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hfa00016

Aldo Tambellini Collection, 1960-1971 : Guide

Harvard Film Archive, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: hfa00016
Repository: Harvard Film Archive, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Title: Aldo Tambellini Collection : Guide,
Date(s): 1960-1971.
Quantity: 1 collection (Two 35mm reels, 197 16mm reels, three 8mm reels, one Super 8mm reel, one 1/2-inch open reel video, and 11 1/4-inch reel to reel sound elements.)
Language of materials: Material is in English.
Abstract: This collection contains films made by artist Aldo Tambellini (b.1930). As a central figure in the East Village art scene that thrived during the 1960s, poet, painter, sculptor and pioneering multi-media artist Aldo Tambellini worked in a staggering range of media - from his early Arte Povera-style sculptures and abstract drawings done in Italy and the USA in the 1950s and 1960s, to his experimental work in early video and television art, which he pioneered alongside his close friend and occasional collaborator Nam June Paik, to the series of abstract films he made in the 1960s. The collection consists of 16mm projection prints, workprints, outtakes, and preservation masters of his released film work from the 1960s, as well as unreleased works in both film and video.

Acquisition Information:

Aldo Tambellini's films were donated to the Harvard Film Archive by the artist in 2010.

Processing Information:

Processed & encoded by: Amy Sloper, November 2011 - February 2012

Access Restrictions:

Access by appointment only. Applications to consult this material should be directed to the staff of the Harvard Film Archive.
Film prints are made accessible by appointment only and in close consultation with HFA staff. Although materials do not circulate for individual use, students, filmmakers, artists, and researchers are encouraged to use the collections on-site. If condition allows, prints from the HFA collection may be viewed on a flatbed viewer at the HFA's Conservation Center.

Use Restrictions:

Reproduction and/or publication of materials subject to copyright requires written permission from a) the copyright owner, his/her heirs or assigns and from b) the Fine Arts Library, owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation:

Tambellini, Aldo, 1930-. Aldo Tambellini Collection, 1960-1971 : Film Guide. Harvard Film Archive, Fine Arts Library, Harvard University.

