Chip Lord: Selected Works

1977-84, 25:35 min, b&w and color, sound

Selected Works exemplifies Lord's approach to social critique through humor, as he uses conventional television forms and devices — the commercial, the public service announcement and the talk show — and subverts their content. Celebrity Author comments on America's celebrity-conscious media culture through a satirical recreation of a low-budget talk show. Bi-Coastal is a self-promotional TV spot, while Executive Air Traveler parodies advertising that plays to the baby-boom generation of the Reagan era. Using footage from Reagan's inauguration, Get Ready to March! is a sardonic commentary on Reagan's decision to allocate more annual funds to the U.S. Armed Forces marching bands, while drastically cutting the budget of the National Endowment for the Arts.

Abscam (Framed) comments on the role of video as a surveillance technique, and uncannily prefigures broadcast news' controversial use of the dramatic re-enactment as a journalistic device. Lord and videomaker Skip Blumberg visited the motel room at Kennedy Airport where, in 1979, the FBI met with then-Congressman Michael Myers, who was offered and accepted a bribe. During the subsequent publicity and trial, Myers charged the FBI with deliberate entrapment. Lord traces the tenuous line between fiction and fact, and the role that video plays in mediating reality.

Merging social commentary and advertising parody, Three Drugs is an ironic observation of coffee, cigarettes and the automobile as American cultural addictions. Through a sophisticated collage of commercials and news footage, AUTO FIRE LIFE critiques the relationship between American consumerism and political and military power.


Celebrity Author: With: Chip Lord, Willie Walker. Produced by Ant Farm Project.

Bi-Coastal: Camera: Skip Blumberg, Jules Backus. Editor: Glen Scantlebury.

Executive Air Traveler: Camera: Kate Craig. Sound: Howard Bloomfield. A Western Front Production.

Get Ready To March!: Trumpet Solo: Sandy Miller.

Abscam (Framed): With: Skip Blumberg. Camera: Skip Blumberg.

Three Drugs: Additional Camera: Jules Backus. Editor: Glen Scantlebury. With: Joyan Saunders, Robin King.

AUTO FIRE LIFE: Music: The Residents.

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