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The 1973 MATRIX Video Conference & Festival

The growth of an international video network, developed through the 1971 Video Exchange Directory, was tapped into by Vancouver organizers to create one of the first gatherings of international non-commercial, alternative video producers.

The MATRIX International Video Exchange Conference was held in Vancouver in January 1973. MATRIX was attended by 160 representatives of the exchange network. Delegates came from Europe, Japan, the United States, and Canada. The conference was held at Chown Memorial Church at 19th and Cambie and the festival at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s original location on Georgia Street. The attendees played videotapes, exchanged information about their own projects and organizations, and discussed the most effective ways to move forward – debating whether a resource index of people and equipment and/or video libraries, should be established, whether there was a risk that the alternative video movement was focusing too much on the technology and not on what they were trying to communicate, and the strategies needed to challenge existing broadcast ownership structures and establish community cable and public access to broadcast.


“Street Chain” Excerpt, Bill Roberts, 1972, 31 minutes


MATRIX & the Video Inn Library Delegates were asked to bring a videotape as admission to the conference. Many complied and the videos were screened. Many agreed to participate in an open, free exchange of their tapes. 76 videotapes (according to the list included in the MATRIX Kit, a summary of the conference sent to delegates following the event) became the founding collection of the Video Inn Library, now The Crista Dahl Media Library & Archive.

The Vancouver Sun wrote that the international delegation was “a tribute to Vancouver’s reputation in this new field” and that Vancouver would “continue to play an important role in the esthetic and community use of video through the establishment of an international video library.” 

The MATRIX Report, distributed to delegates following the conference, formally announced that initiative: “‘Video Inn’ is the name chosen for the community lending library we are establishing with the help of Canada Council grant. The MATRIX conference immediately and concretely furnished about 75 software dubs, which are now available for viewing at the Inn. The long term effect of MATRIX on exchange is difficult to determine. ..The development of the library will depend partly on the responses of producers and partly on our response to the communities we are trying to serve.”

Michael Goldberg’s letter to delegates re the establishment of the library, included in the MATRIX Kit. Click to enlarge. 


Michael Goldberg letter to MATRIX delegates Page 1    Michael Goldberg letter to MATRIX delegates Page 2

