*Flight; Let the Women Speak 2009; 5’ and 30’
Although Kurdistan (autonomous region of northern Iraq) is in many ways very progressive, and women fill many important legislative positions, patriarchal attitudes remain. Honor killings persist and women widowed during Saddam Hussein’s campaign against the Kurds are often shunned. Video was shot during two visits to the region, and includes documentation of a moving performance by UK artist Anne Bean.
EACH ONE, TEACH ONE: The Legacy of Michael Zinzun 2007; 27:30
Former Black Panther member Michael Zinzun was a tireless community organizer and architect of the 1992 Watts gang truce who produced a cable television show, Message to the Grassroots, from 1988-1998. I worked with Michael all those years, also traveling to Africa to document Namibia’s independence. Highlights from his shows and footage of him at home give a sense of this powerful man.
SOCIETY 2006; 2:55
Footage from the insect world, saved for the right moment, this was edited for a group installation show entitled ANIMAL.
- 12 artists were invited to join me in making works from DVDs of stock video footage and CDs of copyright-free music. The mediated experience is such an integral and ubiquitous component of everyday life – so one might seriously examine whether experience labeled “nature” or “culture” evoke recalled and stored memories from films (or television) or actual individual personal events. Accordingly, companies supplying source footage for the creation of low-end advertising attempt to satisfy “generic” targeted needs in marketing strategies. The artists are: Pat O’Neill, Astra Price, Carole Kim, Natasa Prosenc, Joseph Santarromana, Erika Suderburg, Les LeVeque, Tom Leeser, Doug Goodwin, Eve Luckring, Hilja Keading, Jocelyn Taylor – and Nancy Buchanan herself created a new piece for the occasion. All participants produced warped, new entities with eerily familiar parts.
*PURSED 2003-2004; 4:55 2003 video/installation or single-channel tape by Nancy Buchanan & Cynthia Maughan
Taste and the Sublime; we not-so-gingerly approach the last taboos in art: money and class. Masked as a comedic rant, the tape asks whether compulsive shopping cripples an individual’s imagination. A discourse on the evils of marketing and the marketing of evil. What’s your bag?
ABBREVIATED HISTORY: THE U.S. FLAG AND THE LAW 2002;
While I understand that displaying the flag can express a genuine sentiment, flag-waving without thought can also be a sign of jingoism. I researched the history of laws concerning the display and use of the flag, finding that, since 1989, proposed constitutional amendments banning flag “desecration” have almost continually been brought up in Congress.
*DEVELOPING: THE IDEA OF HOME 1996-99; CD-ROM (Mac/PC)
A meditation on the politics of space, and the myriad issues revolving around the construction of the notion of “home”.
HOUSE FLY 1998; 2:30
Computer-processed work literalizing the circulation of desire. *
*WINDOWS & MIRRORS 1995; 37:00 with Sanda Agalidi
An experimental documentary record of a moment (May-June 1991) after the Romanian revolution, full of questions and suspicion, of hope but also frustration. Was the revolution staged, or at least infiltrated and co-opted, by former officials? How can the country make a transition to private property?
*AMERICAN DREAM #7:The Price Is Wrong 1991; 13′ Single-channel version of tape created for installation piece: scale-model mansion with 2″ color monitor,
Property values and the changing notion of “home” in the post-Reagan era. The 1990s exploitation of real estate speculation is contrasted with community needs in downtown Los Angeles and Watts. Interviews with attorney Mary Lee and author Mike Davis provide background. Ron Dellums’ speech at the funeral of Huey P. Newton included courtesy of Michael Zinzun.
*FRAGMENT 1990; 3’35”
Scholar Kitty Millett provides on-the-spot analysis of the mystique of Disneyland simulation, while, since we anticipate the scene itself, imagery is heavily image-processed.
ONE NAMIBIA, ONE NEW NATION 1990; 30′
An educational documentary written, produced & edited by Nancy Buchanan for the L.A. 435 Committee. My own footage, shot in November of 1989 in the days following the historic vote which paved the way for Namibia’s freedom from South African domination, is supplemented with tape recorded by Michael Zinzun during the final independence celebrations, as well as file footage provided by SWAPO.
