From 1978 to 1982, Glenn O'Brien hosted the public access television show TV Party, co-hosted by Chris Stein from the band Blondie and directed by filmmaker Amos Poe. The hour-long show took television where it had never gone before. Every episode was a party, a performance, a political gesture, and a critical investigation into live television as a uniquely viable visual art medium. For tonight’s program, Glenn O'Brien, Amos Poe, and Chris Stein discussed the development of TV Party, its political agenda, its unique contribution to the New Wave scene, and its current relevance within the context of contemporary YouTube youth culture.
Glenn O'Brien is a well-known author and editorial director of Interview, Art in America, and The Magazine Antiques. He began his career as editor for Interview,and his column Glenn O'Brien’s BEAT made him a fixture on the New Wave scene. He wrote and produced the film Downtown 81 starring Jean-Michel Basquiat. Since the 1980s he has created many noted advertising campaigns and commercials. O'Brien is a poet, essayist, and a regular columnist for GQ, Vanity Fair Italia, and Paper.
Amos Poe is one of the leading figures of the No Wave Cinema movement (1975-1985) that grew out of the bustling East Village music and art scene. In 1975 Poe and Ivan Kral produced, edited, and shot The Blank Generation. This film chronicles the seminal performances of Richard Hell, Patti Smith, Blondie, Ramones, Talking Heads, Television, Heartbreakers, Wayne County, and others. His other films include The Foreigner, Unmade Beds, Subway Rides, Frogs for Snakes, Steve Earle: Just an American Boy, and many others. Currently, Poe is working on several films, including the epic Empire II (a “re-make” of Warhol’s Empire) and The Guitar (starring Saffron Burrows, Isaach de Bankole, and Paz de la Huerta; directed by Amy Redford). Poe’s latest plans include pianospecs.com, an on-line proactive ad platform for filmmakers, designers, and artists.
Chris Stein is a co-founder and guitar player in the band Blondie, who have sold over 40 million records to date. He is also a producer and performer for the classic soundtrack of the Hip Hop film Wild Style and has produced many other artists including James Chance, Gun Club, and Iggy Pop. From 1982 to 1984, Stein ran the Animal Records label. In 2006, Blondie was inducted into the Rock Walk of Fame.
A screening of rare and unreleased clips from TV Party, specially selected by Glenn O'Brien, will be presented on February 22 at 7:30 p.m.
A screening of TV Party: The Documentary will be presented on February 23 at 3:00 p.m.
The Bowery Artist Tribute is made possible by Hermine and David Heller.