Research Critique – “Here Come The Videofreex”

Videofreex and neighbors at Lanesville General Store. 1973 — Photo by John Dominis (b. USA, 1927 – 2013)

‘Breaking the manipulative television’ is what I would describe the Videofreex as. The crews became rebels as they covered mainstream America using the arrival of a new device which gave them the ability to play back videos immediately, the Portapak. They captured the displeasure and division of the country but what was the point of it when people could not see these footages?

Language of media is everybody’s language. Set up the camera and you can speak to the world. – Parry Teasdale

There was no limit when it came to exploring and experimenting different possibilities with this new medium. Through this platform of broadcasting, people got together to convey a message collectively and then shown for the world to see. This was one of the concept which broadcasting was all about. The Videofreex shot something, shared it and received feedbacks. In modern day, everyone are indirectly part of the Videofreex. They follow this cycle of using new medium as a platform to speak their mind out and for them to receive comments in return.

Another point which I realized after watching this documentary was their technique of capturing these videos. The footage spoke for itself. I was fascinated by their way of pointing the Portapak directly at the scene they were shooting at without caring about aesthetics or the golden ratio. The Videofreex gave us a sense of raw and genuine emotion. This live broadcasting helped to convey how serious these people were as nothing was filtered out. The audience were kept at the edge of their seat.

Women’s Liberation Rally in New York City, shot on March 7th 1970

This documentary is especially relevant to us as everyone carries a small video camera in our pocket wherever we go. We are just waiting for that moment to whip it out and capture whatever we are seeing.

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Believes in creating works that someone can not only see or touch but be part of, to be within them.

One thought on “Research Critique – “Here Come The Videofreex””

  1. Very good. I thought you made a good point about the fact that the Videofreex were making up their own rules, not following what was established technique for television or documentary filmmaking. As a result, as you point out, there was a raw, expressive power they achieved by pushing the boundaries of television and video to see where it might go. And yes, as you reiterate, we are all Videofreex! Now what are we going to do with this medium?

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