At a time when media arts organizations are often on the verge of financial collapse or struggling to adapt to the city’s ever-changing cultural and political landscapes, the local Video Coalition (VC) continues to thrive at one of Northern area’s leading member-supported, non-profit video arts centers.
It’s been located at 7th and Maple streets since 1986 and a tour of the bustling media arts facility, which was founded in 1989 by video artists working for KQED’s “Experimental Television Project,” soon reveals why VC is a significant presence in today’s media arts community. On the tour, led by Joshua Russell, VC’s Program Director, we noted that nearly every post-production suite was in use. Although a few of the editors were bleary-eyed from long hours of editing, it appeared that they were very much at home in VC’s low-key atmosphere and enjoyed working with the friendly staff.
“Our goal has always been to broaden access to the whole community,” says Russell as we watch a technician for VC’s Video Preservation Center transfer a 1/2″ open-reel tape (an obsolete video format) to a contemporary video format. The Preservation Center, partially funded by an NEA Challenge grant, is VC’s latest service to independent producers who want to retrieve lost video works from the 1980s. At present, the Center is working on a project that involves the preservation of a collection of preliminary interviews from Peter Adair’s “Word Is Out”.
In addition to providing independent producers and artists with low-cost access to production, post-production, and video preservation facilities, VC’s education staff is working hard to develop and present workshops on virtually every aspect of video and multimedia. VC’s hands-on technical workshops, taught by media professionals with state-of-the-art equipment are considered by many video artists to be the best in town.