Roving artist and makeshift film scholar, Bill Daniel, is back in the van with a program of videos retrieved from his milk crate media archive. The videos date from the late analog era in San Francisco, corresponding roughly between SF’s punk heydays and the first dot com boom. During this time Danielwas a participant in the Mission District collective Artists’ Television Access, where these video screened. The 80 minute program spans a range of forms from agit prop, pranks, activist documentation, video art, street journalism, anti-capitalist intervention, and plain old fun. The tapes are no-budget, raw and playful— most of them produced on simple linear tape-to-tape analog editing systems. Looking back at this era it’s hard not to feel nostalgic for a kind of golden moment as anti-Gulf War protestors take over the Bay Bridge, beer-guzzling soapbox-racing bike messengers take over Bernal Heights for word-of-mouth stagings of The San Francisco Illegal Soapbox Society, and artists modify billboards, participate in anti-logging protests, and retrieve lost pieces of San Francisco’s counter cultural history. The analog video cassette format was cheap and accessible and allowed artists to work fast and loose, and pursue subjects not practical on 16mm. The format’s drawbacks— low resolution and clunky linear editing—engender much of this work with kind of an endearing primitive style of bumpy flow.
All work presented on the original VHS tapes, in-person! Discussion to follow.