The Dorsky Museum announces Videofreex: The Art of Guerrilla Television exhibition

John Dominis, Chuck Kennedy at his workbench, 1973, gelatin silver print, courtesy Parry Teasdale and Carol Vontobel (Videofreex)
John Dominis, Chuck Kennedy at his workbench, 1973, gelatin silver print, courtesy Parry Teasdale and Carol Vontobel (Videofreex)

The Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the SUNY New Paltz is delighted to present Videofreex: The Art of Guerrilla Television, an exhibition that showcases the work of one of the world’s first video collectives.

Organized by independent curator and scholar Andrew Ingall, the exhibition will be on display at The Dorsky Museum from Feb. 7 through July 12, 2015, in the museum’s Morgan Anderson and Howard Greenberg Family Galleries. The public opening reception is Saturday, Feb. 7, from 5–7 p.m.

The exhibition, which includes 22 newly restored videotapes, over 90 photographs and slides, and nearly 80 other objects including drawings, prints, ephemera, publications, and historic audiovisual equipment, surveys the history and mythology of the Videofreex. This collective group of artists, activists, and storytellers, produced and disseminated alternative media in New York City and in other U.S. communities from 1969 to 1978. They ran community educational workshops and presented new work in important museum exhibitions, published articles in Radical Software, and screened tapes at The Museum of Modern Art.

The materials on exhibit, largely borrowed from the personal archives of the Videofreex themselves, display the Videofreex as documenters and broadcasters of counterculture, participants in significant exhibitions of video art, and precursors of a new generation of artists utilizing social media and social practice. Highlights include vintage video interviews with political activists Abbie Hoffman and Fred Hampton, images of feminist and anti-war protests, and humorous programs like The Buckaroo Bart Show and The Lanesville TV Newsbuggy.

Though the Videofreex primarily worked as a collective, individual members created and exhibited video in museums and festivals. Videofreex: The Art of Guerrilla Television includes the remastered and digitized 4-channel Quaking Aspens (1972) by Davidson Gigliotti, who was among the first video artists to explore the sculptural qualities of multi-channel installation.

A 150-page illustrated catalog (SUNY Press, 2015) will feature an historical survey by guest curator Andrew Ingall, reflections by the Videofreex, and additional texts by Dorsky Museum Curator Daniel Belasco, Video Preservationist Tom Colley, Dorsky Museum Director Sara J. Pasti, artist Tom Roe, and scholar David A. Ross.

The Friends of the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art and the State University of New York at New Paltz provide ongoing support for museum exhibitions and programs. The Dobkin Family Foundation and the Lynn and Jules Kroll Family Foundation provided significant additional support for Videofreex.

Videofreex: The Art of Guerrilla Television
will include the following sections, distributed through 3,000 square feet of exhibition space:

  • Subject to Change, the legendary CBS television pilot presentation developed by the Videofreex in 1969 that documented the counterculture movement.
  • Art Scene and Art Seen features documentation of performances; individual and collective Videofreex work exhibited in nonprofit galleries, museums, and festivals; and activity resulting from an artist residency at WNET’s TV Lab.
  • Social and Political Movements features documentation of political events including early Women’s Liberation demonstrations and the 1971 May Day anti-war demonstration in Washington, DC.
  • Maple Tree Farm, a base where the Videofreex broadcasted Lanesville TV, offered mobile workshops in upstate New York, and hosted U.S. and international video makers eager to learn, network and collaborate.
  • Freex Out, a dynamic workshop/studio space for temporary screenings, as well as live streaming and broadcasting by students, community groups, and guest artists.

The campus community and general public are invited to a panel discussion on Sunday, March 8 2015, and film screenings at the College and select regional theaters, including the Jacob Burns Film Center in Pleasantville, N.Y., on Thursday, Feb.12. Program partners include the Rosendale Theatre Collective and Spark Media Project (formerly known as Children’s Media Project), and Wave Farm.

Additional partners may be added as programs are developed. Visit The Dorsky’s website at for information and updates.

Videofreex was one of the pioneer production groups that formed when consumer video was first introduced in the late 1960s. Over the nine years as a collective, they produced several thousand videotapes, installations, and multimedia events and trained hundreds of videomakers in the brand new video medium. The core members of the Videofreex, many of whom are active today as artists, journalists, and media makers, include Skip Blumberg, Nancy Cain, David Cort, Bart Friedman, Davidson Gigliotti, Mary Curtis Ratcliff, Parry Teasdale, Carol Vontobel, Ann Woodward, and the late Chuck Kennedy. The Videofreex established their archive at Video Data Bank, Chicago, in 2001, and are the subjects of a forthcoming documentary film by Jenny Raskin and Jon Nealon.

Andrew Ingall is an independent curator who most recently served as director of the Lynn and Jules Kroll Fund for Documentary Film at the Foundation for Jewish Culture. He previously worked as Assistant Curator at The Jewish Museum, New York, where he organized exhibitions of video, new media, and film. Additional projects at The Jewish Museum included the development of a digital library for the Museum’s broadcast archive as well as directing Off the Wall: Artists at Work, a residency and open studio program. He has served on selection committees for Documentary Fortnight, The Museum of Modern Art’s annual international showcase of recent nonfiction film and video, and the New York Jewish Film Festival, a collaboration between The Film Society of Lincoln Center and The Jewish Museum. He is a co-founder, former board member, and staff member of Independent Media Arts Preservation. He has participated as a working group member of New York University’s Center for Religion and Media and as an Electronic Media and Film panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts.

Through its collections, exhibitions, and public programs, the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, located at SUNY New Paltz, supports and enriches the academic programs at the College, presents a broad range of world art for study and enjoyment, and serves as a center for Hudson Valley arts and culture. The museum is gaining wide recognition as the premier public showplace for exhibition, education, and cultural scholarship about the Hudson Valley region’s art and artists from yesterday and today. With more than 9,000 square feet of exhibition space distributed over six galleries, The Dorsky Museum is one of the largest museums within the SUNY system. The Dorsky was officially dedicated on Oct. 20, 2001. Since then it has presented over one hundred exhibitions, including commissions, collection-based projects, and in-depth studies of contemporary artists including Robert Morris, Alice Neel, Judy Pfaff, Carolee Schneemann, and Ushio Shinohara.

Museum Hours:
Wednesday–Sunday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Holidays, and Intersessions

For more information about The Dorsky Museum and its programs, visit or call (845) 257-3844.