Lanesville TV by Videofreex

About Videofreex

Videofreex started up in 1969 and was among the first few video pioneers to spread the new technology and producing thousands of video tapes about utopian 1970s, multi-media events, video art installations and also a pirate tv station – Lanesville TV.[i]

Lanesville TV started around March 1972 and since then until February 1977, Videofreex aired 258 television broadcasts from their home-built studio and jerry rigged transmitter in an old boarding house in Lanesville in the Catskills. It was the first unlicensed TV station in America.[ii]

screenshot from video  on

screenshot from video on

In their programme, they hosted and broadcasted recordings of what was happening around them and took calls from the people during the broadcast itself, and these are videos and news that are not broadcasted and included in the three television stations at that time.

Connection to The Third Space Network

Through involvement of the people in contributing to the content of Lanesville TV, and broadcasting it live,  it allows us to see this:

“The Third Space Network emphasizes the participatory and distributed nature of Internet broadcasting through its integration and insertion into online spaces.”

-Randall Packer, Peer-to-peer broadcasting in The Third Space Network

Also, through Videofreex and their Lanesville TV, many other pirate (private) tv channels came up, broadcasting their own videos. Soon after many people are doing it on certain platforms like Youtube, as long as they have their own video recording device and a system to access them to the online media.

This is the vision of the Third Space Network:

“as a global consortium of artist-broadcasters creating new work and discourse that challenges and collapses the obstacles of geographical distances, cultural differences and social inequalities.”

Randall Packer, Collapsing the Boundaries in The Third Space Network


[i] information from
[ii] information from

7 thoughts on “Lanesville TV by Videofreex

  1. Good description of the Videofreex and their pioneering pirate tv project in Lanesville, New York. Yes, they pioneered the idea of social broadcasting that is now emerging in today’s social media, not only on YouTube, but also Facebook Live and Twitter Periscope, and many other platforms. We’ll talk much more about that.

  2. Nat I like your point about how these pirate tv stations are akin to YouTube and other social media in our times. Video content in the past few decades seems to have shifted from the global to local to the personal! Nam June Paik predicted that every artist in the future would have their own television channel. With YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat, has this been realised? Is every content-creator then an artist?

    1. Perhaps that depends on how one defines “artist”. I suppose only content creators engaged in creating “art” (again, requiring a definition), or practicing an artform, qualify as artists. A content creator uploading an edited enhanced recording of a lecture onto YouTube can scarcely be considered an artist, even if he has created the credits and transition effects for the video. Whaddya think?

  3. An eye-opener that to see such a project being started up to subvert the traditional monopolies in media back then. Seems that though today, democratisation of an equal platform has allowed the mass population to do broadcast – ironically, Singapore’s (certain) media outlets are still being subjected to government censorship.

    1. Interesting point about censorship and art in Singapore. I recall the National Arts Council, Singapore Art Museum and various government agencies, censoring and banning a number of installations, performances, and even arresting artists like Josef Ng who lowered his trunks during a performance at Parkway Parade in 1993 to cut his p**** hair:


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