We will screen a series of works that make the collective explicit—either visually, through showing the collective in action; or conceptually, through content or style. These videos will be the foundation for conversations about the how, why, what, and what not of collective creation. These videos will be the foundation for conversations before and after each screening, about the how, why, what, and what not of collective creation.
Dara Greenwald will present works by Lesbians Organized for Video Experience (L.O.V.E.), Chicago’s Women’s Graphics Collective, and United Victorian Workers. Members of Voina, a Russian collective known for their radical performance art, will be screening and discussing the process of creating some of their most controversial works. Curated by NYC based collectives Red Channels, and Paper Tiger Television. Members of these local collectives will also be on hand to discuss their collective process.
PART 1: Documenting the Collective/Collective Documentation
In this multimedia talk, Dara Greenwald will discuss and show clips from several creative collective actions. These documents and actions came out of collective practices of creation both behind and in front of the camera. Dara will present projects she has been involved in creating and documenting, as well as historic projects that she has been researching. These historic examples have been under-explored in the histories of activist and documentary media and will contribute important examples to the contemporary explorations of the Congress of Collectives. Dara will be joined for Q & A by collaborators from collective actions, including Blithe Riley, Natalie Chap, and Josh MacPhee.
PART 2: Collective videos: work and presentation by Red Channels, Paper Tiger Television, and Voina
—The Virtual Choir, 2009 – Eric Whitacre, 5:50 minutes(excerpt)
—Angry Sandwich people or in a Praise of Dialectic, 2006 -Chto Delat, 8 minutes
—Detroit: Post Industrial Global Capitalism, 2011 – Paper Tiger TV, 11 minutes
—Garbage, 1968 – Newsreel, 10 minutes
—From Wall Street to Wall Street to Wall Street, 2011 – Red Channels with Glass Bead Collective, 4:38 minutes
—Humiliation of cop in his house, 2010 – Voina, 12:26 minutes
—F*ck for the heir – Medved`s little Bear!, 2008 – Voina, 0:52 seconds
—Banning of clubs, 2008 – Voina, 9:58 minutes
Congress of Collectives is an interlocking series of events intended to unite art collectives, collectivized spaces, and audiences, so that we may discuss, connect, and collaborate with each other. The Congress is a venue for addressing key concepts, frameworks, and problems of working collectively; for sharing strategies; and for creating new platforms for future projects. Perhaps most importantly, The Congress will promote enduring relationships between participants, and will culminate in an international exchange program between collectives. This project is spearheaded by Flux Factory, but has been shaped during planning dinner discussions, in which over fifteen other local and international collectives have participated. The Congress as developed collaboratively by artists, city planners, architects, arts administrators, film makers, and activists representing collectives from the US, Europe, and the Middle East. Congress of Collectives events will take the forms of artistic production, workshops, panel discussions, film screenings, interventions, performances, and parties—all of which are open to the public.
Dara Greenwald is a media artist and researcher. She has participated in collaborative and collective cultural production for over a decade including the Pink Bloque, Ladyfest Midwest Chicago, Version Fest, Pilot TV, United Victorian Workers, Spectres of Liberty and other groupings that resist being named. She recently co-curated (with Josh MacPhee) a large-scale research project about the history of social movements entitled Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures 1960s to Now as part of Exit Art’s Curatorial Incubator. From 1998-2005, she worked at the Video Data Bank/VDB, where she managed the distribution of one of the largest collections of experimental video in the United States. A major project she began at the VDB was the preservation of the collected tapes of the Videofreex, one of the early 1970’s video collectives; Greenwald has presented on and published articles about this early video history (including at Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Light Industry). Her own experimental videos have screened widely on the festival and media arts circuit (including at Liverpool Biennial, Cinematexas, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, Eyebeam, New York Underground Film Festival, etc). Her writings about engaged media have been published in The Brooklyn Rail, Punk Planet, The Journal of Aesthetics and Protest, Bad Subjects, and can be read on the Justseeds Artist Cooperative Blog.
Red Channels is a radical collective based in New York City. The collective is open for those interested in collaboration and new proposals. In New York we do not operate a physical space. We gather when we can, and when we wish, to organize events and and produce things. Just as there is no space, there is no fixed mission statement, membership, hierarchy, financial or legal status. We informally institutionalize around affinities and desires. Red Channels has revolved around cinema and discussion. Now we also curate, perform, publish, read, write, and take direct action. We look at previous attempts of dissent and opposition to stimulate our imaginations for collective transformation. We work to defy the categories of art and politics, activism and media, in search of a new communist culture. The goal is not to franchise, or to charter new branches, but to engage with our collective struggles in different contexts.
Paper Tiger Television is a video collective. We look at the communications industry via the media in all its forms.The power of mass culture rests on the trust of the public. This legitimacy is a paper tiger. Investigation into the corporate structures of the media and critical analysis of their content is one way to demystify the information industry. Developing a critical consciousness about the information industry is a necessary first step towards democratic control of information resources. Paper Tiger (PTTV) combines media art and activism to create an alternative spin on traditional media formats. An open, non-hierarchical, consensus-based media collective, Paper Tiger has been creating ultra low budget, funky, radical videos since 1981. A pioneer in the early days of public access TV, paper tiger was a direct reaction to traditional, corporate, mainstream media. PTTV continues to explore new ways to use media to engage in critical dialog around media democracy through form, content and process.
Voina is a Russian art collective that engages in street action art. It is a movement in contemporary art that is relatively new to Russia despite being widespread in the West and regarded by critics as one of the most valuable contemporary art movements.The group was created in 2007 with the aim of developing monumental patriotic street art in Russia. The group’s idol was, and forever will be, the great Russian artist Dmitri Prigov. Voina currently counts over 200 members who perform actions in its name, sometimes without informing the rest of the group.