Meet the Videofreex
Videofreex was one of the pioneer production groups that formed when consumer video was first introduced in the late 1960s. Over their nine-plus years together, they produced thousands of videotapes, installations and multimedia events and trained hundreds of videomakers in the brand new video medium. Many of the videos are now archived at Chicago’s Video Data Bank.
They went on to found the country’s first pirate TV station and capture some of the most up-close and memorable records of the social movements of the 1960s and 70s.
The Videofreex Archive, established in 2007, isn’t the only way to observe the group’s early videotape coverage of this unique era of social and cultural change. Two recent books, the documentary Here Come the Videofreex, and a museum exhibit continue to tell the tale.
What they say about the Videofreex
The Freex are the most production oriented of the video groups… in terms of finished, cleanly edited, high quality tape, which is generally quite entertaining, the Videofreex are clearly the best.
– Michael Shamberg, Guerilla Television, 1971, Holt, Rhinehart & Winston
Self-described “electronic Johnny Appleseeds,” the Freex were precursors for… video journalism, reality TV, music videos, Saturday Night Live-style sketch comedy, crowd sourcing, and art collectives.
What we take for granted, they pioneered.