Ants at Automation House #5

Discussions about ants and the media at the opening of environmental artist Alan Sonfist's exhibition "Army Ants: Patterns & Structures."

00:19Copy video clip URL The videomakers enter into Automation House art gallery and speak to the ticket seller about the exhibition “Army Ants: Patterns & Structure” by environmental artist Alan Sonfist. 

01:24Copy video clip URL They speak to a young woman attendee. No sound. 

03:33Copy video clip URL Sound starts working again. The camera operator moves among the crowd at the exhibition, settling on a 16mm camera and lights being set up by the WNBC-4 news crew. 

07:05Copy video clip URL Drama/art critic Leonard Probste explains the exhibition to the camera: “In New York City, where people often feel they LIVE like ants the Architectural League has put on an exhibit about how ants actually do live.” 

09:06Copy video clip URL The reporter again delivers the conclusion, in which he describes the exhibit as “a moving, crawling picture” that is “the strangest show in town” and “heaps of fun.” He then repeats his report to the camera from the beginning. 

13:11Copy video clip URL Artist Alan Sonfist converses with attendees. He speaks with the camera operator about the exhibit and the atendees’ responses. 

14:21Copy video clip URL WABC-7 reporter Kevin Sanders speaks with the camera operator about Peoples Video Theater’s operation, amazed at the revolutionary possibilities of “guerrilla television.” He points out that with video one man is doing the work of four crew members using film. They continue their conversation about the exhibition and about ants, citing the documentary The Hellstrom Chronicles.

18:07Copy video clip URL Sanders discusses cable television as an opportunity that is going to waste because they are simply trying to do the same things that the networks do, but they do them badly. He expresses a desire to see new and different idea on cable, and points out that talk shows can be produced very cheaply and easily and can convey fascinating, exciting ideas to viewers. 

20:23Copy video clip URL Sanders discusses the global TV coverage of Nixon’s trip to China as the true “global village” discussed by Marshall McLuhan. He points out that he responded differently to Nixon meeting Mao seeing it live by satellite than he would have viewing it as a film clip. He felt, he said, “a tremendous sense of relief that at least there’s some hope for our survival now.”

22:38Copy video clip URL Sanders observes that Orwell failed to anticipate television’s capacity to turn the camera onto Big Brother. He expresses hopeful sentiments for TV’s ability to share the humanity of its subjects. 

25:14Copy video clip URL Sanders criticizes a recent news program on WNET-13 for being out of date and boring. He expresses the need for editors to be ruthless in cutting down their material as much as possible. He chats with the videomakers about their operation. 

 

 

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