New Videos

  • Remembering Chicago’s 1979 Blizzard

    Remembering Chicago’s 1979 Blizzard

    It’s going to be a freezing cold weekend in Chicago, with temperatures dropping into the negatives. If you’re avoiding the outdoors at all costs, curl up with some of these videos from the archive about the 1979 blizzard.  In January of 1979, a massive blizzard hit Chicago. While only 2 to 4 inches of snow were expected, the city was actually hit with approximately 21 inches. The snow remained on the ground until the beginning of March, which became a political issue … Continue reading

  • 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

  • We Can Make It Work

    We Can Make It Work

    00:00 Video opens with announcement from the Caribbean Council for the Blind and title image: We Can Make it Work. 00:27 Camera opens on the back of a man who is feeding chickens. A woman narrator speaks about the importance of access to the world of work to be able to meet the basic needs of living and contribute to community, while the camera shows community members completing various jobs. 00:50 Narrator speaks about the success of blind and visually … 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



    Media Burn presents a special evening of live music and archival video featuring legendary pianist Erwin Helfer and the late blues singer Estelle “Mama” Yancey on Saturday, January 5, at Hungry Brain in Roscoe Village. In 1982, future Chicago Blues Festival Coordinator Barry Dolins filmed an intimate performance and conversation between Erwin Helfer and an 86 year-old Mama Yancey at the Chicago apartment of blues pianist and singer Little Brother Montgomery. This footage, now part of the Media Burn Archive, … 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