[iDC] media curating lists as pedagogical, exploratory and speculative texts

Jerome Grand grandj at gmail.com
Sun Aug 19 18:20:41 UTC 2007

Hi Barbara,

Your description of the dvd compilations and most specifically this paragraph:
> However, many of these DVD compilations or, rather, their curatorial
> agendas, are bland and "safe". With few exceptions, a dry, predictable
> and pedantic curatorial frame prevails, along with (and despite) the
> deserved excitement around the individual works that these compilations
> bring.

Reminded me of a chapter in the book (maybe you already know it):
Cutting Edge: Art Horror and the Horrific Avant-garde (University of
Minnesota Press, 2000)
where the author Joan Hawkins discusses trashy b-movie video
distribution zines in the 80/90s, especially of the horror and sci-fi
genre. I read the book a long time ago and don't have it with me to
refresh my memory, but if I remember correctly, she discusses these
"cut and paste" photocopied catalogs (a curatorial list) that compiled
hundreds of horrific/absurd bootleg videos available for purchase.
These catalogs included without hierarchy or distinction titles well
known to art-house audiences by directors such as Franju, Buñuel,
Browning, Warhol, Ono, etc, with a multitude of low brow b-films.
(Hawkins in her book is very interested in those areas where the
politics of taste cultures lose ground. There is a great chapter
paralleling the surrealists at the movie theater and contemporary tv
viewing habits!)

There is a mix of distribution happening in these catalogs, unifying
titles that are produced, diffused, distributed and received in
different networks.  These titles are unified (and I think the
curatorial question comes in here) under common cinematographic
depiction of horror, absurdity, sexuality, violence, etc...

It could be interesting to see how this model operates today (with the
internet and dvds). Unfortunately, I have no references of this type
of distribution, but maybe someone here does. It's definitely a less
'pedantic' model.

Also, I'm sure you already know it, but I didn't see it listed in your
list of distributors, so I am just going to plug it in.
http://www.ubu.com/ has an ever expanding archive of mp3, texts,
videos, etc of the things related to the 'avant-garde and beyond.'
They have regular curated lists that appear on the right side of the

Thanks for sharing your ideas, resources and screening list.




On 8/18/07, Barbara Lattanzi <threads at wildernesspuppets.net> wrote:
> Greetings.
> Here is an introduction to some stuff that I am thinking about as I
> prepare for my 3rd semester of teaching electronic media at Alfred
> University's School of Art and Design.
> I will be following up this initial post with some examples of
> curatorial lists for screenings of film, video, and new media - both
> historical and newly-hatched.
> Maybe you can share lists of your own?  Or, over the next week or so,
> maybe you can modify or add to mine.
> --------------
> Finding a Groove in the Form of Curatorial Lists
> There are many newly available DVD compilations being sold on the web.
> These include historical works from the archives and experimental media
> by new artists. You can find them through independent distributors such
> as Microcinema, Other Cinema, Peripheral Produce, Aspect, and larger
> entities such as Kino International and Facets.  These distributors give
> individuals and institutions a new form of access to works of
> experimental cinema, experimental video, new media, works of the
> post-WWII avant-garde, as well as forgotten or marginal "early films"
> dating from 1894 to the 1930s.  Not only that, but internationally
> archives are making their way to the easily-circulated DVD format,
> widening the field in surprising ways.
> The DVD format (and earlier VHS) has helped produce this exciting
> circulation of archives.  One side-effect is how the DVD format (and, of
> course, archives viewable on Internet) has enabled remediation of works
> through the form of the remix.
> However, many of these DVD compilations or, rather, their curatorial
> agendas, are bland and "safe". With few exceptions, a dry, predictable
> and pedantic curatorial frame prevails, along with (and despite) the
> deserved excitement around the individual works that these compilations
> bring.
> As a teacher, my efforts focus on screening historical and contemporary
> works as basis for conversation within the studio media art classroom.
> Obviously, one vital function of these resources is connecting myself
> and students to histories and discovering models within discourses
> particular to the individual films, videos, new media works.
> Beyond that, screening these media works presents a possibility for
> discovery through improvised and experimental linkages - to curatorially
> remix and resonate something there in the juxtapostion of one work with
> the others selected. What gets shown with what? What follows what? What
> archival work is made newly relevant through its association with an
> historically very different moment?  How conceptually and contextually
> different can the experience of these linked works be, without the
> implied associations of their curated proximity totally disintegrating?
> Which ways can the curatorial agenda get bent, twisted, and stressed
> until it either disintegrates or finds a groove?
> There is nothing new here, this intent to make meaningful connections.
> And that is what makes curatorial selection-as-montage an obsessive
> task, i.e., there is nothing new here YET.
> -------
> Barbara Lattanzi
> www.wildernesspuppets.net
> www.wildernesspuppets.net/invaders/
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