Profiles Of Women 15 1972 June Boe Women talk about commercial beauty and natural beauty as their profiles are being displayed on the monitor. An interview with Evelyn Roth and an exerpt from her Wearables performance at the Vancouver Art Galllery are included.
Touch 17 1972 Optic Nerve A slide show that covers the sourse of a day in Bidwell Park.
Football 30 1972 Walter Wright Colour is synthezised over excerpts from a TV football game.
Emile D’antonio 24 1972 Lyle Stern / Simon Riley E. D Antonio produced the film Milhouse about the Richard Nixon. In conversation, he talks about producing the film, the Republican response, and some of their distribution strtegies and patterns.
Transient Men 30 1972 Diane Lemire, Communitas Inc
Black Magic Theatre 30 1972 Video West A theatre presentation at Matsqui minimum security prison. Mostly musical with some skits, performed by blind and sighted people in folk song style.
Earthmeet ’72 W/ Cap’n Fortrack 30 1972 Thomas Klien, Paul Shatzkin Space Cap n Fortrack tells how to survive in America w/o feeding $$ into the system. How to steal from restaurants, supermarkets and jewish ceremonies. Stealing clothing, food, and defrauding the bus company are some of the helpful hints featured.
It’s Magic 23 1972 Roy Turner An early first experience with video that attempts to capture the essence of drug experiences.
Wired World Insanity 32 1972 Waterloo Community Media The use of video in the community with on the spot coverage of police brutality at a union strike. A rambling account of the Wired World Community Radio.
Ghent 10 1972 Walter Wright Electronic music and colour synthesized with a computer.
Art Education 27 1972 Nova Scotia College of Art Students use video to document various art classes from elementary to secondary school.
Environmental Education 16 1972 “Grade 7 Boys, Llewellyn School” Disappearing Wetlands & Islands in Oregon was made to show what was happenig to the wetlands due to civilizations dis-regard for environmental effects of sewage, dredging. The grade 7 class works towards saving the lands and improving its quality.
Music: Maruga’s Univeral Light Band 30 1972 Rick Seaman A follower of Guru Mahara Ji leads his jazz group in a rehearsal of Òcelestial music , followed by some discussion of their musical direct-ion.
Mobility 23 1972 Bob Phillips Difficulties of the handicapped are documented and discussed. Curbs, vehicles and lifts are looked at.
Paper Shoes 8 1972 Walter Wright Image manipulation which starts off with colour screen and goes into various other colous images. Colour computer synthesized.
Titanic Blues 34 1972 Video Pong here are two parts in this tape. The first is a mixture of animation and special camera effects, using moving cut-out parts and underwater sounds. This is followed by the French production group Ôvideo Pong discussing television pro-duction techniques.
Manif A Velo 15 1972 Video Pong In France, bicuclists demonstrate against the exclusive use of cars on the roads as the riot police and helicopter look on.
Joplin/Stones/Shananna 20 1972 Johnny Video Tape Television footage of the bands
Poontang Video Comix 20 1972 Johnny Video Tape A travelling salesman story. Producer’s comments: “No one ever dies in a stag film. I’d rather see my kids watch stag shows than today’s TV”.
Mae Brussel Conspiracy 25 1972 Sue Fox Mae Brussel speaks of her ideas, reseach and publications on the subject of conspiracy; trying to link together Watergate, CIA, American political assassinations, oil, NASA, NUKE, Fascism, violence activists, and the visible/invisible U.S.A. government administration.
One 26 1972 Optic Nerve A San Francisco warehouse providing daycare and alternate education is a meeting centre for causes ranging from feminism to Vietnam Veterans Against War.
Essay On A Lifestyle 7 1972 Leni Goldberg In a park and on the street interview with a hippie…
Women’s Lib From Sarah 18 1972 Leni Goldberg In song and standup comedy, the male-female relationship shafted.
Glacier Project 20 1972 Gan Matsushita This Japenese conceptual piece opens on 7 pieces of rectangular cloth arranged on a mountainside. It follows with 4 pieces of cloth on a snowcovered mountainside and scenic shots of the area where the artist interacts with the environment. It closes with a flutist at home playing music.
Dave’s Planes 26 1972 Video Grease A colour synthesized airplane in flight.
Thunder Bay 22 1972 Linda Johnson Ceremonies of the official opening of the new Indian Friendship Centre with native song, dance, fashion in the Thunder Bay community ten years ago. An area that still is beset with racism towards native people and other non-whites.
Play Therapy With Marion Saltman 30 1972 James Frederick Housel A sensitivity workshop in therapy techniques for para-professional mental health workers.
Angela Davis – UCLA Lecture 48 1973 Leni Goldberg After her acquittal, introduced by her lawyer who encourages us to Ôthink black , Angela Davis tells us a little of her story-freedom, oppression, jail-and outlines the general struggle.
Space Circus – Homemade Baby 19:00 1973 Michael Goldberg A conceptual dance through a trans-parent womb interlaced with edits of homebirth.
Abortion 24 1973 Francie Wyland , Women’s involvement Program History of abortion practices, attitudes and the law. Techniques and procedures for securing an abortion, and the importance of women s rights to control their bodies are all looked into.
Birth Control 33 1973 Francie Wyland, Women’s Involvement Program A study of the female reproductive system and methods of birth control. Contains original graphics and brief internal examination.
Homestead 30 1973 Noelle Pelletier This tape is about two people home-steading in Oregon, It gives a good view of rural living and some alternatives.
Claimant’s Union 45 1973 Audrey Bronstein A claimant s union works on behalf of women cut off social assistance for living with men.
God Save The Houses 31 1973 York University A philosophical look at how housing effects a person socially. The focus is the impending doom of eight beautiful old houses to make way for high rises in Toronto. You are how you live .
Tele-pharoun 50 1973 Rosemary Sullivan A video production produced by and for children where they act in front of the camera as well as do the production.
What Is Technology? 60 1973 Video Ring Five men discuss appropriate technology, starting with Eskimo technology. The topics range from baths, planned obsolescence, and recycling, with a lot of ideas being expressed.
