An exhibition exploring activist strategies undertaken by media collectives, organized with EAI and ICA


Video Interference

A screening program and introduction to guerrilla media and activism in the 1990s

Fields of Knowledge
  • Aesthetics / Media
  • Artistic legacies

Organizing Institutions

Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), Slought


Karl McCool


Support for Broadcasting: Guerrilla Media has been provided by The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation

Opens to public





4017 Walnut St
Philadelphia, PA 19104

On the web


Slought is pleased to announce Video Interference, a screening program and introduction to guerrilla media and activism in the 1990s, on Sunday, April 22, 2018 from 5-6:30pm. Organized with the Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania (ICA) and Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), Video Interference also serves as the closing event for Broadcasting: Guerrilla Media, an exhibition of collectivist media from the 1970s to the present on display at Slought through Friday, April 25, 2018.

Video Interference takes as its focus activist video work from the end of the 1980s through the mid-1990s. Shot largely on low-end consumer equipment, these works use video as an activist tool, confronting urgent issues around the AIDS crisis, race, gender, and sexuality. Videos by ACT UP affinity groups DIVA TV (Damned Interfering Video Activist Television), Gran Fury, and House of Color, will be screened along with work by art collective X-PRZ and DIVA TV member Robert Beck. Although rooted in the specific political and cultural contexts of that moment, these powerful activist voices resonate with a renewed relevance today.

The urgency of the AIDS crisis and issues around the politics of identity and representation were catalysts for a new wave of activist movements in the late 1980s and early 1990s. With the increasing availability of relatively inexpensive video equipment, artists and activists (in an echo of the late 60s and 70s) again took up video as a political tool to produce works that challenged the images and narratives of mainstream media with empowered self-representations.

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In The Feeling of Power (1990), artist and DIVA TV member Robert Beck documents a 1989 ACT UP protest at Trump Tower and offers a self-reflexive manifesto of this new video activism.

Target City Hall (1989), the first tape produced by DIVA TV, documents a massive ACT UP demonstration at New York City Hall and offers a look at the diverse groups of activists within the larger ACT UP movement, including CHER (Commie Homos Engaged in Revolution) and LAPIT (Lesbian Activists Producing Innovative Television).

With the deftly edited public service announcements for their larger Kissing Doesn't Kill project, Gran Fury insert the messages of ACT UP into a mainstream televisual context. Commissioned for broadcast on ABC, the spots were rejected by the network because of their direct message on behalf of medical and federal reform on AIDS policy, as well as their images of kissing couples of different races and sexual orientations.

In I Object (1990), House of Color (Robert Garcia, Wellington Love, Idris Mignott, Jeff Nunokawa, Pamela Sneed, Jocelyn Taylor, Julie Tolentino), an ACT UP affinity group made up of queer people of color, forcefully challenge the representation and exclusion of people of color in the media.

Guns and Poses (Remix) (1995-97) by art collective X-PRZ (Doug Anderson, Kenseth Armstead, Tony Cokes, Mark Pierson) constructs a powerful collage – including television images of the 1992 LA Rebellion and the Michael Jackson/Michael Jordan "Jam" music video, set to music by Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, and Snoop Dogg, from the Murder Was the Case soundtrack – to confront images of black masculinity in the media.


Robert Beck
The Feeling of Power, 1990
8:48 min, color, sound

Gran Fury
Kissing Doesn't Kill (Version 1), 1990
40 sec, color, sound

Target City Hall, 1989
26:43 min, color, sound

Gran Fury
Kissing Doesn't Kill (Version 4), 1990
40 sec, color, sound

House of Color
I Object, 1990
5:25 min, color, sound

Guns and Poses (Remix), 1995-97
12 min, color, sound