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 – http://cinemaelectronica.wordpress.com/2012/04/29/rip-amos-vogel/