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Artists' Television Network Records

Identifier: MsC0800

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Scope and Contents

This collection preserves very early artists' video presented on New York City television cable channels. This is thought to have been the first cable venue used in this way. An initial informal organization grew into an incorporated not-for-profit entity in 1976 and was dissolved in 1984. Chronology: Cable SoHo was organized by exhibition facilities like The Kitchen, Global Village, and Anthology Film Archives; Robert Stevens, Jaime Davidovich, Douglas Davis, and Jude Quintiere were key players. Cable programming started 12-9-1976 and ran on Manhattan Cable's Public Access Channels until early 1977. Jaime Davidovitch served as executive producer. In late 1976 Artists Television Network (ATN) was incorporated with individuals associated with Cable Soho organizations and others on an Advisory Board. Davidovich, who trained as a video artist in Argentina, served as president. ATN was a non-profit corporation supported by New York Council of the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. In April 1978 programming began to run on Manhattan Cable's and Teleprompter's Cable channel 10. In 1979 and 1982-1983 "SoHo Television presents The Live! Show" was shown once a week on Manhattan's Cable channel J. This was a variety program with news, art performance, live phone-ins, and guest appearances. In 1982 Hans Breder, University of Iowa professor of art and director of the Corroboree Gallery and Multimedia Studios, sponsored a national three-hour, live, interactive, satellite teleconference, "The Artist and Television," with links in Los Angeles, Iowa City, and Manhattan. In 1984 the Artists Television Network was discontinued, and in 1986 the ATN video collection was donated to Iowa. In the late 1990s all of the early U-matic tapes, by then in a near-obsolete format, were re-recorded by the VidiPax Company. A Betamax version was made for conservation purposes and a VHS version for reference use. In a few cases -- noted in this inventory -- the Beta copy has since been used to create a reference DVD. Between 2001 and 2008, a small number of tapes were digitized with a consevation quality recording made to DVCam tape with DVD reference copies. In 2007-2009 a larger number of tapes were digitized with uncompressed, conservation versions stored on servers or DVCam tapes and DVDs made for reference use. Tapes that have been digitized are indicated in this inventory with the phrase, Re-recorded to DVCam and DVD digital formats in 200[#]. A bar-code label has been assigned to each of the conservation files; this number can be retrieved from the matching InfoHawk record. The following inventory of the tapes in the collection was compiled by Ursula Hardt, Artists Television Programs Coordinator, in January-February 1988 and was edited, multiple times, into its current format by S. Huttner beginning in December 2000.


  • Creation: 1976-1984


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply; please consult Special Collections staff for further information.


100.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Video by and about artists assembled for broadcast on the New York City cable networks between 1976 and 1984. The project was coordinated by Jaime Davidovich and the collection includes the cablecast material, in many cases edited in various ways for any of several anthology shows, as well as paper records. A portion of the collection has been re-recorded and is available in VHS format; a few pieces have been transcribed to DVD; and a growing number have been re-recorded digitally in DVCam and DVD versions.

Method of Acquisition

Gift of ATN in 1986.

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Repository Details

Part of the University of Iowa Special Collections Repository

Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City IA 52242 IaU
319-335-5900 (Fax)