Symposium: Utopian Potentials and Media(ted) Realities

Gallery at BRIC House
647 Fulton Street
Brooklyn, NY 11217
Saturday, April 22, 2017 | 12-4 pm
Free with RSVP

Utopian Potentials and Media(ted) Realities will explore the promise of Public Access television and open network technologies, featuring cultural producers from the 1970s to present. Speakers include legendary Public Access host Glendora Buell, members of Colab, and a panel with Robert Buck, Carmel Curtis, and Tara Mateik, moderated by EAI’s Director of Distribution, Rebecca Cleman.

Keeping television technology accessible to artists and the public was at the core of EAI’s founding mission. In his 1973 “manifesto” for the organization, founder Howard Wise wrote about the promise of television as an artistic tool: “[The artist’s] targets will be, no doubt, those thoughtful and concerned persons who are also eager to discern the truth, whether it be in art, in politics, in social and economic problems – those who eschew banality and seek meaning in their activities and their lives. In other words, the very people whom commercial TV neglects and ‘turns off.’”

At BRIC, Cleman will discuss the connection between technology, Public Access, and activism with artist and former EAI Technical Director Robert Beck/Buck; archivist and XFR Collective member Carmel Curtis; and artist, activist, and educator Tara Mateik. The panelists will draw from their experiences working in and for alternative media facilities to focus on access as a key concern. They will consider current debates about the role of art related to politics and representation, and how access relates to education, public outreach, and the means of production.

The panel will be accompanied by a screening of Beck’s The Feeling of Power (1990), produced for DIVA TV to document a 1989 ACT UP protest at Trump Tower, and an excerpt of Mateik’s Putting the Balls Away (2008), a re-enactment of the historic 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs, broadcast by BCAT (now BRIC) on the 35th anniversary of the original event.

This symposium is FREE with advance RSVP.