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frank gillette

By 1969, video was gaining a furious if somewhat limited momentum as more artists began to use portapaks. In New York a small interconnected group exchanged ideas and equipment: Paul Ryan, a research assistant with Marshall McLuhan at Fordham University, lent Fordham's equipment to Frank Gillette, a painter; filmmaker Ira Schneider met Gillette at a party and later taught a video workshop at Antioch College with Gillette. At that time Eric Siegel was working alone, experimenting with television hardware, and Les Levine, Tambellini, and Paik had begun exhibiting video work.


Howard Wise spent most of 1971 planning and setting up his not-for-profit organization Intermix, which he soon renamed Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI). His initial motive was to channel funds to individual artists. Several artists' collectives had incorporated as non-profits in order to be eligible for grants from NYSCA, which established a media program that year. According to Frank Gillette, during the brief period Wise occupied the gallery space after it had closed, the group Perception was formed. The original name and idea were conceived by Siegel, who soon after the group’s inception left for India, and he had little connection thereafter. The other founding member was Gillette, and Steina and Woody Vasulka soon joined. Perception defined itself as "a group which conducts research into methods and equipment through which to make more effective presentation and communication of information by video." (40) Wise hoped to obtain money for these artists and help them to produce work.

40. At the Leading Edge of Art (New York: Electronic Arts Intermix, 1973), p.8.

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