Wednesday, July 31, 7 PM, $7-10 suggested donation – cash only
Mary Curtis Ratcliff in person!
The Nightingale is thrilled to welcome Mary Curtis Ratcliff, a founding member of the collective Videofreex, to Chicago to screen three videos made from 1969-1970, on the occasion of the group’s 50th anniversary. Mary Curtis Ratcliff—visual artist, videomaker, and political activist—participated in the creation of these tapes both on an off camera as videographer, interviewer, and interviewee. Chicago Travelogue: The Weatherman (1969), Fred Hampton: Black Panthers in Chicago (1969), and Curtis’s Abortion (1970) provide a window into the political movements and ideologies that are as important today as they were fifty years ago.
The Videofreex began in 1969 as part of the Manhattan video scene and eventually moved to upstate New York to operate a community video center and the first pirate television station in the U.S. on Maple Tree Farm in Lanesville, NY throughout the 1970s. Since 2001, the Videofreex archive has been held at the Video Data Bank at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Shortly after founding the collective, Mary Curtis Ratcliff, Parry Teasdale, and David Cort were hired by CBS to produce video footage of the emerging youth culture in Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York for a television pilot called Subject to Change. Though the program never made it to the air, the interviews that they recorded helped inspire the wave of political video documentaries now known as “Guerrilla Television.”
In an interview with the Videofreex, media artist Ralph Hocking once said that “99.99% of videotapes produced are boring as hell to 99.99% of the people who watch them.” What makes the Freex unique is that somehow so many of their tapes fit within the .01% that speak to more than just “video people.” They belong to that slim percentile of video that is essential: they capture the reality of the past and confront us with the urgency of our present.
Chicago Travelogue: The Weathermen, 1969, 22:30
David Cort and Mary Curtis Radcliff interview participants after the “Days of Rage” protest organized by the Chicago-based Weathermen in October of 1969. The Videofreex question the destructive methods of the new group but allow the students to speak about the personal importance of their radical experiences.
Fred Hampton: Black Panthers in Chicago, 1969, 24:00
Mary Curtis taped Parry Teasdale and David Cort’s interview with the twenty-one year-old deputy chairman of the Black Panther Party of Illinois just months before he was murdered by the Chicago Police. Members of the Videofreex reportedly broke into CBS offices to rescue the master copy of the interview after their pilot was canceled, and screenings of the video were instrumental in organizing the campaign for a civil case against the CPD.
Curtis’s Abortion, 1970, 22:59
Fellow Videofreex Nancy Cain and Carol Vontobel speak with Mary Curtis about her experience with recently legalized abortion in New York. The participants’ thoughtful conversation turns the informational tape into an unexpectedly warm document of friendship and the women’s rights movement.
All videos will be screened digitally, and were preserved and digitized by the Video Data Bank. Programmed by Zach Vanes and Emily Eddy.
Jacob Ciocci presents: “April fools! Pain is just a Program made by your Mind: the video Program. New Videos made by your Mind by Jacob Ciocci” presented on April Fools Day, the day that was made by your mind
Monday, April 1 at 8 PM (doors 7:30), $0-7-10
The Nightingale is fool-less-ly excited to bring relatively new Chicagoan Jacob Ciocci and some of his (relatively and, as they say, brand) new work to the big screen. For a legally voting or vaping aged human’s life, Ciocci has produced an immense body of work in video, performance, animation, sound, netart, sculpture, drawing, publication, painting and whatever else there is that has exhibited in museums and punk houses alike, populated by an idiosyncratic cast of characters from the far edges of junk culture, the bleating hearts of pop op and whatever a mind is. Formally diffuse, but with key ties (ecstatic color and movement, 31st century collage, heavy/heady/leafy sentiments), his work continues to grow and deepen, responsive both to Culture and culture, never shifting away from the lens (like a camera, like a projector) of his own subjectivity.
If you didn’t zone deep to paperrad.org or (f/b)reakdance at an Extreme Animals show, did you really vote against Romney?
Or, as a recent excursion to Planet Fitness for Jacob yielded:
It’s April fools but who is the biggest fool? An internet troll, a gremlin, the joker, or me, who still believes in these fantastic creatures ?
On April 1st Watch out for internet trolls gremlins and jokers and real trolls and fake jokers aka jokesters.
It’s always April fools day with all these trolls gremlins and jokers all over the place
On the internet it’s always April fools day so don’t get tricked by a troll gremlin or joker when you check your email
On the internet it’s always April fools day. Never trust a troll, a gremlin or a joker and definitely never ever trust yourself
If a troll asks for your password on April fools day give it to them it’s a reverse prank
Listen to the fools, the trolls and the jokesters for they have the mystical passwords and might steal your bank info
Can you handle life inside The mind of a fool, just for one day? What if that fool also happened to be a troll mixed with a gremlin and stole your password?
Jacob Ciocci (b. 1977, Lexington, KY) is a multimedia artist and musician. Ciocci was a member of the influential art collective Paper Rad whose work in the field of net.art––one of contemporary arts’ recent movements of the true avant-garde––helped ignite the genre, and is considered formative to a generation of younger artists whose works deals with the digital. He is also a co-founder of the long running electronic music and performance group, Extreme Animals.In his videos, installations and performances, the cultural symbols and technological tools of our time, both the popular and the obscure confront one another and the viewer on a visceral, emotional, and experiential level.
Ciocci has had recent solo exhibitions with Interstate Projects, New York; And/Or Gallery, Los Angeles and Prosjektrom Normanns, Norway. He has exhibited and performed his work at a range of venues, including MOMA, the New Museum, and the Tate Britain. Recent activities include a series of cell-phone charging sculptures for the Difference Engine group exhibition at Lisson Gallery (summer 2018) and “Appetite For Destruction” a short essay about the online “Finger Family Video” phenomenon. Ciocci is also the second Google Image result for the phrase “making friends with computers”.