1/6/22: Virtual Talks with Video Activists: Peoples Video Theater / Survival Arts Media

Howard Gutstadt and Ben Levine present Activist Video to Immersive Media: Selections from the Archive. Presented in cooperation with BAVC Media.

Watch the recording of the 1/6/22 event.

On Thursday, January 6th, at 6 pm Central Time, Media Burn Archive hosted early video pioneers Howard Gutstadt and Ben Levine for a virtual screening and discussion focused on their work with the People’s Video Theater / Survival Arts Media collectives. The program also featured a discussion with Morgan Morel, preservation manager for BAVC Media, about the work they did to preserve and create access to the PVT/SAM tapes.

People’s Video Theater, an early independent video collective located in New York State, documented a broad range of the political movements and cultural organizations that transformed the politics of the 1960’s and 1970’s.

The People’s Video Theater explored the real-time recording and social feedback capability of the video medium to directly engage participants in forming their own media messaging and to engage audiences directly in a process of dialog and / or mediation to resolve conflicting viewpoints

In 2020, videotape content recorded at Camp Jened for the “handicapped” in the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York during the summer of 1971 was used in the documentary Crip Camp. The historic video content was restored and digitized at BAVC Media in California in preparation for use in the film.

The People’s Video Theater and a successor media collective, Survival Arts Media, explored many aspects of the video medium including projects, which explored improvisational street theater, arts programming, public access television, multi-channel video installations, and immersive multimedia performances.

The Survival Arts Media collective consisting of Ben Levine, Gail Edwards, Howard Gutstadt, Mollie Hughes, Danny Bucciano and Richard Milone, resided in SOHO where they operated a production studio and multimedia theater during the height of the downtown arts scene in the 1970s.

Survival Arts Media was among the most active, first generation video organizations exploring video art, multimedia performance and community-mediated television.



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