amos vogel

Amos Vogel – Subversive Art Cinema’s Author and Curator Passes On

While AVA has been silent lately, some of us on the road, some writing for forthcoming projects (and yet others continuing to create video art at a pace I’m still trying to catch up with), it sucks that a reason for a new writing is yet another RIP…

This time it’s Amos Vogel, who sort of wrote the Bible document of underground film, entitled FILM AS A SUBVERSIVE ART. I once wrote a letter to Nick Zedd in the mid 90’s asking his recommendations for learning/seeing more underground things, the first recommendation he listed in his handwritten letter back to me was Vogel’s book.

For a while it seemed to be out of print, and even when the internet gave birth to Amazon and online booksellers I recall used copies going for a few hundred bucks. It since went down in price, but now I see it’s going for 50 or so used, perhaps due to the recent passing.

Jon Jost whose short film was featured in Vogel’s book, wrote a nice, and concise write up over on his blog, both on Amos Vogel and the state, or non state, of subversive art cinema

His death comes at a time when the commercialization of everything in the name of  “the Market Economy” has bludgeoned the kind of cinema he supported into a near-death coma.   I imagine he looked at the “independent” cinema which in its various guises and labels of the last few decades, as a sad denouement for the kinds of work he dreamed of, a sign that indeed the insidious forces at work in “the Market Economy” reduced most young filmmakers to imagining that a modest shift in television sit-com formulas constitutes “creativity.”

Jon’s blog post here –