigeko Kubota, Mary Lucier, Raindance, Anthony Ramos, Ira Schneider, and Hannah Wilke, among others.
On June 16 Artist to Artist featured the rich collaborative process and the creative relationships between artists and the artists/editors with whom they worked, through the lens of EAI's editing facility. Video works by Cheryl Donegan, Ursula Hodel, Nam June Paik, Carolee Schneemann, and Michael Smithall edited at EAIwere shown together with works by Robert Beck, Seth Price and Trevor Shimizu, three internationally recognized artists who spent formative years as EAI editors. Artists Robert Buck and Cheryl Donegan were in conversation following the screening.
On June 22 EAI celebrated the video work of Tom Rubnitz (1956-1992), whose deliriously camp genre parodies and music videos capture the anarchic spirit and talents of the 1980s East Village scene of Club 57 and the Pyramid Club. The rich body of work that Rubnitz edited at EAI includes TV spoofs, music videos, and the musical parody Psykho III The Musical (1985). Artist John Kelly participated in a conversation following the screening.
On July 27 Restless Generation focused on a group of conceptually driven performance videos by women artists who reenergized and redefined the genre in the 1990s, as seen through the lens of EAI's editing facility. These lo-fi performances staged for the cameraby artists such as Vanessa Beecroft, Alix Lambert, Kirsten Mosher, Alix Pearlstein, and Beverly Semmes, among othersevoke the strategies of the first generation of artists working with video in the early 1970s, even as their bold stylizations, ironic sensibility, and explicit nods to consumer culture announced a fresh approach to representations of female identity and the body that spoke emphatically to its time.
On August 16 the series continued with an evening of activist video work from the late 1980s through the mid-1990s. Shot largely on low-end consumer equipment and edited, often off-hours, at EAI, these works use video as an activist tool, confronting urgent issues around the AIDS crisis, race, gender, and sexuality. Videos by ACT UP affinity groups DIVA TV (Damned Interfering Video Activist Television) and House of Color, as well as art collective X-PRZ, were screened along with work by artists Robert Beck and Tom Kalin. Although rooted in the specific political and cultural contexts of that moment, these powerful activist voices