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Digital Archive of the New York Women’s Video Festivals

Helena Shaskevich, Art History

Digital Archive of the New York Women’s Video Festivals

My project aims to create a digital archive of the 1970s New York Women’s Video Festivals (NYWVF). Organized by artist Susan Milano and hosted at the Kitchen, an avant-garde intermedia art center, the festivals represent a significant, but largely forgotten moment in feminist media. Featuring tapes created, produced, or directed by women, the NYWVF included works by seminal video artists like Shigeko Kubota and Susan Mogul, alongside more didactic and activist oriented tapes by grassroots collectives and guerilla television community groups. The digital archive of the NYWVF will bring together videos from these artists and collectives involved in the festival over the course of its run during the 1970s, alongside agendas, reviews, and more recent artist interviews. In doing so, the NYWVF digital archive offers a corrective to current historical narratives of video art, which overemphasize the work of individual artists at the expense of activist collectives, while offering insight into the beginnings of 1970s feminist media politics.