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 from San 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 Depocas.

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.


Davidson Gigliotti
- Project Director

 

 
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