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MAD Cinema Series to Document Rise of NYC's 1975-80 Punk Music Scene, Beg. 4/18

Related: Museum of Arts and Design
MAD Cinema Series to Document Rise of NYC's 1975-80 Punk Music Scene, Beg. 4/18

This spring, the Museum of Arts and Design presents its latest cinema series, Go Nightclubbing Archive, featuring selections from a historic video archive of the burgeoning New York punk scene from 1975 to 1980. In partnership with NYU's Fales Library, which recently acquired the archive, MAD will premiere ten individual screenings that draw from over 200 hours of remastered footage by Emily Armstrong and Pat Ivers.

As young filmmakers, Armstrong and Ivers documented performances by 82 bands in downtown New York, such as the Dead Boys, Iggy Pop, the Heartbreakers, John Cale, the Cramps, DNA, the Lounge Lizards, Bush Tetras, Sun Ra, the Go-Go's, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, James Chance and the Contortions, and many others.

Running from April 18 through June 6, 2014, the program is the first in a series examining the role of local documentary cinema in New York. Go Nightclubbing Archive showcases how documentary practices not only capture and shape our understanding of history, but also are a formative voice within that historic moment.

Filmmakers Armstrong and Ivers met in the mid-1970s, when both were making experimental film and video art during the explosive and innovative movement that would become the punk rock music and art scene. Soon after meeting, they began filming live performances of bands at clubs like CBGB, Mudd Club, and Danceteria. At the time, Armstrong was the head of the Public Access Department at Manhattan Cable TV, and the two presented their work on a weekly television show, Nightclubbing, as well as at regular screenings at the Anthology Film Archives in the East Village. They also exhibited landmark video installations at the opening of PS1 in 1979, and the nightclub Danceteria, in 1980, where they pioneered the video DJ concept. In the pre-MTV era, Armstrong and Ivers's use of prototype video projectors and lightweight video cameras, which they used to capture an intimate close-up style, was a precursor to the music videos that were to come in the 1980s.

Armstrong and Ivers's video work has been exhibited internationally at venues such as the Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh; Long Beach Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and the Experience Music Project Museum, Seattle.

ABOUT THE SERIES: Go Nightclubbing Archive is organized by Jake Yuzna, Director of Public Programs. Movie tickets are free of charge with Pay-What-You-Wish admission. All screenings will take place at the MAD Theater, located on the below-street level of the museum at 2 Columbus Circle at 59th Street.

For more information about the series, visit


Thursdays, April 24, May 1, May 8, May 29, June 5, 2014
Fridays, April 18 and 25, May 2 and May 23, June 6, 2014
Run time is 60 minutes. Programs will repeat on the hour.
Free with Pay-What-You-Wish Admission
Theater at MAD

Friday, April 18
New Wave

In 1980, punk music was shifting to New Wave style with its poppy, electronic, and arty sound. This is epitomized by bands featured in this program, including Ballistic Kisses, Bush Tetras, the Go-Go's, Human Sexual Response, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, the Offs, Our Daughter's Wedding, Plastics, Pylon, the Raybeats, Strange Party, and the Suburbs.

Thursday, April 24
Live Girls and Rockabilly Boys

Acclaimed female musicians in bands such as Bush Tetras, Destroy All Monsters, Erasers, Desire, the Go-Go's, Helen Wheels Band, Pylon, and Tish and Snooky are featured in the first half of this program. The second half highlights the rockabilly style of bands like Buzz and the Flyers, the Cramps, Joe "King" Carrasco, Levi and the Rockats, the Senders, and Stiletto Fads.

Friday, April 25

Go Nightclubbing Archive filmmakers Emily Armstrong and Pat Ivers share highlights from twenty-five interviews shot between 2000 and 2003, looking back on the lives of some of the most important musicians, writers, club owners, and scene makers of the punk era, including James Chance, Richard Hell, Lenny Kaye, Lydia Lunch, Alan Vega.

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