Critical Writing Index

Ultimate Participation Video: Shirley Clarke's Tee Pee Video Space Troupe

by Beth Capper

Art Journal, Spring 2013, v. 72, no. 1, pp. 46-63

Starting in 1969, Clarke invited other artists to her apartment atop New York City's Chelsea Hotel to participate in weekend-long workshops where they would play elaborate video "games." The result resembled a kindergarten for adults—what the video artist and filmmaker Jud Yalkut once called "ultimate participation video"—in which high-tech materials such as cameras, monitors, and cables commingled with low-tech materials such as paper, scissors, pencils, and paint. For the next six years, Clarke and her Troupe would re-create their play space in museums, community centers, and university classrooms up and down the East Coast. In offering her loft as a site of paratelic play events. Clarke created an environment where activities were so open-ended that at times they appeared to descend into socializing or partying, so that the "work" of her workshops—or rather the "art" of the "artwork"—was hard to define.

ITEM 2013.107 – available for viewing in the Research Centre