encryption. It produced many successes such as the New Czech Wave of the sixties. Legitimate film in the USA was an industry. I had neither the temperament, nor interest for industrial filmmaking. Of course, there was something else and it took me no time to find it: the American avant-garde film. I was very skeptical at first. We Europeans had had the REAL film avant-garde but it was long over. On a second look the Americans were magnificent. It set me straight. I thought it was now possible to break the literary bonds with moving images and set the filmic syntax free again, but for me it was too late. I had already abandoned film. I was now in the world of electronics: first through sound making, then video. It went very fast. We got our own theater. We did exactly what we wanted and never had to deal with the world of the Galleries. We made our own world of Art.
S.V. For us, coming from film or music, the gallery had no meaning.
W.V. Galleries never found any use for film anyhow. Film had its own cultural environment.
D.F. There was not a bad distribution system for experimental film at that time.
W.V. That is right. It was a very powerful medium. Film was very good at that time. It was the best that America had to offer.
D.F. In 1970 there was the Doug Davis thing in Washington, Hokkadim, were you in it?
S.V. No. We had only been doing video for a short time then.
W.V. But a year later we had our own "gallery" so to speak. We did festivals at the Kitchen and had media events every day of the week. We did not need to go anywhere.
S.V. I remember before we had The Kitchen we would go over to Harvey Lloyd's studio, set all the machines into motion, watch feedback, invite dancers to control a feedback loop, which in turn triggered synthesized audio, etc. Then we started taking out the Portapac, which was very lightweight and very wonderful. The second-generation portapac had a lot of weight added, but the first Portapac was completely stripped down. It did not even have "Rewind" or "Playback" function. You shot like film, never knowing what you were getting. There was a little turnkey for manual rewinding. We used to call up people and ask to tape them. The typical responses would be: "What is taping? What is video? What for? Why would you want to tape me?" This went on for the first year. We taped jazz musicians, dancers, and artists. A photographer friend asked Woody if he was interested in coming along to the Fillmore East. Jimi Hendrix was performing. The sound engineer gave Woody the house mix from the sound booth, so the sound was excellent. The picture was of course low resolution Black/White. This was kind of our school. And
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