Street Tapes

  • Core Club 169 Bowery New York, NY USA

AKTIONSART presents “Street Tapes”, a film screening that surveys how artists use new technologies to investigate urban life and public space. The contemporary genre of street art is traced from the moment when the Lumiere brothers invented the cinematographe and created the first motion picture in 1895. Long before moving image became defined by commercial filmmaking, artists used the camera to create non-narrative shorts and capture ephemeral images of city life. While not commonly related to contemporary notions of street art, these early films are an integral component of the historical lineage.

The program title references the ‘street tape’ style of filmmaking that emerged in the early seventies in New York City when Andy Mann began to use the first portable videocassette recorder, the Sony Portapak. Following his lead, other artists such as Gordon Matta-Clark took this new technology to the streets and developed a style that emphasized art as real life, with a minimum of editing and acting. Though the technology and methods of interacting with the street constantly change, the artists included in this screening all share the common ideology that provokes street art. The same impetus that drove the Lumiere brothers to capture images of the street translates to contemporary practice utilizing new media and digital distribution platforms such as YouTube and mobile phones. The work presented moves between traditional fine art boundaries and represents documentation, performance, fine art objects, experimental film and commercial feature films.


Lumiére Brothers, "Workers Leaving the Factory", 1895
Lumiére Brothers, "Demolition of a Wall", 1896
Lumiére Brothers, "New York: Broadway at Union Square", 1896
Rainer Judd, "Instant End", 1988
Kama, "Escalator Animation", 2009
Gordon Matta-Clark, "Splitting", 1974
Vhils, "Scratching the Surface", 2009
Andy Mann, "One Eyed Bum", 1974
JR, "Extrait Women Are Heroes", 2009
Robin Rhode, "Unfufilled (Spade for Spade)", 2005
Robin Rhode, "Empty Pockets", 2008
Sam 3, "Water Kiss", 2008
Duke Riley, "Belmont Island S.M.E.A.C.C.", 1995
Barnstormers, "Scrounge", 2006
Blu and David Ellis, "Combo", 2009

Produced by Aktionsart, in partnership with Core Club and Wooster Collective. 
Curated by Julia Fryett and Sara and Marc Schiller.

September 10
The Black & White Show
February 17
Collecting Video Art