what I considered to be the American Left. I was quite perplexed at the ease with which the American cultural manners dominated ideology.
S.V. It was after this clash in the video community that Russ Connor was hired by the New York State Council to head a video department. He started going to everybody suggesting: "Become a non-profit group and you can legally get money." He went with this proposition to people like Ralph Hocking (founder of the Experimental TV. Center): "You are in the upstate doing video, you qualify for grants if you become a non-profit organization." He also suggested this to Eric Siegel, who had just come back from the west coast with his colorizer.
D.F. In a cigar box.
S.V. In a "Siegel box" which Siegel had done in cahoots
with Howard Wise. Connor told
W.V. "Electronic Art Intermix" was another acronym by Frank Gillette. He fabricated a lot of linguistics around video and systems in general and made it quite respectable. He brought McLuhan down to the people.
C.C. How and why did you start the "Kitchen?"
W.V. There were just too many people coming to our place to watch video.
S.V. We couldn't take all these comings and goings. There were also a lot of drugs. We had this friend, a carpenter who really knew New York and could smell out places. His name was Andy Mannik and his big passion was modern dance. He became our partner and the three of us decided to start the Kitchen.
S.V. The next year "The Kitchen," and Perception became two different groups under the Electronic Arts Intermix's umbrella. In it, besides Eric Siegel, were Ira Schneider, Beryl Korot, Frank Gillette, Andy Mann and Juan Downey, all doing their individual projects. This was a very elegant way to get around the State Councils rules that legally could only fund institutions
C.C. Why did you do video, Woody?
W.V. Because I understood it was unlike film. I had just graduated from the famous Film Academy of Prague where the artistic agenda was very clear: to perfect the language of the indirect, the ever changing code of metaphorical
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