Some Voices, Some Visions: Women Videotape Artists 1975. About Environments: Susan Milano.

Videomaker Susan Milano discusses her working teaching video to women as well as the history of the New York Women's Video Festival and video installations created through a workshop at the Woman's Inter-Art Center.

00:02Copy video clip URL Onscreen titles: “Some Voices, Some Visions: Women Video Tape Artists, 1975. About Environments: Susan Milano.” 

00:20Copy video clip URL Susan Milano speaks to the camera about “her philosophy of art and life.” She discusses making artwork that is accessible to people: “I’m not into an artsy-fartsy kind of a trip.”

02:13Copy video clip URL Becoming involved in the women’s movement through video, rather than through politics. Passing along what she’s learned to other women: “I’m interested mainly in doing it with women because it’s very hard for women to learn in the usual situation, which is the guys speak up, the guys go up and they touch the equipment and they hook everything up and the women sit in the back of the classroom saying ‘Phew I didn’t have to do it that time. I don’t think I can do it right.’ And the only way they’re gonna get someplace is if they’re ‘pushy’ – you know, that’s the word. You have to be ‘pushy,’ you have to push the guy aside and say ‘Give me a chance!’ And in the context of an all-woman’s class you don’t have to be pushy because the fact is there’s nobody else there who’s gonna do it for you. You just have each other.”

03:45Copy video clip URL Discussing the New York Women’s Video Festival’s inclusive philosophy. 

04:15Copy video clip URL A “brief history of the Women’s Video Festival,” beginning with Steina Vasulka asking her to start a festival for women’s video at the Kitchen. Working with Shridhar Bapat. The first festival, which had “huge” audiences. 

06:25Copy video clip URL The second festival, at the Kitchen’s new location. Milano’s hesitancy to make the festival in any way “competitive” in curating the show. Submitting a grant under the aegis of the Woman’s Inter-Art Center for the following festival. 

08:40Copy video clip URL Changes in the festival. Milano’s involvement with the Tee Pee Videospace Troupe and the kinds of installations, games, and other forms of viewer engagement. Creating special spaces for viewing and for experiencing video environments for the third festival. 

10:56Copy video clip URL The “Then and Now” room, decorated with photographs of older women TV stars, the “Chair Room,” the “Glitter Room,” and the “Control Room.” Other themed rooms and environments designed for the festival. 

13:40Copy video clip URL Discussing screening Nancy Cain’s video Harriet. Cain wanting to do a sequel called “Harriet Goes to the City” and bringing Harriet Benjamin with her to the women’s video festival. 

15:41Copy video clip URL Working with the Tee Pee Videospace Troupe. Taking a “weekend marathon workshop” with Shirley Clarke, who approached video not as a way of making tapes but rather installations and process. Wendy Clarke teaching a weekly video workshop at the Woman’s Inter-Art Center. 

17:10Copy video clip URL Wendy Clarke’s workshop producing an exhibition called “What’s On Tonight,” a group effort of 8 different women, in which they constructed 8 different rooms/environments with “different types of interactive games and toys, all using video.”

17:43Copy video clip URL Explanation of Milano’s “Video Swing,” with footage from the installation shown on the monitors that Milano is using.

18:49Copy video clip URL Footage from another room in the workshop, in which the circular arrangement of sacks hanging from the ceiling only becomes apparent from certain video angles. 

19:55Copy video clip URL A video environment depicting an old timey American home, with video monitors in place of people. 

20:38Copy video clip URL Footage of videomaker Jabaily viewing Wendy Clarke’s video installation Jasper, which includes a sculpture of a dog and a video of a real dog playing with a toy dog. 

21:10Copy video clip URL Footage of the Video Fishtank, which was mainly the work of Ann Volkes. 

22:04Copy video clip URL Footage of Different Strokes for Different Folks, an installation about pornography. 

23:43Copy video clip URL Footage of The Toilet.

24:50Copy video clip URL Footage of an installation created by Ann Volkes and Andy Gurion using Milano’s piano. 

25:35Copy video clip URL How Milano has changed since she began working with video. Developing self confidence  through us of video. 

27:04Copy video clip URL Images of video players and monitors.

27:23Copy video clip URL End credits: “Some Voices, Some Visions: Women Video Tape Artists. New York, 1975. By Mary Ellen Brown with Mary Feldstein, Estelle Faber, Gaia Bernard, Jacqueline Demornex, And John Siceloff, Richard RiDeout, Bernice Chu, Rolf Manstein, Theron Holmes-Clark, Jim McNeely, Bob Haber. Special thanks to The Woman’s Inter-Art Center, Global Village, The Kitchen, Castelli-Sonnabend Gallery, Orange Cablevision, Jane Barrington. The original sequence from ‘What’s On Tonight’ was taped by Tracy Fitz. The show was directed by Wendy Clark. Participants included Elaine Brown, Wendy Clarke, Tracy Fitz, Barbara Jabaily, Susan Milano, Christine Naschese, Ann Eugenia Volkes.”



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