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  • A Brief History of 1/2″ Video Tape and Why It Needs to be Preserved

    A Brief History of 1/2″ Video Tape and Why It Needs to be Preserved

    By the mid-1960s, broadcast television had firmly cemented its place as the most powerful medium of mass communication in history. Then, in 1965, the Sony Portapak 1⁄2” video camera was released. Since the Portapak was affordable, portable, and easy to use, it was quickly seized upon by artists and activists as a revolutionary tool for communication that had the potential to decentralize television production and distribution; ordinary people could tell their own stories. The vision fit perfectly with the social … Continue reading

  • Remembering Chicago Video Artist, Arturo Cubacub

    Remembering Chicago Video Artist, Arturo Cubacub

    Influential video artist, director, and editor Arturo Cubacub passed away on December 28. The award-winning filmmaker was the president of I-Cubed Productions and was an innovator for new technologies and techniques in filmmaking. After graduating with an M.F.A. in Electronic Visualization from the University of Illinois, Cubacub was an instructor at The Chicago Editing Center. From there, Cubacub worked at various editing houses, working in graphics, post production, and effects editing. Cubacub then moved into directing, creating works such as his … Continue reading

  • Ringing In the New Year with Image Union

    Ringing In the New Year with Image Union

    Ring in 2019 with Image Union’s 10th anniversary special and New Year’s celebration. In this special, host and Chicago performer Donna Blue Lachman counted down some of Image Union’s best videos, from comedy sketches to animation. Besides celebrating a new year, the special reinforced the importance of experimental filmmaking and why it needs to be preserved. In the video below, Lachman introduces the special and how the countdown is structured. She’s joined by Image Union’s own Bob, who is featured prominently throughout … Continue reading

  • Countering Fake News in Russia and the US

    Countering Fake News in Russia and the US

    Video has the power to shape our understanding of where we’ve been and where we’re going. And thanks to you we’re compiling the evidence and making the case. Today, we are thrilled to announce our most ambitious project yet:Countering Fake News in Russia and the US. With your contributions and a grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, a group of four Russian and American filmmakers will create archival-based documentary films to be screened in Chicago and … Continue reading

  • What Do Santa Claus and a Frisbee-Loving Dog Have In Common?

    What Do Santa Claus and a Frisbee-Loving Dog Have In Common?

    Get into the holiday spirit with some of the archive’s best Christmas videos, from documentaries about Santa and a Frisbee-loving dog to an experimental film about snow fall.  “The Santa Tapes” by Scott Jacobs In this short film, Jacobs follows an 80-year-old man preparing to appear as Santa for the Marshall Field’s department store. Watch as he transforms into ol’ Saint Nick and explains how his work has convinced children that he is in fact the real Santa Claus.  “Christmas Morning in … Continue reading

  • Actor and Director Penny Marshall Passes Away at 75

    Actor and Director Penny Marshall Passes Away at 75

    Actor, director, and producer Penny Marshall passed away this week at age 75. Marshall rose to fame with her role as Laverne DeFazio in the sitcom, Laverne and Shirley. Her performance earned her three Golden Globe nominations for best actress in comedy television. But she didn’t just work in front of the camera. Marshall is responsible for some of the most iconic films from the 1980s and 1990s. She directed Big, starring Tom Hanks, in 1988. It became the first … Continue reading

  • Call for Artists: Countering Fake News with Art and the Archive, in Russia and the United States

    Media Burn Archive announces an open call for applicants for a collaborative found-footage film project, which is partially supported by the International Connections Fund of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Four artists total from Chicago and St. Petersburg will each create an approximately 15 minute-long found-footage film which will be assembled into an anthology film. Artists will then spend a week together in Russia and also in Chicago for workshops, screenings, and cultural experiences. Each artist will … Continue reading

  • David Orr, Mayor for 8 Days and County Clerk for 28 Years, Retires

    David Orr, Mayor for 8 Days and County Clerk for 28 Years, Retires

    David Orr was mayor of Chicago for just 8 short days, holding the record for shortest time in office. But, he holds another record: longest serving Cook County Clerk, with 28 years in the position. He retired on Friday after almost 50 years of service for the city of Chicago. Orr served as mayor for 8 days after the sudden death of Mayor Harold Washington in 1987. He previously served as alderman, working with Washington on initiatives such as banning … Continue reading