The film, video, and audio recordings below, selected from the BAMPFA archives, were compiled as a digital gallery to accompany Way Bay, an exhibition of art and film, plus poetry, performance documentation, and archival materials exploring two hundred years of creative energies that have emerged from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Click on the images to play selected works.
First Generation, 1977
A collective of three performance artists—Mary Winder Baker, Debra Rapoport and Susan Wick—came together to create remarkable textile-oriented performances and installations that inspired and expanded the definition of creativity in San Francisco. The location of this video was a window at Macy's in Union Square.
Jani Novak, 1975-07-08
This 1/2-inch open reel video documents the artist Jani Novak, performing for the exhibition titled Performance/Art/Artists/Performers at the University of California, Berkeley, University Art Museum on July 8, 1975, organized by Carlos Gutierrez-Solana.
Cecilia Dougherty, 1985
Cecilia Dougherty's first video, made while she was a student at Berkeley, Gay Tape: Butch and Femme applies “a little fine-tuning” to the question of representation, honing in on the subjective particularities of the butch-femme dynamic as experienced by members of Dougherty's local Bay Area dating pool.
La Mamelle, Inc., 1980-01-05
Airing on Cable 6, San Francisco, on January 5, 1980, this program explores the history and future of art space and publisher La Mamelle, featuring an interview with founding directors Carl Loeffler and Nancy Frank and clips from Videozines 5-6 (Bob Davis, Anna Banana, Bill Gaglione).
Cecilia Dougherty, 1998
"Leslie is a fractured portrait of San Francisco Bay Area language poet Leslie Scalapino. In this tape, I re-enter and re-present Leslie's writing using only video language and pictorial structure. My idea is to put the writer inside the fiction or structure of her own writing, creating a story (fiction) about the writer herself."—Cecilia Dougherty.
Media Access Center, 1970
This tape focuses on alternate living experiments and accessible shelter materials—homemade and hi-tech dome structures, inflatables, tipis, raps with owner-built homesteaders, building with waste materials, experimental playground constructions.
David L. Brown, Peter Gessner, 1987
Filmed on San Francisco Bay, this multi-camera documentary depicts a Peace Navy demonstration against Fleet Week.
This documentary covers the first New Games Tournament held at the Marin Headlands’ Gerbode Preserve in 1973 and features New Games co-founder Stewart Brand demonstrating his boffing prowess and Wavy Gravy leading a variety of games in a jester costume.
Ant Farm and TVTV, 1970s
Bay Area early video freaks—Chip Lord and Hudson Marquez of Ant Farm and Allen Rucker of TVTV—took a road trip in the Bubble Mobile to Vancouver in 1970/71 to visit artist friends in the Canadian woods.
Tinted newsreel footage of San Francisco's Panama-Pacific Exposition of 1915 includes: aerial photographs, Court of the Universe, Court of the Palms, Fine Arts Palace, Sousa and his band, Court and Tower of Jewels, Court of the Four Seasons, Italian Court, arrival of the Liberty Bell, and the Exposition at night.
George Bolling, 1970
BAMPFA preserved this early 1970s recording of television feedback images with electronic noise by George Bolling, among the first African American artists working with experimental video and the first video curator appointed by a museum on the West Coast (de Saisset Art Gallery and Museum) in 1971.
Felix Feist, Jr., 1934
The "Inquiring Cameraman" conducts "man-on-the-street" interviews with Californians prior to the gubernatorial election of November 6, 1934. Voters state their opinions on candidates Upton Sinclair, Frank Merriam, and Raymond L. Haight.
Optic Nerve, 1978
Media collective Optic Nerve interviews San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk at Castro Camera, a camera shop operated by Milk since he opened it in 1972 and center of the neighborhood gay community.
This 16mm color reversal film, playfully shot by Freude (Bartlett), documents a pixilated road trip and back-to-nature explorations in Northern California.
John Held Jr., 1984
Video profile on mail art features an interview with Leavenworth Jackson, rubber stamp illustrator and correspondence artist, followed by John Held Jr. of the Modern Realism Gallery interviewed on Lifestyle.
Optic Nerve, 1971
Artist collective Optic Nerve documents author Anais Nin's visit to Berkeley, California, circa December 1971. Part 1 of 2: Anais Nin lecture at Zellerbach Auditorium, UC Berkeley, December 1971. Part 2 of 2: Optic Nerve interview with Anais Nin.
Scott Bartlett, 1980
Wipes, keying, feedback—all the standard functions of a studio switcher—are first illustrated and named, then woven into a sound and picture puzzle of the 60s—a recreation of Scott Bartlett’s seminal electrovideographic jam Offon with the assistance of students from his video production class at UCLA.
Ginny Lloyd, 1980
This short segment from Evening Magazine focuses on color xerography, the latest art craze, and an international copy art exhibition and workshop, curated and conducted by artist Ginny Lloyd at La Mamelle, Inc., 70 12th Street, San Francisco, June 13–July 18, 1980.
Optic Nerve, 1977
Video collective Optic Nerve documents California Governor Jerry Brown's visit to the Gray Whale Listening Station, an experimental installation along California's north coast, designed by Ant Farm, 1977.
Optic Nerve, 1978
Optic Nerve's Pushed Out for Profit focuses on the consequences of housing speculation in the Bay Area in the late 1970s, documenting the efforts of families and communities in the Mission, the Castro, and Oakland to hold on to their homes and apartments as prices soared and evictions were the order of the day.
Loren Sears, 1968
For the BAMPFA exhibition Videospace: The National Center for Experiments in Television, 1967–1975 (2000), we preserved Loops, a high energy, five-layer mix from film loops of animated shapes. The music is loop composition from a Buchla Box.
