Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is pleased to present a special screening and conversation with pioneering media artist Anthony Ramos at Light Industry, Brooklyn.
Performance and media artist Anthony Ramos was among the first generation of artists to use video as a tool for a critique of mass media, and for giving agency to marginalized individuals and communities. In his potent but rarely seen video works of the 1970s, Ramos sought to combine art and activism. His 1977 video About Media, included in the screening program, is an incisive deconstruction of television news. It documents an interview Ramos gave to news reporter Gabe Pressman on the subject of Ramos's eighteen-month prison term for draft evasion during the Vietnam War. Ramos appropriates the interview, contrasting the unedited interview footage with the final televised news report, exposing the artifice of television news. He also interjects footage of his extraordinary and unnerving early performances, which speak to the influence of Allan Kaprow, with whom Ramos had studied and worked in California.
Ramos traveled extensively throughout Africa, China, Europe, and the Middle East in the 1970s and '80s. He videotaped the end of Portugal's colonial rule in Cape Verde and Guinea-Bissau, Tehran during the 1980 hostage crisis and Beijing just prior to the Tiananmen Square massacre. Ramos has produced a number of videos that critique the media through deconstruction and appropriation, and explore the relation of mass cultural imagery and subaltern identity.
At Light Industry, Ramos will introduce About Media and a selection of excerpts from his work in video. Following the screening, Ramos will appear in conversation with EAI's Rebecca Cleman.
Anthony Ramos was born in 1944. He received an M.F.A. from the California Institute of the Arts, where he was assistant to Allan Kaprow. Among his awards are a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Arts Fellowship and a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship. In the 1970s Ramos was a video consultant for the United Nations and the National Council of Churches. In the 1980s, he lived in Paris, where he was a Professor at the American Center, and oversaw the television cabling of ten blocks of Paris for the first time. He has also taught at Rhode Island School of Design, New York University, and the University of California at San Diego. Ramos lives in Eyguieres, France.
A recent article written by Rebecca Cleman for the Museum of the Moving Image's online publication Moving Image Source examines the legacy of media activist artists in the 1970s with a focus on Ramos' work. Click here to read the article.
About Light Industry
Light Industry is a venue for film and electronic art in Brooklyn, New York. Developed and overseen by Thomas Beard and Ed Halter, the project has evolved into a series of weekly events, each organized by a different artist, critic, or curator. Conceptually, Light Industry draws equal inspiration from the long history of alternative art spaces in New York as well its storied tradition of cinematheques and other intrepid film exhibitors. Through a regular program of screenings, performances, and lectures, its goal is to explore new models for the presentation of time-based media. Bringing together the worlds of contemporary art, experimental cinema, new media, documentary film, and the academy (to name only a few), Light Industry looks to foster an ongoing dialogue among a wide range of artists and audiences within the city.
Founded in 1971, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is one of the world's leading nonprofit resources for video art. A pioneering advocate for media art and artists, EAI's core program is the distribution and preservation of a major collection of over 3,500 new and historical media works by artists. EAI fosters the creation, exhibition, distribution and preservation of video art and digital art. EAI's activities include a preservation program, viewing access, educational services, extensive online resources, and public programs such as artists' talks, exhibitions and panels. The Online Catalogue is a comprehensive resource on the artists and works in the EAI collection, and also features extensive materials on exhibiting, collecting and preserving media art:
EAI's Public Programs are supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.