*MOUTH(PIECE) 1989; 10’15”; Original music by Angelo Funicelli
Continues the theme begun in Sightlines, wherein naming the cause of suffering is attempted. The impact of institutionalized brutality on one’s personal life is explored in a final performance segment.
STRATA Collaboration with Christine Tamblyn 1989; 12′
Duelling camcorders and running commentary question notions of audience, as we drive through L.A., eat salad, play golf, visit the LaBrea Tar Pits and set up a tv studio.
*SIGHTLINES 1988; 8’08” Original music by Angelo Funicelli
This tape explores the way we “see” one another, particularly with regard to how political propaganda creates an image of the “Other.” One woman’s true story of murder and danger in her native El Salvador frames a segment of manipulated imagery illustrating clichés about eyes, sight, vision, which is followed by a concluding section addressing how it becomes increasingly difficult not to see homelessness.
FAIR PLAY 1986; 9’35”
A documentary about the October 1986 tour of the National Baseball Team of Nicaragua, this tape includes game highlights, interviews with team members, fans, and “Bats Not Bombs” organizer Andrew Lieberman. Clips were featured on Two the Point, Los Angeles CBS Affliate.
*THE WORK OF ART IN THE AGE OF ELECTRONIC REPRODUCTION 1985-86; 7’34”; Original music by Angelo Funicelli A personal homage to Walter Benjamin, considering issues raised by The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, and the manner in which problems are compounded by television. Image-processing completed at the Experimental Television Center, NY, creates a handmade look, underscoring the lack of collective video art, and quotations about an artist’s social responsibility (or lack thereof) are manipulated to force a tension between the act of viewing and reading.
*TECH-KNOWLEDGE 1984; 16’
Examples of Midwestern industry and farming are used to survey the ways in which technology mediates our lives. Audio interviews explore equipment usage, while visual representations are subjected to image-processing to echo the theme itself. Electronic sound created by Peter Chamberlain.
*CALIFORNIA STORIES 1983; 10’
Natives of Wisconsin reveal the “truth” about California. Most interviewees have never been West. A Video Letter exchange with artist Stuart Bender, who created Myths of the Midwest.
WEBS 1983; 4’45”
Dreamlike, small-scale episodes draw parallels between personal and global violence.
*AN END TO ALL OUR DREAMS 1982; 9’
Fears, memories and facts about the dangers of nuclear war are presented with various stylistic treatment, including montage and a fake emergency warning describing Soviet use of “short agents” and mass hypnosis to fool us into believing children actually exist and thus weakening our defenses. Includes an interview with Dr. Robert Nelson of the Federation of American Scientists.
*SEE I A…. 1980-1983. Three versions: 49’, 28’ and 10’
An examination of the Central Intelligence Agency. Interviews are intercut with dreamlike performance segments addressing the mystery and fear inspired by these agents about whom most of us know so little. Dr. Fred Landis, expert in psychological warfare, discusses CIA media manipulation in Chile during the Allende presidency, and how this contributed to the 1973 coup.
A deconstruction of the power of tv “reality” through breaking it into its elements of sound and image. While a young man narrates a “formula” tv movie (the chase scene, the romance, etc.), scenes set up entirely in either orange, yellow, green, blue, purple or red call attention to the unnatural quality of electronic color.
*THESE CREATURES 1979; 60”
An anti-advertisement about the representation of women in TV commercials.
*WITH LOVE FROM A TO B 1977; 10′
collaboration with Barbara T. Smith
Originally created as a performance for video via closed-circuit TV at the College Art Association, this is a small-scale tale of unrequited love.
*PLEASE SING ALONG (1974) Beautiful naked men dance at the Woman’s Building, while the artist and Barbara T. Smith engage in a real, physical fight.
MESSAGE TO THE GRASS ROOTS, more than 50 programs, 1988-1998 This Pasadena cable access program was hosted and produced by community activist & founder of the Coalition Against Police Abuse, Michael Zinzun. Since its inception, I assisted as Associate Producer, camera person, editor, and sometime host. A list of programs is available on request. Segments from several shows, notably the Gulf War program and “The L.A. Rebellion: Before, During, and…Is It Over?” have been included in Deep Dish TV compilation shows, and have been screened internationally at various events and community sites.