Arthur Ginsberg

A pioneer of alternative video in the early 1970s, Arthur Ginsberg was a co-founder, with Skip Sweeney, of the San Francisco media collective Video Free America. There, Ginsberg began to focus on experimental video and technology-driven art. Prolific and timely, Video Free America produced regular screenings and exhibitions that incorporated a diversity of mediums, including live performance and moving image works that involved both abstract, synthesizer-produced images and reality-based, cinéma vérité scenes. Ginsberg also used his theater training and connections to collaborate with the Chelsea Theater Center on three plays—Kaspar (1974), AC/DC (1977), and Kaddish (1977)—that incorporated video into the staging. In the decades since the release of The Continuing Story of Carel and Ferd, their landmark project, Video Free America has expanded and produced, shot, and edited hundreds of documentaries, travelogues, children's features, dance and art performances, and created programs for PBS and international broadcast. Outside of his work in experimental video and as part of Video Free America, Ginsberg has edited and directed a number of films and documentaries. These include The Halloween that Almost Wasn't (1979), which was nominated for a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Individual Achievement in 1980, and The Broadcast Tapes of Dr. Peter (1993), nominated for the 1994 Oscar for Best Feature Documentary. He currently lives in Santa Cruz, California.