Radical Software, Volume II, Number
Solid State, Autumn 1973
Click cover for thumbnails
The connection between video and psychotherapy and
mental health issues had been briefly addressed in earlier
numbers of Radical Software, but Solid State,
produced by The Center for Social Research and Action,
a graduate program at the Baltimore Campus of Antioch
College, was devoted to the subject.
Headed by Al Engelman, assisted by librarian and media
instructor Brenda Engelman and filmmaker Alan Kaplan,
the program was inspired by the New Left politics that
had begun to dominate the political thinking on college
campuses since the publication of the Port Huron
Statement in 1962, and by the films of Fred Wiseman.
The teachers and their students brought portapak video
to bear on themes of community organization, institutional
analysis, and psychotherapy. They also participated
actively in the street politics of the day. They were
present with portapaks during the Mayday 1971 demonstrations
in Washington, D.C. when 13,000 demonstrators were arrested
and locked up at the RFK Stadium and the DC jail.
Solid State leads off with "Video and Psychotherapy"
by Vic Gioscia. Gioscia, who trained as a philosopher,
was a friend of both Frank Gillette and Paul Ryan, appearing
in Vol. I., Number 2 of Radical Software with
a piece on the subject of time.
Gioscia had been Director of Research for Jewish Family
Services, a New York family counseling organization.
He was the direct link between Raindance and the burgeoning
world of video psychotherapy, a community of mental
health professionals who had also discovered video in
the late 60s.
Ian Alger, M.D. with Peter Hogan, M.D. authored articles
on the subject in the American Journal of Psychiatry
as early as 1967. Milton Berger, M.D., who wrote the
third article in Solid State, edited a book on the subject
in 1970, Videotape Techniques in Psychiatric Training
The whole story of the video movement of the late 60s
and early 70s, and its connection to the use of video
and psychotherapy deserves serious attention.