Wednesday, April 08, 2015


“The crisis of today is the joke of tomorrow.”
— H G Wells

This short program of works selected from the historically significant collection of Chicago's Video Data Bank, posits as its theme the notion of irony as subversive intervention.  Each work involves a situation that threatens to culminate in disaster.  In order to waylay  the  looming crisis, a negotiation must take place.  From individual actions to one-on-one interventions and community responses, complacency is not an option in the face of these pressing predicaments.  

Max Almy
Leaving the 20th Century, 1982, 11:00, U.S., Colour
A prescient examination of technology and the future, viewed from the edge of the 21st through a melange of politics, sociology, sexuality and economics.

Actions in Action, 1997, 10:30, U.S., Colour
An ordinary domestic setting is recast as a psychoactive landscape in which the concept of function becomes situational and fluid. 

Martha Rosler
Semiotics of the Kitchen, 1975, 05:30, U.S., B&W
From A to Z in this mock cooking-show demonstration, Rosler 'shows and tells' the ingredients of the housewife's day. 

Nancy's Drug Problem, 1971, 08:35, U.S., B&W
In this short but provocative tape, one woman interviews another about her substance addiction.

Rosa Barba
Outwardly from Earth's Center, 2007, 22:00, Germany/Sweden, Colour
A fictitious narrative about a society on an unstable piece of land that is in danger of disappearance, requiring the population's collective response in order to secure survival for both the individual and the collective.

Joe Gibbons
Final Exit, 2001, 05:00, U.S., B&W
An aged one is confronted with his options in blunt terms. Does he want to drag out his existence, increasingly infirm and a burden to his caretakers, or go quietly before resentment overwhelms sentiment? 

— Abina Manning, Video Data Bank