| in the radical environment of San Francisco
in the late 1960s and was not interested in producing products for public
television. Instead, he invited artists from different disciplines-poets,
novelists, painters, sculptors, among them poets Robert Creeley and Charles
Olson, and sculptor Willard Rosenquist-to experiment with imaging devices
at the center. Brice Howard said, "I wanted people who didn't care much
about television. "When he initially took on the project, he told KQED that
"if you can accept the idea that I might not give you one minute of recorded
material, then I'll do it."10
This attitude, however heady it may appear from the perspective of the 1980s, dovetailed easily with the spirit in which the foundation, first through Compton and Lloyd and then Klein, conceived of the possibility of television research and development. The Rockefeller Foundation gave NCET $300,000 in 1971 to further this artists-in-residence program. Brice Howard invited Paul Kaufman, from the University of California at Berkeley, to be resident scholar and then executive director of the program. NCET also sponsored interns from public television stations and many artists-in-residence from foreign countries.
Artists like Don Hallock, William Gwin, William Roarty, and Robert Zagone created works at NCET. Others, like Stephen Beck who developed his video synthesizer there, matured as artists there. Brice Howard created a "laid-back" atmosphere where these artists could experiment with image-processing machines and audio synthesizers. Most of the works that came out of the NCET were processed, abstract explorations, often concerned with issues of surface and formal imagemaking. In fact, to many other videomakers in the San Francisco area, there was a specific NCET style, which was seen by some as elitist and heavily concerned with image and sound over content. Certainly central to the philosophy of the place was the concern that artists, in being given direct access to the tools for creating television, would create a new, humanistic kind of television.11 Also key to this philosophy was the importance of allowing artists time and space in which to experiment without thinking of products, in an unpressured atmosphere. According to Howard, "we tried very seriously not to make it too heavy and profound, so we invited people essentially to come play."
In 1971 , the Rockefeller Foundation gave NCET $300,000 to develop a program working with students. Paul Kaufman noted:
The time had come to try to see if you could do something about changing the moribund characteristics of teaching about television in the Universities.... We began a project that lasted for three years which initially had people from the Center going out and visiting a lot of campuses, bringing tapes along, going to art departments.... Well, out of this group of initial visits, about 5 or 6 places kind of surfaced as possible workshop sites and eventually these became more or less mini-centers in themselves. 12
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