Biography

Aldo Tambellini was born in Syracuse, New York in 1930. His father was from Sao Paolo, Brazil, his mother from Italy. At the age of eighteen months, he was taken to Italy where he lived in Lucca, Tuscany. At the age of ten, he was enrolled in the Scuola D'Arte, Augusto Passaglia and studied there until he was sixteen. Following World War II, Aldo returned to the United States to study Art at Syracuse University where he earned his BFA in Painting in 1954. Subsequently, Aldo was awarded a Teaching Fellowship at the University of Oregon, School of Architecture and Allied Art and, later, at the University of Notre Dame studying under world-renowned sculptor, Ivan Mastrovic, graduating in 1959 with a Master's Degree in Sculpture.
Aldo moved to New York City at the end of 1959. There he founded Group Center which connected painters, sculptors, poets, photographers, musicians and dancers active outside of the so-called establishment. Group Center organized new ways to bring the work of these artists directly to the larger public in what today would be considered "alternative" spaces. While interacting with other artists, Aldo continued to exhibit as a painter and a sculptor. In 1965 he began painting directly on 16mm motion picture film, beginning his Black Film Series. A few years later he bought a second-hand Bolex camera and made a number of experimental films, including Black TV, winner of the International Grand Prix, Oberhausen Film Festival, 1969.
Simultaneously, Aldo began a series of Electromedia Performances which involved the fusion of various arts and media, bringing the other arts, including poetry, sound, light, painting and dance, into a time and space reorientation toward media. One example, Black Zero, part of Intermedia 68, was held at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in 1968. Two years prior, in 1966, Aldo and Elsa Tambellini founded the Gate Theatre, in New York's East Village. The Gate was the only daily public theatre showing avant-garde films, works of independent filmmakers, and in some cases the first films of artists who later on, as Brian De Palma, became Hollywood filmmakers. In 1967, Aldo co-founded with Otto Piene the Black Gate, a second theatre, which held live multi-media performances and installations.
In the late 60's, Aldo was a pioneer in the video art movement. His first videotape was broadcast on ABC TV News, New York in 1967. A year later, with Otto Piene, he created the first ever National Television Broadcast by Artists at WDR, Cologne, Germany, titled Black Gate Cologne. Aldo was part of another broadcast by artists, Medium is the Medium, on WBGH, Boston. For his media work, he was awarded several grants from the New York State Council of the Arts. In the late 1960s and early 1970s Tambellini exhibited a number of video sculptures, including one at Experiments in Arts and Technology in 1968 at the Brooklyn Museum. In 1969, at the first video art gallery show in America, TV as a Creative Medium, at Howard Wise Gallery in New York City, he exhibited his video sculpture, Black Spiral, a modified television set realized with Bell Laboratory engineer, Tracy Kinsel. In 1970, Aldo participated in the Vision and Television Show at the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Massachusetts, the first museum show of television as an art form in America, where he exhibited works about television as well as his videograms, prints made by printing the image directly from the video screen without the use of a camera. In addition to a number of other video installations and film exhibitions, his film Black TV is also included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art.
In 1975, Aldo was asked by Otto Piene, Director of the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to participate in the ARTTRANSITION, which resulted in Aldo's being invited to become a Fellow at CAVS from 1976 to 1984. There, he worked with Arts, Media and Communication conducting courses and workshops. Through CAVS and collaborating with members of other departments, and his group, Communicationsphere, he created intercontinental, interactive transmissions via slow scan events in the United States, Europe, Japan and Canada. In addition, he presented an electromedia performance, Moonblack in 1977 at the Carpenter Center, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.
Since 1984, his activities have concentrated on writing and performing poetry in many venues in Massachusetts and Connecticut. In 1998 he founded and hosted "The People's Poetry," a venue in Cambridge, MA. He has performed his poetry with music and video projection at countless poetry venues.
In 2003 Aldo was invited to participate in the first HOWL Festival in New York City, where a retrospective of his films was exhibited and a screening of his early video 6673 took place. In January 2012 Aldo was the focus of a six program retrospective at the Centre Pompidou in Paris, which included many unseen or rarely-seen works. (biography adapted from one found at http://tambellini.no-art.info/bio-en.html)

Arrangement

Organized into the following series:

Scope and Content

This collection contains films made by artist Aldo Tambellini. A central figure in the East Village art scene that thrived during the 1960s, poet, painter, sculptor and pioneering multi-media artist Aldo Tambellini (b. 1930) has worked in a staggering range of media - from his early Arte Povera-style sculptures and abstract drawings done in Italy and the USA in the 1950s and 1960s, to his experimental work in early video and television art, which he pioneered alongside his close friend and occasional collaborator Nam June Paik, to the series of abstract films he made in the 1960s. The collection consists of 16mm projection prints, workprints, outtakes, and preservation masters of his film work from the 1960s, as well as unreleased works in both film and video.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Art education--New York (State)--New York--1970-1980.
East Village (New York, N.Y.)--History--20th century
Bank records on microfilm
Political violence.
Video installations (Art)
Albany (N.Y.)
Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)--1960-1970
Forty-second Street (New York, N.Y.)--1960-1970
Hollywood (Los Angeles, Calif.)--1960-1970
Los Angeles (Calif.)--1960-1970
Palm Springs (Calif.)--1960-1970
Second Avenue (Manhattan, New York, N.Y.)--1960-1970
16mm
Abstract films
Artists' films
Audiotapes
Electronic art
Experimental films
Experimental television
Motion picture film
Short films
Super 8mm
Television programs
Video art
Video recordings
Allen, James Edward
Campus, Peter, 1937-
Paik, Nam June, 1932-2006
Piene, Otto, 1928-
Tambellini, Aldo, 1930-
Experiments in Art and Technology (Organization)
Grove Press. Film Division.
Howard Wise Gallery
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Center for Advanced Visual Studies
Pennsylvania Station (New York, N.Y.)--1960-1970
Tambellini's Gate Theatre (Organization : New York, N.Y.)

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