The weekly artist public access Communications Update, later renamed Cast Iron TV, ran continuously on Manhattan Cable’s Channel D from 1979 to 1991. Filmmakers Liza Béar and Milly Iatrou present individual segments cablecast in the Communications Update1982 series: “The Very Reverend Deacon b. Peachy,” “A Matter of Facts,” “Crime Tales,” “Lighter Than Air,” and “Oued Nefifik: A Foreign Movie.”
The initial aim of the series was to provide an alternative approach to questions and topics neglected by broadcast TV, focusing on communications issues, especially cable and satellite. By 1982, the programs in the series had a broad range of concerns and styles including documentaries, satires, and experimental narratives. Initially, programs for the series were produced by members of a video co-op through Center for New Art Activities. The series was funded by NYSCA which allowed C-Update to commission original twenty-eight-minute TV programs and to pay an exhibition fee for previously produced films and videos. The programs produced for the series have been shown at the Museum of Modern Art, The Kitchen, the World Wide Video Festival, the American Museum of the Moving Image, and international film and video festivals.
Participating artists included:
Barbara Aria, Liza Béar, Steve Bull, Janny Densmore, Matthew Geller, Vicki Gholson, Jill Godmilow, Franck Goldberg, Sharon Grace, DeeDee Halleck, Milly Iatrou, Mark Magill, Michael McClard, Eric Mitchell, Steve Moore, Ron Morgan, Yvonne Rainer, Richard Serra, Willoughby Sharp, Duncan Smith, Betsy Sussler, Terese Svoboda, Stephen Torton, William Wegman
Visit the Facebook event page for this program here.
Milly Iatrou was born in New York City. She obtained a BFA in filmmaking from the Picker Film Institute of the City College of New York where she studied with D.A. Pennebaker. She has received film and video grants from the NEA and NYSCA. Since the 1980s, she has been making films and videos with Ronald Morgan, first collaborating on “The Very Reverend Deacon b. Peachy” series for the artists’ television show, Communications Update, a.k.a. Cast Iron TV. Other works include “Dead Poets,” a series of videos based on texts by nineteenth-century writers and poets and a series of video portraits of writers and artists. Her work has been shown at The Kitchen, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the World Wide Video Festival, LA Freewaves, the Mill Valley Film Festival, the Museum of the Moving Image, and international film and video festivals. She lives in New York and Los Angeles, where she works as a motion picture sound editor on feature films while continuing to create short films and videos.
Liza Béar is a writer, filmmaker, and media activist based in New York since 1968, was the cofounder of Avalanche (1970–76), and a founding member of Colab. In 1979, after several years doing video docs and interactive telecommunications experiments with other artists, she cofounded Communications Update. Her films have been shown at the São Paulo Biennial, the Festival of the Other Avant-Garde, Austria, the Edinburgh Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, the Museum of Modern Art and many other international venues. Awards include a NEA Artist Fellowship (1983), Jerome Independent Filmmaker Fellowship (1984), and NYFA Creative Non-Fiction Fellowship (1990). Since 2003, she has made 250 short political and art films shown on the internet and other venues. Her film Earthglow was screened at the ICA, London, and the Kinomuzeum Festival, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, in spring 2013.
For more information and video content relevant to this event, visit Liza Béar’s blog.