New Television Workshop Collection

New Television Workshop Collection Program MaterialsRockefeller Artists-in-Television

Video clip of Violence Sonata

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Violence Sonata

Extent:
2 videoreels of 2 (240 min.) : sd., col. ; 2 in.
2 videoreels of 2 (240 min.) : sd., col. ; 2 in.
2 videocassettes of 2 (Betacam SP) (240 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
2 videocassettes of 2 (Betacam SP) (240 min.) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
2 videocassettes of 2 : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.
1 videocassette of 2 : sd., col. ; 3/4 in.
2 videocassettes of 2 (VHS) : sd., col. ; 1/2 in.
1 folder

Copyright Date:
1970?

Copyright Holder:
Copyright holder is unidentified.

Artist:
Vanderbeek, Stan

Background:
This double-channel work was created when video artist and filmmaker Stan Vanderbeek was a Rockefeller Artist-in-Television. When the work was broadcast on WGBH channels 2 and 44, viewers were asked to take two television sets and place them side by side.

Scope:
There appear to be two 2" copies of each channel of the work. Betacam SP preservation masters exist, and an additional set of masters was created for purposes of exhibition ca. 1996. One complete set of the work exists on 3/4" screening copies, with one additional copy of one of the channels. VHS screening copies have also been made, although they do not correspond to the 3/4" screening copies. The work appears to be about two hours in length (four hours worth of total tape).
One folder contains a transcript of a workshop given by the artist, and an article written by the artist.

Stan Vanderbeek's "Violence Sonata" mixes live studio action and a prerecorded video work to question violence, race relations, and man's ability to communicate at the beginning of the 1970's. On channel 2, the original work created by Vanderbeek was shown. This includes archival film footage of the Ku Klux Klan, street scenes, images of outer space missions, riots, and so on. This imagery is manipulated and enhanced through overlays and color saturation. Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech is featured. A white man and black man repeat the phrases, "I want to like you" and "Adapt or die." Raised fists are recurring images. On channel 44, sections of this work were played before a live studio audience who responded to the question "Can man communicate?" At home, viewers were also encouraged to call in their responses to this question and, despite the somewhat dire issues raised by the work, voted overwhelmingly in favor of man's ability to communicate. In one image from the work, a black woman and a white man appeared in bed together. No credit information appears on the viewing copies.



Directors:
Barzyk, Fred
Atwood, David

Subjects:
Violence
Communication
Race relations


Genres:
Image-processed works
Audience participation programs





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