Terry Riley and Arlo Acton, 1969
Originally broadcast on KQED in San Francisco in 1969 as part of The Dilexi Series, Music with Balls is a highly effective synthesis of abstract visuals—chiefly Arlo Acton's spherical sculptures of glittering titanium—and a soundtrack on which Terry Riley played hypnotically repetitive music on a soprano saxophone together with the feedback from two tape machines.
Deborah Mangum, 1978
Six Phrases in Real Time is a videotape interpretation of an actual videodance event, performed at Serramonte Shopping Mall in Daly City, California. The nontheatrical environment of Serramonte Shopping Mall provided an immediate audience for Six Phrases in Real Time that was unfamiliar with the inside workings of TV and modern dance.
Video Free America, 1983
Video Free America is a media arts collective founded by Skip Sweeney and Arthur Ginsberg in San Francisco in 1970. This is a compilation of clips of their work from 1970 to 1983 put together for a tribute by the Mill Valley Film Festival.
Warner Jepson and Ruth Asawa, 1974
Warner Jepson videotaped Ruth Asawa’s folded paper and wire sculptures, set in motion, and processed the imagery through live video synthesis.
Anna Halprin and Seth Hill, 1969
This extraordinary film documents the first days of rehearsal for the performance Ceremony of Us, a collaboration between Anna Halprin and Studio Watts, which took place at the Mark Taper Theatre in Los Angeles in 1969, and for which no final performance film exists.
National Center for Experiments in Television (NCET), 1968
This tape documents the earliest works from the Experimental Project (later the National Center for Experiments in Television), an intersection of dance, music, and poetry with the video medium, produced out of the KQED studio. Participants include Joanne Kyger, Loren Sears, Richard Felciano, Robert Creeley, John Graham, and Charles Olson.
Optic Nerve, 1975
In 1975 San Francisco utilized funds from the Comprehensive Employment and Training Act (CETA) to hire artists as part of an unprecedented opportunity to give them the chance to serve the public and be paid for their work. Art Works follows muralists, musicians, dancers, circus performers, and gardeners as they bring their projects and skills to senior centers, hospitals, public housing projects, and childcare groups.
This film is about the oppression of the Third World community in the Mission district of San Francisco, specifically seven Latino youths who were recruiting street kids into a college Brown Studies Program. Accused of killing a plainclothesman, they became victims of a press and police campaign to "clean-up" the Mission. Their defense became the foundation of a revolutionary community organization called Los Siete.
Taylor, Edward Silverstone, 1959
This edited Ektachrome home movie with titles documents a 1959 street fair, upper Grant Avenue, San Francisco—the center of Beat culture. The film includes shots of filmmaker Dion Vigne and his wife Loreon, artist and occultist Marjorie Cameron and her daughter Crystal, artist Wallace Berman and his wife Shirley, and Beat poet and surrealist Bob Kaufman.
Skip Sweeney, 1975
This sampling of Sweeney's work shows feedback processed through a combination of a Moog audio synthesizer and the Vidium colorizing synthesizer invented by Bill Hearn in 1969. Recorded off the monitor with a black and white camera, the images were later colorized.
First Generation, 1977
Produced by First Generation, a partnership between Dede Tisone Bartels, Betty Estersohn, and Joan Valdes, this tape is a documentary on Jasmine Nash, an affiliate of Anna Halprin who taught street dance to students from a wide variety of backgrounds in an upstairs dance studio in the Fillmore District of San Francisco in the 1970s.
This audio recording documents the morning symposium for the exhibition Made in U.S.A.: An Americanization in Modern Art, the '50s & '60s, which took place on April 25, 1987 at the University Art Museum, Berkeley (now BAMPFA). The panel discussion was comprised of active participants in events of the 1950s and 60s and people well known for their incisive, challenging thoughts and creative output on this period, including Todd Gitlin, Diane Johnson, Greil Marcus, and Angela Davis.
Visiting Berkeley for his MATRIX 131 exhibition at the University Art Museum (now BAMPFA), September 15–November 17, 1989, German artist Stefan Kürten speaks with curator Larry Rinder about San Francisco, his artistic practice, and what it means to be an artist working away from home in a different country. He also talks about the differences between the art communities in San Francisco and Düsseldorf.
On April 14, 1991, Cahuilla Bird Singers performed for the public at the University Art Museum in Berkeley (now BAMPFA) as part of the exhibition Lewis de Soto / MATRIX 144: The Language of Paradise, a multimedia installation based on the cosmology of de Soto's patrilineal ancestors, the Cahuilla people of Southern California.
Rupert Garcia, Enrique Chagoya, and Nathan Oliveira dig deep on the problems and contradictions of the Enlightenment as shown in the work of Francisco Goya and relate their personal awakenings as artists responding to the everyday political struggles in the U.S. and the San Francisco Bay Area. Image: Enrique Chagoya "Que Sacrificio!/What Sacrifice!" from Recurrent Goya series, 2012, courtesy of the artist.
During the exhibition On Painting: The Work of Elmer Bischoff and Joan Brown (1992) at the University Art Museum in Berkeley (now BAMPFA), sculptor Manuel Neri was invited to give a talk about Joan Brown, his former spouse (1962–1966) and artistic collaborator. This intimate talk explored a variety of topics, including how artistic couples work separately and together, Brown's kinship with Jay DeFeo, and wild details of a party in Spain with Salvador Dali, Marcel Duchamp, and Man Ray. Image © Estate of Joan Brown.