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  • Happy 50th Birthday to the Chicago Picasso

    Happy 50th Birthday to the Chicago Picasso

    Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Chicago Picasso In 1967, Mayor Richard J. Daley stood in the courtyard of the Chicago Civic Center and unveiled a fifty-foot tall metal structure, a public art piece designed by Pablo Picasso and given to the people of Chicago. While initially met with scorn and confusion, the sculpture has, over the years, become an iconic and admired feature of downtown Chicago. This collection of clips taken from the Media Burn Archive features Studs Terkel, … Continue reading

  • Milly’s Orchid Show 30th anniversary July 29th

    Milly’s Orchid Show 30th anniversary July 29th

    Three Decades of Cutting-Edge Cabaret Milly May Smithy is the alter ego of performer and musician Brigid Murphy. Since 1987, Murphy, as Milly, has hosted Milly’s Orchid Show, a variety show featuring an eclectic blend of music, dance, comedy and high art. The showcase introduced audiences in Chicago and around the country to performers including the Blue Man Group, David Sedaris, Emo Philips, and Nora Dunn. This Saturday, July 29, Milly’s Orchid Show will be making its return to Park … Continue reading

  • Chicago Slices – A Slice of Summer 1993

    Chicago Slices – A Slice of Summer 1993

    Chicago Slices was a local television series we produced 24 years ago. They were half-hour programs with four minutes of commercials, broadcast on independent channel 50, now owned by Fox TV. We created it to show interesting and offbeat local characters in short videos. As with many of the pioneering programs archived on Media Burn, it was an audience, critical and artistic success, but wasn’t financially viable for commercial television. Here’s a small slice of Chicago Slices from 1993. Watch the … Continue reading

  • Why we save raw tapes

    Why we save raw tapes

    Media Burn has over 7,000 videos. Thousands are RAW TAPES, camera original video from the day and time it was produced. It’s rare for anyone besides the producer to ever get a chance to see the raw tapes. That’s one of the underlying principles of what we do. Raw tapes show and tell historical context. Almost always, dozens of hours (sometimes hundreds) of videos are shot for a 30 or 60 minute edited version. We preserve the camera original videos … Continue reading

  • Video pioneer Annette Barbier (1950-2017)

    Video pioneer Annette Barbier (1950-2017)

    The video community has lost one of its pioneers. Annette Barbier passed away last week. Her art and her impact were legendary since the 1970s, when she was among the first video artists at the Chicago Editing Center. Annette mentored hundreds in her years at Northwestern University and Columbia College. She was one-of-a-kind and a Chicago icon. Our hearts go out to Drew and Celine. So many of us are shocked and deeply saddened. Here’s a look at Annette’s “Bouncing … Continue reading

  • Jimmy Piersall, 1929-2017

    Jimmy Piersall, 1929-2017

    Jimmy Piersall died last weekend.  He was 87.  He was a great outfielder, one of the best I ever saw.  But, the thing that made him so well-known is that he was “a character.” Once he ran around the bases backwards.  Once he threw a ball at the scoreboard. He was the first bipolar person (manic-depressive, then) in sports to be publicly labeled.  He did it himself by writing a remarkable book, Fear Strikes Out., which In 1957, became a … Continue reading

  • Tom Joyner off the air in Chicago after four decades

    Tom Joyner off the air in Chicago after four decades

    Tom Joyner has long been a fixture of Chicago radio. Because of his daily commute between Dallas and Chicago during the 1980s, he earned the nickname “The Fly Jock, the hardest working man in radio.” This week, Robert Feder reported that his morning show on WSRB has been dropped in Chicago, but it still airs every morning on dozens of other stations and live online. In this clip from 1989, we join Joyner in the studio at WGCI and in … Continue reading

  • Friday: screening of new work by Media Burn + On the Real Film

    Friday: screening of new work by Media Burn + On the Real Film

    From Celluloid to the Pixel: Exploring Documentation, Technology, and Time Screening and discussion of a new collaborative piece created by Media Burn Archive and On The Real Film The opening night of the Chicago Archives + Artists Festival, coordinated by Sixty Inches From Center, is a celebration of archive lovers, a film screening, and an accompanying discussion around the changing technologies of preservation. The evening will feature From Celluloid to the Pixel: Exploring Relationships between Documentation, Technology and Time, a new … Continue reading