Video Ring Rgtv 60 1973 Michael Hayden The now defunct group Video Ring have a rounf table discussion on the philosophy of video. The group includes Greg Curnoe.
Chinese New Year 8 1973 Optic Nerve Festivals at the Carnival Street parade in San Francisco, featuring dragon dancers with fire works.
Video II Gilles Chartier
City School I Jacques Goldman
Magnesium Steve Christiansen
Image Manipulation 10 1973 Stan Fox Demonstration of ways to distort video images using controls (beam, gain, etc.) What you can do with an image orthicon TV camera tube .
Quality Mind Space Burt Arnowitz
Television Generation 28 1970 Brian Levin Short sequences of kids expressing their thoughts about TV. Produced at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in the early seventies.
Video Art 32 1971 Nova Scotia College of Art A group of people form a cross by omission with their bodies. A man shuffles his feet in front of video recorder. Man lies on floor and lifts feet. Hands tear apart a styro-foam cup and drops pieces into the cup. Man shaves another’s legs and then tattoos him. Infinity monitor display.
Trucker Caravan 25 1971 Peter Berg Reverse gear pioneers and free truckers travelling through the western States. Look at coop-erative living, caravan travelling and some of the stops along the way.
Watts Summer Festival (Video Venice) Michael Sveneati
Paxton #8 30 1972 Steve Christiansen One camera roll of Steve Paxton’s contact improvisation at the John Weber Gallery in New York.
Alternative Food Buying – St Louis 30 1972 Eric von Schraader, Kim Block, Creative Productions A self-sufficient explanation of food co-ops in the St Louis area, this documentary shows how co-ops can serve a wider community.
Venellya Workshop Portland State University
Reveil de Peuple (Notre Dame) 21 1972 Charles Picot Through the practical suggestions and moral building eforts of a minister, a group of concerned citizens learn to cope with local farming, housing, and sugar production problems in rural New Brunswick. A case study.
Street Chain 31 1972 Bill Roberts An experiment in getting to know strangers. The producer approached people in the street with a micro-phone, asks them a question and gets them to take the microphone. They in turn ask someone else a question.
Trees 32 1971 Walter & Jane Wright Colourized trees through electronic image manipulation. A relaxing pace and easy to watch.
Experimental College, San Jose Lee Mercer
Entraction Kendziovak and Chadwick
Columbus Story Fujiko Nakaya
Spoon Carver: John Zmaeff 30 1974 Mike McMann & Kathleen Smith, W Kootenay TV Nelson Spoon carver, John Zmaeff describes his life and woodcarving while collecting wood and carving spoons. He clearly shows how to carve spoons and John Zmaeffis endear-ing.
Postcards 29 1972 Peter Berg Arkansas Mountain Commune: free school, wooden dome building in New York State, Steve Baer solar heated house construction.
Central Maine Power 28 1971 Walter Wright Electronically processed tape. The colour is computer synthesized.
Reaction 26 Videographe, Charles Biname
Unfound Door Roy Turner
Animation Tests/Libadante/Soma 60 Le Videographe
Phoque Canada 60 Morisset & Hughes
Gargantua 30 1972 Walter Wright Colour is synthesized over excepts from a TV monster movie.
Football 30 1972 Walter Wright Colour is synthesized over excerpts from a TV football game.
Trades 24 1972 Videographe, Fifties Room Video Bill Klugchka is seen making a harness whilr Bill McGuiness fires up his steam engine in rural northern Alberta.
A series of Confirmation by Doing 1971 Keigo Yamamoto A collage of numbers 3, 4, 7, 8 and 11 in the Confirmation by Doing Series, where the artist experiments with repetitious actions
Lausanne Atelier Video (European Standard video/Switzerland)
Camden Housing Finance Act 22 1973 Inter-Action Community Media Rent strikes and general furor over the British Conservative government and their Housing and Finance act which causes unnecessary rent increases.
Ron Hays on Paik/Abe Synthesizer 20 1972 Ron Hays Very early colour video experimetns utilizing the Paik/Abe video synthesizer, conceptual art and music to create dream and music impressions.
Sour Grapes: Patriarchal Heritage 16 1972 Women’s Involvement Program / Lyn Wright A collage of dramatic readings by male actors from writings about women, with feminist rebuttal in poetry.
City School #2 Jacques Goldman
Dr. Kinch talk on Female Sexuality Community Media
Video Ring Tape #3 R.G.T.V.
Intermedia Sampler 30 1972 Michael Goldberg, Videographe Intermedia was the first multi-disciplinary media arts collective to be funded by the Canada Council. It became a model for what would later become a national phenomenon – the artist-run centre. Established in 1967, Intermedia functioned as an umbrella for a wide range of avant-garde art practice in Vancouver. This compilation of early video experiements includes works by David Rimmer, Gerry Gilbert, Taki Bluesinger, Michael Goldberg, Tom Paskal, Don Druik, Glenn Lewis, Kitty Hawk, Vincent Trasov, Eric Metcalfe, Roy Kiyooka and Dallas Selman.
Matrix Tape 23 1973 Leni Goldberg A report from a January 1973, convention of non-commercial video groups – The MATRIX conference in Vancouver. Interviews: Le Video-graphe, Metro Media, Video Inn; exchange video groups.
Tokyo Winter 71/72 Video Hiroba
Paul Horn & Killer Whale (Killer Whale & Friends) 18 1973 Paul Spong/ Michael Goldberg Killer whales in captivity communicate with two-leggeds. Paul Horn s flute makes coversation with the whales as they splash and glide. (Note on original list says “also Image Bank & General Idea-Fire and Mirrors-Michael Goldberg)
Homemade Baby 24 1974 Connexions A woman talks about her experiences with a hospital birth and how it alienated her, and the events which led up to her home birth, as we see musicians play and her labour and the eventual birth. Not a reasuring example of a home birth.
Metro Media Compilation Tape 1974 Metro Media
Tokyo Kid Brothers In Rehearsal 25 1972 Michael Goldberg In an underground theater groups Tokyo rehearsal, a man becomes a monkey, and a child meets life s tribulations through violence and a participation game.
Takei Dance Studio 1972 Michael Goldberg
“Spectrum” Michael Goldberg Dance piece with choreography by Morley Wiseman.
Women’s Edit 7 1972 Optic Nerve A visual exploration of the image of women, with particular emphasis on mannequins.

