Radical Software, Volume II, Number
Video and Kids, Summer 1974
Click cover for thumbnails
The conditions that sustained the embryonic video community
in 1970 differed markedly from those that prevailed
four years later. For one thing, the landscape had evolved
to include a wide variety of forms. Some types of video
art were finding acceptance in galleries and museums.
And with the advent of time-base correction, documentary
and narrative videotapes produced on half-inch portable
equipment were beginning to appear on television.
Also, the number of people who called the video community
home had expanded exponentially. The community had grown
from a handful of video pioneers, who knew each other
more or less well, into a national movement with hundreds
of practitioners. Non-profit organizations dedicated
wholly or in part to 1/2-inch portable video production
had sprung up across the nation and a generous support
system of grants and fellowships had evolved to meet
their funding requirements. It seemed to be a rosy picture
and, in some respects, it was.
But for some of the people who encouraged it all -
the community represented by Radical Software,
its contributors and readership - the perceived emphasis
on product marked a troubling departure from their goal
of evolutionary change. There was less a sense of challenging
the information order of the day and more a sense of
becoming part of it.
There is some feeling of this in the opening paragraphs
of this last issue of Radical Software, "Video
& Kids", put together by Peter Haratonik and
Kit Laybourne of the Center for Understanding Media.
Concerned mainly with the use of video for educating
children, and sensing a community-wide feeling of doubt
about goals and methods, they called together a conference
of educators and video activists who shared their concerns,
and challenged them to explicate their own work and
goals. This last issue of Radical Software is
the remarkable result.