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Radical Software, Volume II, Number 4
Solid State, Autumn 1973


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The connection between video and psychotherapy and mental health issues had been briefly addressed in earlier numbers of Radical Software, but Solid State, produced by The Center for Social Research and Action, a graduate program at the Baltimore Campus of Antioch College, was devoted to the subject.

Headed by Al Engelman, assisted by librarian and media instructor Brenda Engelman and filmmaker Alan Kaplan, the program was inspired by the New Left politics that had begun to dominate the political thinking on college campuses since the publication of the Port Huron Statement in 1962, and by the films of Fred Wiseman. The teachers and their students brought portapak video to bear on themes of community organization, institutional analysis, and psychotherapy. They also participated actively in the street politics of the day. They were present with portapaks during the Mayday 1971 demonstrations in Washington, D.C. when 13,000 demonstrators were arrested and locked up at the RFK Stadium and the DC jail.

Solid State leads off with "Video and Psychotherapy" by Vic Gioscia. Gioscia, who trained as a philosopher, was a friend of both Frank Gillette and Paul Ryan, appearing in Vol. I., Number 2 of Radical Software with a piece on the subject of time.

Gioscia had been Director of Research for Jewish Family Services, a New York family counseling organization. He was the direct link between Raindance and the burgeoning world of video psychotherapy, a community of mental health professionals who had also discovered video in the late 60s.

Ian Alger, M.D. with Peter Hogan, M.D. authored articles on the subject in the American Journal of Psychiatry as early as 1967. Milton Berger, M.D., who wrote the third article in Solid State, edited a book on the subject in 1970, Videotape Techniques in Psychiatric Training and Treatment.

The whole story of the video movement of the late 60s and early 70s, and its connection to the use of video and psychotherapy deserves serious attention.

 

 
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