New Television Workshop Collection

New Television Workshop Collection Program MaterialsArtist's Showcase



Batteries Not Included

Copyright Date:
1979

Copyright Holder:
Betsy Connors and WGBH Educational Foundation

Artist:
Connors, Betsy

Extent:
1 videoreel of 1 (ca. 16 1/2 min.) : sd., col. ; 2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (Betacam) (ca. 16 1/2 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (D3) (ca. 16 1/2 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (VHS) (ca. 16 1/2 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 videocassette of 1 (ca. 16 1/2 min.) : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.
1 folder

Background:
Made while Connors was in residence at the Workshop and M.I.T.'s Center for Advanced Visual Studies, "Batteries Not Included" was broadcast on "Artist's Showcase."

Scope:
Includes a 2" master, Betacam SP and D3 preservation masters, and 3/4" and VHS screening copies. Black-and-white negatives, contact sheets, and photographic prints showing Betsy Connors, Fred Barzyk, and others in production of the work.

In "Batteries Not Included" Betsy Connors depicts a futuristic world of not quite human occupants using stop motion animation techniques. Elongated figures shuffle about while watching a reflection of their own image as projected onto a monitor that drops before them. In an open house furnished in minimalist design, one figure knocks over another one, causing blood to accumulate slowly. A toy airplane hangs suspended in front of a monitor playing footage filmed from a plane, creating the illusion that the toy craft is flying over moving ground. A landscape looking like the moon's craggy surface is slowly populated by clay figures, who stand their ground during a violent storm until slowly disappearing from sight. Filmed entirely using miniature sets of Connors' own design, the work plays with the illusions she creates. Sometimes the audience is in on the techniques used (as in the case of the flying airplane) and sometimes the audience is left in the dark.



Directors:
Barzyk, Fred
Benson, Terry (Assistant Director)

Producers:
Chiesa, Dorothy
Tappan, Olivia (Associate Producer)

Coproducers:
New Television Workshop, WGBH
Center for Advanced Visual Studies at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Funders:
Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities
National Endowment for the Arts
Rockefeller Foundation
Sloan Foundation, The

Subjects:
Airplanes
Miniature objects






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