Skip Blumberg

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Skip Blumberg is one of the original camcorder-for-broadcast TV producers, and among the first wave of video artists in the 1970s.

He is a graduate of the State University of New York, Buffalo.

In 1969, Blumberg was a co-founder of one of the earliest video collectives, the countercultural Videofreex, which established Lanesville TV as an artists' low-power television station in New York State. He was also a central participant in the pioneering television groups TVTV, Ant Farm, and Paper Tiger TV where he developed his characteristic personal interview style and informal, video verite techniques.

His early work reflects the era's emphasis on guerilla tactics and early explorations of the graphics of video (JGLNG, 1976), while his more recent includes documentaries about world culture (Weekend in Moscow, 2002; Return to Tibet, 2003), performance videos (ConCreep, 2000), diaries (Nam June Paik: Lessons from the Video Master, 2007) and experimental nonfiction video (On Dream Street..., 2012). His triple Emmy–winning video Pick Up Your Feet: The Double Dutch Show (1981) is considered a classic documentary video and was included in the Museum of Television and Radio's exhibition TV Critics' All-time Favorite Shows. He was one of the first one-person-crew camcorder reporters. Blumberg has also produced and directed several hundred shows and shorts for PBS and cable network television series.

Several hundred of Blumberg’s movies are online and in distribution for home viewing and for academic and public screenings through Electronic Arts Intermix, Video Data Bank, and In Motion Productions, Inc. His videos have appeared on broadcast and cable TV and in museums and festivals around the world, with retrospectives in the Berlin Film Festival Videofest, Rotterdam Film Festival, and Dallas Video Festival.

He has received numerous awards and grants, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Ohio State University Journalism Award; has been named one of Esquire magazine’s Best of the Next Generation; and has been screened at the Museum of Broadcasting’s TV Critics’ Favorite TV Shows of All Time event. He was also artist-in-residence at several public TV stations, at the Walker Art Center, and at the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics.

Blumberg has produced for Sesame Street (more than 150 shorts)[1], Great Performances (700,000-plus online views), The 90’s, National Geographic Explorer, and MyHero.com, as well as for nonprofits, including the Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity and the Twenty-First Century Foundation. Blumberg has been a US State Department cultural envoy in Senegal, Kosovo, Herzegovina, Slovakia, and other countries and a visiting filmmaker, artist-in-residence, and teacher at universities, schools, libraries, and media centers. Blumberg currently is Special Professor in the MFA documentary program at Hofstra University School of Communication.

He lives in New York.

Literature[edit]

Books
  • Deidre Boyle, Subject to Change: Guerrilla Television Revisited, Oxford University Press, 1997.
  • Parry Teasdale, Videofreex: America’s First Pirate TV Station & the Catskills Collective That Turned It On, Hensonville: Black Dome Press, 1999.
  • Nancy Cain, Video Days and What We Saw Through the Viewfinder, Palm Springs: Event Horizon Press, 2011.
Articles
  • Deirdre Boyle, "Skip Blumberg Warms Up TV", Sightlines, Spring 1982.
  • "The Best of the New Generation: Men and Women Under the Age of Forty Who Are Changing America", Esquire, September 1984.
  • Catherine Egan, "Cause For Celebration: Skip Blumberg's Recent Videos", Sightlines, Spring/Summer 1986.
  • Alex Friend, "Profile: TV's Warm Front- Video Maker Skip Blumberg", Current, 17 February 1988.
  • Jennifer Dunning, "Dance Produced Just for the Camera", New York Times, 16 August 1991.
  • Parry Teasdale, "Conversation with Parry Teasdale", Catskill Mountain Foundation Guide Magazine, January 2006.
  • Melanie La Rosa, "Early Video Pioneer: An Interview with Skip Blumberg", Journal of Film and Video 64.1-2 (Spring-Summer 2012), pp 30-41.

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