1. One 60:00 audio tape comprised of edited interviews and discussions from the MATRIX conference.

From “The MATRIX Kit”: “The activities of MATRIX were extensively documented by all the media. The Videotech group of Ottawa, taped discussion groups and personal interviews throughout the conference. We chose a few of the tape interviews to include in the MATRIX print-out (The Portrait Book) and have typed transcripts of most of the tape material.”


2. Howard Broomfield (Experiments in Acoustic Research) MATRIX Soundscape
Original recording: 1/4″ audio tape using a Uher 4200 stereo recorder and two AKG D202ES microphones.
Copy: Audio Cassette( sent to delegates)

Status: Video Inn did not send copies of this work to local delegates and no copy has been located at the CDMLA.

Related Material:

a. 35mm B/W negative of Howard Broomfield recording at MATRIX. Photographer: Kazumi Tanaka. (Click image to enlarge)

Howard Broomfield, Experiments in Acoustic Research, records Matrix delegates

b. Letter from Howard Broomfield to MATRIX delegates, included in the MATRIX Kit.  (Click image to enlarge)

Howard Broomfield letter from the MATRIX Kit page 1

Howard Broomfield letter from the MATRIX Kit page 2

1. 120 35mm B&W negatives documenting MATRIX by Kazumi Tanaka

2. Various B&W photos from the negatives of Kazumi Tanaka and Murray Skuce (official MATRIX photographers)

The MATRIX document collection is a substantial source of information including correspondence with members of the network connected to the Video Exchange Directories and individual artists, conference registration forms, transcriptions of interviews from delegates, a post-conference report, and a final report to funders.

8 ½” x 11” typed and photocopied loose leaf papers in folder, 80 pages, Published by Michael Goldberg, Sharon Lovett, 1973.

A collection of documents distributed following the event to the attendees of the MATRIX.

  1. Introduction to the MATRIX Kit,  Trish Hardman
  2. Thoughts on MATRIX – Where Do We Go From Here?   Trish Hardman
  3. The Delegates
  4. Organization/Food
  5. Documentation (list)/Post MATRIX Publication
  6. For Video Inn/Canadian Delegates/Summing Up
  7. Letter, Howard Broomfield 
  8. Some Thoughts,   Michael Goldberg
  9. Letter about the Video Inn Library,  Michael Goldberg
  10. MATRIX tapes at the Video Inn (list)
  11. Who owns the cable…/Community Cable and Public Access 2,  Johnny Videotape/Community Cable and Public Access 3,  Metro Media
  12. From a Letter from Warren Hanigan, Video Matrix, Australia,  Warren Haigan/People Commercial,  Ken Smith
  13. Anima Planetude – plenty food,  Pacific Lake Tribal Vision
  14. Letter, Bob Jacobson, Dickson Art Center Video Laboratory, UCLA
  15. From a Letter From Bob Stilger – Vancouver, Washington,  Bob Stilger
  16. A Modular Video Synthesis System,  Walter Wright
  17. Some Refreshing Thoughts Surfacing at MATRIX,  Harry Mishkin
  18. Petition (Agreeing not to enter video competitions or contests, or to accept awards)
  19. For Canadians/Letter to Noelle Pelletier at the Vancouver Art Gallery from the Director of the  Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Customs, Washington
  20. Magnetic Tape Erasure – How Serious is the Threat?/Video Technology


The Portrait Book

The Portrait Book, MATRIX, 1973
Cover design: Paula Wainberg
Photos: Kazumi Tanaka

A collection of reports from MATRIX delegates about their organizations and activities. The Portrait Book served as the 3rd Video Exchange Directory

More information about these resources will be posted shortly.


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