Guerrilla Television: Video Vitae by Pat Lehman

An ongoing series reflecting on our favorite videos from the Resurrecting Guerrilla Television project.

Over the part two years, Media Burn has been hard at work on our “Resurrecting Guerrilla Television” project, a Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) grant-funded initiative led by Media Burn and UChicago. We’ve already digitized hundreds of tapes from the early history of video – tapes taken from Media Burn’s own archives as well as those of partner organizations NOVAC, Kartemquin Films, Community TV Network, and Appalshop.

Over the next year, we’ll be spotlighting some of our favorite videos from the Resurrecting Guerrilla Television project in an ongoing series.

A still from Pat Lehman’s Video Vitae

To kick off this series, we’re sharing a piece by video video artist and documentarian Pat Lehman. Pat is a video artist and documentarian based in Colorado. Her landmark work with the Computer Image Corporation pioneered new forms of computer animation and image processing, innovating stunningly beautiful new modes of abstract image-making and inventing new blends of electronic manipulations of live-action footage.

A still from Pat Lehman’s Video Vitae

Working as the Art Director for the Computer Image Corp. (CIC) in Denver, Lehman collaborated with technicians and programmers on some of the earliest artworks created with a Scanimate Computer.

1975’s Video Vitae is blends live-action footage with electronic abstractions to create “an impressionistic view of a woman in conflict.” With the video, Lehman further explores computer imaging’s capacity for depicting and exploring intense subjective experiences and extreme emotional states. Lehman virtuosically moves between different kinds of images, ranging from lightly manipulated footage to full abstraction, creating densely layered compositions that are always in flux. 

Lehman’s work would range from even more fully abstract compositions to comparatively traditional, interview-based video documentaries, including the extraordinary First Impressions (1977), a behind-the-scenes look at performers for a Denver drag bar. You can find a more detailed bio and links to her videos here.

Pat Lehman’s Video Vitae.



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