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Double Lunar Dogs

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This episode of "Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund" features &qout;Double Lunar Dogs" byJoan Jonas.

"Double Lunar Dogs," 1984, is an impressionistic, dramatic work by video artist Joan Jonas. It juxtaposes several scenes to create the picture of the life of the inhabitants of a traveling spaceship, whose destination has long since been forgotten, and who remember life on earth as it has been passed down to them from their ancestors on board the ship. The inhabitants of the ship appear to be two women and three men. Poetic narration by some of the characters gives points of reference for the montages and scenes of images. Of the two narrators, the male defends the way of life aboard the ship, appearing more and more as some sort of commander or dictator. The female narrator is more questioning. Various art forms are incorporated into the work. At one point one of the men performs a movement sequence with a rod. The two women paint each other's portraits on transparent glass panels. The work addresses the question of what these travelers remember of Earth. Occasionally, images of Earth appear, as do scenes of the ocean and of NASA space footage. A variety of music makes up the score, including works by Richard Teitelbaum, Barney Bailey, Simone Forti, The Residents, and Yello.

The Contemporary Art Television (CAT) Fund was a joint venture between Boston's Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) and WGBH's New Television Workshop. Funding came from the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities' New Works program in 1983. Co-directors were WGBH's Susan Dowling (New Television Workshop Director, 1982-1993), and David Ross (ICA Director). Kathy Rae Huffman served as curator and producer. The Fund's primary objective was to award money to video artists for new works. The goals were to foster excellence in the exploration of television as a creative medium, broaden video arts international audience through broadcast and gallery exhibition, and increase revenues for artists from the distribution of their works in all markets. Many of the works were broadcast as part of "New Television," and appeared in festivals worldwide. The Fund was also used to sponsor international symposia among curators, distributors, and producers to help promote the growth of video art. In 1990, the ICA assumed full sponsorship of the Fund, where it continued for another year.
Memory, Interstellar travel
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