Video Roundup: Severed Heads

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Severed Heads on ABC Television's program "Edge of the Wedge" in 1986

Originally founded in 1979 by Richard Fielding, Andrew Wright and Tom Ellard, Severed Heads was an electronic group based in Sydney. They used synthesizers, tape loops, and an array of electronics to yield a distinctive sound, one which could most easily be described as industrial music, which later developed into abstract pop. While the lineup changed over the years, Tom Ellard has been the main continuing force in the group, up until his announcement of its end in 2008. In 1983, Severed Heads began integrating live video in their performances, which became a mainstay in their work. This post collects videos of the group, the majority of which date from the early 1980s, and many of which document their use of video synthesizers. For more information about everything Severed Heads, check Ellard's official site.


Below: Videos of a live set performed on Metro TV, a community video center, in 1982. The video synthesizer used here was developed by Stephen Jones.



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EAI in Times Square

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Takeshi Murata, EAI 40th Anniversary Intro 2011, 1:04 min, color, sound

From April 13 - 19, as part of their 40th anniversary programming, the Electronic Art Intermix (EAI) will organize a special project in Time Square. Partnering with the Times Square Alliance and MTV, EAI will be showing a program of video works on MTV's MTV 44½'s large-format LED screen. The selected pieces by Vito Acconci, Dan Asher, Phyllis Baldino, Dara Birnbaum, Gary Hill, Shigeko Kubota, Takeshi Murata, Nam June Paik, Martha Rosler, Stuart Sherman and William Wegman span EAI's 40 year history and are only a fragment of EAI's vast archive.

The videos will play at the top of each hour, between noon and 4pm and between 6pm and 11pm. On Saturday, April 16 and Sunday, April 17 the complete program (25:16 min) will also play at noon.

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Rectangle & Rectangles (1984) - Réné Jodoin

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This is a didactic film in disguise. A progression of brilliant geometric shapes bombard the screen to the insistent beat of drums. The filmmaker programmed a computer to coordinate a highly complex operation involving an electronic beam of light, color filters and a camera. This animation film, without words, is designed to expose the power of the cinematic medium, and to illustrate the abstract nature of time.

-- DESCRIPTION FROM THE NATIONAL FILM BOARD OF CANADA

Originally via DIAMOND VARIATIONS

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Aquarelles (1980) - Tom DeWitt, Vibeke Sorensen and Dean Winkler

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Video by Tom DeWitt, Vibeke Sorensen and Dean Winkler. Music by Vibeke Sorensen.

Originally via Diamond Variations

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A Melody (1984) - Walter Verdin

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Blue Mercury (1986) - Matthew Schlanger

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Originally via VIDEO CIRCUITS

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TV Party: A Panorama of Public Access Television in New York City

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The weird and fantastic world of New York's public access television will receive the attention it deserves in a film program curated by Leah Churner and Nicolas Rapold for the Museum of the Moving Image. The program, titled TV Party: A Panorama of Public Access Television in New York City kicks off tonight, and will run until February 20th. Spanning the past four decades, screenings will include shows such as The Scott and Gary Show, Wild Record Collection, The Live! Show, Glenn O' Brien's TV Party, The Vole Show, and more! Check the trailer below.


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Little Caesar Magazine

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Snippets below from Little Caesar Magazine, a literary journal/zine produced by Dennis Cooper from 1976 until 1982. Scans and pdfs of the original issues are available through Dennis Cooper's site.


Maybe we're crazy but we think there can be a literary that's loved and powerful. We want a magazine that's read by poetry fans, the rock culture, the Hari Krishnas, the Dodgers. We think it can be done, and that's what we're aiming at.

I have this dream where writers are mobbed everywhere they go, like rock stars and actors. A predilection? You never know. People like Patti Smith are subtly forcing their audiences to become literate, introducing them to Rimbaud, Breton, Burroughs and others. Poetry sales are higher than they've been in fifteen years. In Paris ten year old boys clutching well worn copies of Apollonaire's ALCOOLS put their hands over their mouths in amazement before paintings by Renoir and Monet. Bruce Lee movies close in three days. This could happen here.

Let us introduce ourselves. We're not fifty year old patrons of the arts. We're young punks just like you, and just because Kenneth Rexroth's got a name in some crowds doesn't mean a wink's gonna get his rickety old crap in here. He comes through the back door like everyone else.

- Dennis Cooper, 1978. Excerpt the introduction to Little Caesar #1

Rimbaud Crossword from Little Caesar #5 on Rimbaud

Interview with Andy Warhol by Gerard Malanga from Little Caesar #7

"Variations For Waking" by Jim Carroll from Little Caesar #3

Originally via East of Borneo

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Chilton Computing Photographs: 1961-2004

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DCS Systime 5000 used for Unix Development (01.01.80)

The photos below derive from the online photo archive "Chilton Computing Photographs: 1961-2004." Photos in the collection relate to computing and computer staff on the Chilton, Oxfordshire site that housed both the Atlas Computer Laboratory and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory. The archive contains over 3000 photos from 1961-2004.

Originally via DIAMOND VARIATIONS

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Atlas Machine Room in Colour, just before Closure (13.03.73)

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Apollo Domain (05.04.82)

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Computer Graphics Display: Rutherford (02.01.70)

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Computer Display Board (High Speed Local Networks) (03.10.79)

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ICL 2904 (22.03.79)

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PERQ Screen: Game of Life (05.03.81)

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Transputer (07.04.87)

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Voyage (1981) - Dean Winkler, Tom DeWitt, Vibeke Sorensen and Robert Lund

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Video by Dean Winkler, Tom DeWitt, Vibeke Sorensen and Robert Lund.
Music by Tom DeWitt and Vibeke Sorensen.

Originally via DIAMOND VARIATIONS

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