Three years ago Ira Schneider and I started
thinking about ways to republish Radical Software,
a periodical Schneider helped found back in 1970. We
knew it was important - the only periodical devoted
to video back in the early 70s - but we also knew that
complete collections were scarce.
Working from Ira's collection, we had the entire contents
of Radical Software, 690 pages, scanned and converted
to PDF files in Berlin, Germany, where Ira lives.
With the PDF files in hand, our first thought was to
cobble together a Web site and put them up. However,
when we were both in New York, Benjamin Weil
Francisco Museum of Modern Art came by and dissuaded
us from this ad hoc approach. He suggested that we convert
the issues of Radical Software into a searchable
database as well as PDF files. He also suggested that
we apply to the Daniel
Langlois Foundation for help in the project.
Gerry O'Grady, a media scholar and friend of
many years, and one of the first researchers in residence
at the Daniel Langlois Foundation, seconded the idea,
and David Ross agreed to write an introduction.
Our proposal to the Langlois Foundation met with encouraging
results. They invited me to visit their headquarters
in Montreal, where I met Jean Gagnon and Alain
As I learned, the Langlois Foundation had particular
expertise in developing databases, and together we looked
at some they had done in the past and talked about the
best approach for this project. They agreed to take
responsibility for the database part of the Web site.
We, on the other hand, would do the 'front end', the
texts and the home page design itself.
I was not really a Web designer. I had done one, The
Early Video Project, but it was very a simple
text-driven site with no bells and whistles. I knew
we would need professional help, and I called on Harvestworks,
a well-established media facility in New York. Carol
Parkinson, the Director of Harvestworks, helped
form a design team with
Taketo Shimada doing the actual page design
and coding, Cory
Arcangel coordinating with the database designer
in Montreal, and Hans
Tammen keeping everything on track. They are
a great team, and the results are here before you.
Ira and I both belonged to New York video collectives
back in the late 60s and early 70s. He was with Raindance,
and I was with the Videofreex. We've been friends
from then until now, and that holds true for most of
the Videofreex and Raindancers. After 34 years, there
is still a powerful bond between us, and the desire
that our work and ideas continue to have meaning in
the present and the future.