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Video visions made for TV

Made for TV Festival, presented by New England Women in Film and Video. Starting tonight Friday, November 1 at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) with Video Visions a selection of videos produced by women, dealing with issues of television, technology and sexuality. Tickets $6 for the general public, $5 for students.

Never has the rather innocuous-looking television set had such an impact on our daily life as in this era of Information Technology. The Tube is a tough master to elude as it presents anything from presidential speeches to subliminal advertizing. (These are probably not the best examples of opposite types of telecasts as both are becoming increasingly similiar.) Only with difficulty we can discern between vital information and subtle attempts at being seduced and manipulated by the ruling establishments via the electronic gun.

As victims of this child of progress, we can only rejoice at the attempts of artists to use the medium of video in innovative and creative ways. Should you be frightened, concerned or simply curious about what are the latest developments in video technology, we urge you to try to spend at least some portion of this weekend away from your usual activities. For instance, plan to attend some of the events scheduled for the Made for TV Festival. This show should be of particular interest to the Wiesner Building dwellers, as it features their own Betsy Connors and Ellen Sebring.

Kathy Huffman, curator and producer of Video Visions, must be credited with a fine selection of items to kick-off what promises to be a stimulating weekend. The Festival provides an interesting perspective, focusing on the work of women artists, emphasizing their impact on the medium.

What is perhaps most attractive about the format chosen by Huffman is the relative length of each video piece. The longest segment on Video Visions is 15 minutes long; the rest of the items average about 4 minutes each, enabling the audience to sample a large variety of video experiments in the 90 minute presentation.

Joan Logue's Ren'e and Georgette Magritte With Their Dog After The War has a commanding aesthetical quality. Its images will seem to peel off the screen and float into your mind. It combines moving music, impressionistic photography, and some incredible translations of video planes in 3-D space.

The Ann Magnuson/Tom Rubnitz joint production Made For TV is a highly entertaining and critical expos'e of what today's networks have to offer. It features an unseen TV junkie, who frantically flicks from channel to channel sampling what is available on the miniature boob tube. Magnuson impersonates all of the possible TV characters: evangelic TV healers, refined coffee-tasting Colombian farmers (with heavy accents), MTV celebrities.

Most of the artists share a deeply nested concern for the state of the TV industry. Others, as shown by Jo-Ann Gilerman's The Orchid seem more concerned with video technology as a means of alternative perceptions. However, the more stimulating videos seem to be the ones infused with social commentary.

The Festival also features a number of interesting seminars. On Saturday, at the Gutman Library Conference Center at Harvard University, a number of seminars will be given on such topics as "The Image of Women on TV" and "The Politics of Programming." Speakers will include prominent figures in local and national media. Later in the afternoon television critics from The Boston Globe and The Village Voice will address what they believe to be good (and bad) about TV.

The Festival continues through Sunday and Monday at the Brattle Theatre, with a number of pieces categorized under the headings of: "Life in The Nuclear Age", "Growing Up Female", "Popular Culture/Media", "Men and Women Together & Apart", "Video Performance", "Women and Rape" and numerous others. The screenings, shown in succession, will average between one and a half to two hours in duration.

Any of the screenings would be worth your while. Perhaps to convince yourselves of the quality of work presented, you might attend Video Visions on Friday night, and hang around afterward for the champagne reception hosted by the ICA for the video artists. The ICA is located 933 Boylston Street, Boston. For more detailed information about the screening of Video Vision you can contact the ICA at 266-5151. For information about the Festival you can call 527-3963 or the Brattle Theatre at 876-6055.

Corrado Giambalvo->

Allison Druin->