Jacki Apple & Martine Aballea, Artists Reading, 1977

Jacki Apple & Martine Aballea, Artists Reading, 1977. © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris, Moving image and original data provided by Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc.; franklinfurnace.org

We are delighted to announce that Artstor has released nearly 50 videos of performance art from the Franklin Furnace Archive in the Digital Library. The videos feature such avant-garde artists as Alice Aycock, Ericka Beckman, Lee Breuer, John Cage, Guy De Cointet, Constance De Jong, Richard Foreman, the Kipper Kids, Jill Kroesen, Matt Mullican, Michael Smith, and William Wegman.

Les Levine, Artists Reading, 1976. © 2012 Les Levine / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, Moving image and original data provided by Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc.; franklinfurnace.org

Les Levine, Artists Reading, 1976. © 2012 Les Levine / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York, Moving image and original data provided by Franklin Furnace Archive, Inc.; franklinfurnace.org

As Franklin Furnace’s founding director Martha Wilson said, “While there is undeniable value to gathering objects from performances such as costumes, props, and ephemera, video offers an irreplaceable key to understanding temporal works. Moving images are the best window we have into the past—no amount of caption text or notes from scripts can convey the look and feel of this pivotal time!”

Since its founding as an “alternative space” in 1976, Franklin Furnace has presented what has come to be known as “variable media” art — works that take on new dimensions in each iteration, varying in the meanings they take on contextually, as well as in their physical deployment. As such, Franklin Furnace’s institutional archives offer a rare and valuable resource that captures the moment, the concept of the artist, and the historical context in which the work was created.

To watch the videos, search for franklin furnace mov in the Artstor Digital Library and click on the filmstrip icon [filmstrip] beneath each thumbnail.

Learn more at the Franklin Furnace Archives collection page in Artstor.

You may also be interested in 35 Years of Ephemeral Art: Martha Wilson on Franklin Furnace