. Conversations at the Edge (CATE)

Oct 30 – Anda Korsts’s Video Metropolis

Posted by | Conversations at the Edge | Posted on | October 27, 2014

Thursday, October 30th | Followed by a roundtable with documentary filmmaker Judy Hoffman, Media Burn Archive Founder Tom Weinberg, and Executive Director Sara Chapman

Still from Video Letter to Barbara London (Anda Korsts, 1982). Courtesy of Media Burn Archive.

Still from Video Letter to Barbara London (Anda Korsts, 1982). Courtesy of Media Burn Archive.

In the 1970s, Chicago journalist and artist Anda Korsts helped pioneer video as a radical tool for art and activism. A key figure in the guerrilla television movement, she worked on a series of media exposés as part of the national video collective Top Value Television (TVTV) and founded Videopolis, a Chicago organization that put video in the hands of everyday people. She also produced hundreds of tapes, many in collaboration with makers around the country, including a groundbreaking television series called It’s a Living, inspired by Studs Terkel’s Working. Filmmaker Judy Hoffman, Media Burn Archive founder Tom Weinberg, and Executive Director Sara Chapman survey Korsts’s prolific career and discuss her legacy today.

Presented in collaboration with Media Burn Independent Video Archive.

1972–82, USA, multiple formats, ca 60 min + discussion

Anda Korsts (1942, Riga, Latvia–1991, Chicago) was a journalist, artist, and video pioneer based in Chicago. Born to Latvians fleeing the Soviets during World War II, her childhood was spent as a refugee throughout Eastern Europe before the family immigrated to the United States in 1950. She worked as a model and radio reporter, covering the City Hall beat for WBBM, before discovering her life’s passion: portable videotape. Seeing in this new technology the potential to open up the television airwaves to the public, Korsts and a few dozen like-minded makers from around the country formed the video collective TVTV to record the behind-the-scenes politics at the 1972 Democratic and Republican national conventions. The result was the first independently produced program to ever air on US television. In Chicago, Korsts founded Videopolis, a collective focused on expanding video production, particularly by women and minorities. The organization also created an archive of the city’s people and events, including Chicago’s vibrant 1970s Lincoln Avenue storefront theatre scene, and produced several projects that combined video with established forms of art like theater and writing. Her body of work is preserved at Media Burn Independent Video Archive.

Anda Korsts Program Notes