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Interviews Conducted by Kathy - Experimental Television Center

Interviews Conducted by Kathy - Experimental Television Center

EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION

EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION CENTER Video History: Making Connections Conference (October 16-18, 1998) Interviews Conducted by Kathy High - 22 - HIGH: So then how ’bout that? SIMMONS: But that’s a very small percentage, minute. When I say general public, I don’t mean art students who’ve already paid hard cash for tuition to learn about a particular medium. You are in that category. You’re not in the general population, in that sense. I mean, sure you make it up, just like I do. But… HIGH: Ok, but speak to me… SIMMONS: Well, we’re talking about Joe Bum Cigarski in Mattydale. HIGH: Ok. But these tapes are probably gonna go into the Donnell Library, and people like myself, or Tara(sp?), or yourself will probably look at them because… SIMMONS: Who are already interested. People who are already interested. Difference. HIGH: Exactly. SIMMONS: Different people.

EXPERIMENTAL TELEVISION CENTER Video History: Making Connections Conference (October 16-18, 1998) Interviews Conducted by Kathy High - 23 - HIGH: Exactly. But for us, like, what was it that drew you to this medium…? I mean, it’s, like, a very big question; I’m not saying it’s something you can answer so easily. I know it’s a big question. But what drew you to this medium, with all of— you know, maybe that idealism you’re talking about. SIMMONS: Oh, it was provocative, it was thought provoking, it was interesting. HIGH: And how… SIMMONS: Every time I saw something, it was more interesting. But that’s because I was an artist already. I already had an aptitude for paying attention to things that ordinary people would just walk by casually, like it was a cigar ad. HIGH: And what was the date of, like, the first tape you saw? And what was that, do you remember? SIMMONS: Oh, June, 1972. I think the first tapes I saw were Dimitri Devyatkin’s tapes of his— that he shot in Russia. So it was Russian culture. And I’d never seen Russian culture from a non-crisis perspective. And it was wonderful and heart warming. And I saw that those Russians were not different than I. It was wonderful. HIGH: Right. And so from that tape, then…

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