• Synthesis: Processing and Collaboration

    Synthesis: Processing and Collaboration

    A look at the work of Chicago-based pioneers of image processing, Dan Sandin, Phil Morton, Tom DeFanti, and Jane Veeder, as well as sound processing by Mimi Shevitz and other works created by the Sandin Image Processor. Continue reading

  • The Hypercube Projections & Slicing + others

    The Hypercube Projections & Slicing + others

    This tape features two distinct pieces: “Hypercube Projects” and “This Is Early Bird.” At the end of the video there are a series of loading screens and LANDSAT images of San Francisco Bay and the Seattle area. “Hypercube” is an instructional video that describes geometrical transformations–rotations, projections, and slicings–within two, three, and four-dimensional space. The catalog contains a full transcription of the narration. “This Is Early Bird” was produced for CBS as part of a documentary/educational show about Intelsat1, the world’s first commercial communications satellite. The show also includes basic educational introductions about how geosynchronous satellites function and enter their orbits. Continue reading

  • Vito Marzullo

    Vito Marzullo

    A portrait of Chicago’s 25th ward alderman, Vito Marzullo, who is described as “the last of the old time machine politicians.” It chronicles the workings of Marzullo’s ward, Chicago’s city hall, and politics in general within the Chicago Democratic “machine.” This piece also provides insight into Marzullo’s family life with his wife of 65 years, Letiza. Continue reading

  • Know Your Enemy – Japan

    Know Your Enemy – Japan

    Part of the Global Perspectives on War and Peace Collection. A WWII U.S. War Department orientation film using racist, anti-Japanese propaganda techniques. The film gives a brief history of Japan, and an overview of Japanese social, military, and political culture, with the ultimate goal of explaining that the whole  Japanese culture is designed to create soldiers bent on world domination. It uses typical War Department technique of narration over newsreel and stock footage, and dramatic re-enactments. Continue reading

  • [Ephemeral Films : selected layoffs]

    [Ephemeral Films : selected layoffs]

    Instructional films from the 1940s and 50s. Some are merely humorously outdated, others are downright horrifying — particularly one that concludes that mechanized laundry machines are the best example of women’s liberation in this century. Most deal with dating. Old Chicago footage with streetcars in last segment. Continue reading

  • Sept 11th: Reflections on a Changed America

    Sept 11th: Reflections on a Changed America

    This is a video of a nearly two-hour panel discussion entitled, “September 11th: Reflections on a Changed America.” Taped at the Chicago Historical Society shortly after the September 11th attacks, a group of academics, historians, and journalists discuss the after effects of the attacks. Continue reading


newest videos

  • Getting Around

    00:26 Footage of Dave Maloney, a student with a prosthetic arm, trying to purchase a Snickers bar from a vending machine. He succeeds with the help of another student and then painstakingly packs his backpack–which is carried by a guide dog–for class. 02:00 Paul Triantafilos has a congenital deformity that suppressed the growth of his lower extremities. Despite this, he’s had a number of “high-profile” jobs working with the public. “People at first are very uncomfortable around me,” he says. … Continue reading

  • In Plain English

    01:13 Eric Ward and Maria Mendoza talk about their limited exposure to college before arriving at the University of Oregon. 01:58 “I think that the idea of self-identity really came out for a lot of students once they hit this campus,” Michelle Singer explains. “When you were in high school or public school you weren’t classified as Native American or Asian American or Hispanic or Chicano or whatever. Here at the University, you were.” 03:09 Carol Cheney, who was adopted … Continue reading

  • Tony Fitzpatrick on the Art of Tattoo

    Tony Fitzpatrick on the Art of Tattoo

    Tattoos. There’s something mysterious and enigmatic about them. According to famed tattooer, painter, and printmaker Don Ed Hardy, “This enigma is central to the entire practice: few of us who are tattooed can formulate a pat answer as to why we do it, any more than the honest, intensely driven artist can say why he or she creates. The mystery keeps us going.” Back in 1993, before there was a tattoo parlor on every block, Hardy teamed up with Tony … Continue reading

  • MJ Epilogue

    02:24 What’s changed for Michael since 1996? “Well, pretty much everything–I’ve changed cars, I’ve changed place of residence, I’ve changed from part-time to full-time, I’m a grandfather now. Just changed my whole frame of mind.” 03:29 Michael updates us on his family. His daughter Daisy had a baby girl in December. “She’s beautiful. She looks just like me!” 04:35 “I’m still doing the same regimen everyday: go home and work out a little bit, play at the gym sometimes. This … Continue reading

  • Municipal Mirth: Chicago’s Neighborhood Festivals, 1979

    Municipal Mirth: Chicago’s Neighborhood Festivals, 1979

    Neighborhood festivals are synonymous with summer here in Chicago. Every weekend, you can find multiple festivals going on all over the city, and while they may vary greatly in terms of size and scope, each one showcases the distinct culture and atmosphere of its respective neighborhood. In 1979, Mayor Jane Byrne’s plan to cancel ChicagoFest, which had been started the previous year by her predecessor, Mayor Michael Bilandic, was met with public outcry. As a result, Byrne not only decided … Continue reading

  • [Election Night at Tsongas Illinois]

    00:00 Footage of a preliminary hearing for the David Duke presidential campaign, whose place on the Illinois ballot was contested. 03:00 Dawn Larson, organizer of a petition to put David Duke on the ballot in Illinois, talks about her efforts to a reporter. “So you think that anyone who wants to run for president of the United States should be allowed to run?” “Absolutely.” She then talks about inconsistencies in the primary system, and points out that New Hampshire and … Continue reading

  • Bill Goes to San Diego: Tape 3

    00:16 A crowd chants “We Back Jack!” while carrying posters of the Jack-in-the-Box mascot. A man in the crowd explains that they support Jack-in-the-Box, not Jack Kemp; a woman says that they are are just having fun, and not making a statement about the Convention. 02:33 A man wearing a “Ditch the Bitch” t-shirt (in “honor” of Hillary Clinton) attests that Elizabeth Dole “is a great gal, an all-American woman.” 14:15  Bill meets with a professional clown working the convention … Continue reading

  • Bill Goes to San Diego: Tape 1

    00:00 Footage of an installation of Langston Hughes’ “Dream Deferred” at a trolley station in San Diego. 01:13 Environmentalists and surfers rally on Ocean Beach for the Surfrider Foundation’s “Paddle for Clean Water” charity event, held in August 1996 on the eve of the Republican National Convention. 07:56 Surfers just out of the water talk to Bill about pollution: “Watch what you throw out, and be aware that everything that you do throw out ends up in the ocean.” 10:23 … Continue reading