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Radical Software, Volume II, Number 5
Video and Environment, Winter 1973

Click cover for thumbnails

The late Chilean-American artist Juan Downey, Ira Schneider, and Frank Gillette dominate the early pages of this number, as they do the cover photograph, looking out of a tent, probably at Ruby, New York. Korot is there, too, at the extreme left. The slightly obscure and oblique head with the large hair belongs to Andy Mann, a friend to the others and a significant video artist in his own right. He, too, is deceased. The others are Juan's wife Marilise, her son and daughter, Juanfi and Titi LaMadrid, and Barbara Goldberg.

They were a loose gang for a time, a group of friends who did video and enjoyed each other's company and cooking. They were all very close to their art. They thought a lot about it and committed themselves to it fully. Not that they, and the larger group they represented here, were the New York art world's idea of what video artists should be, even though they could lay an authoritative claim to having helped invent the form. But they had two champions, Howard Wise of Electronic Arts Intermix, and Jim

Harithas of the Everson Museum in Syracuse; both interesting characters and both absolutely crucial to the history of video art. There is a rare essay by Harithas on page 45 of this issue of Radical Software.

The early pages serve as a showcase for some of Downey's, Schneider's and Gillette's video art with descriptions, drawings, installation photographs, and proposals for projects.

Another interesting page is 19, on which there is a description of a very early industrial project for the American Can Company by Schneider and Gillette, with Paul Ryan and John Reilly. Also involved was Woody Vasulka, though his name is not mentioned. As a video display system it has interest, although the group lost control of the software, much to their disappointment.

Don't miss Andrew Horowitz's article "Domestic Communications Satellites" on page 36; wide ranging and full of relevance.