Saturday, June 9, 2018
Steve Reinke's The Hundred Videos

155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn

The Hundred Videos, Steve Reinke, 1989-1996, digital projection, 4 hours, 49 minutes

In 1990, Steve Reinke decided to make a set of one hundred videos, planning to produce ten videos a year for ten years, using his 1989 piece Excuse of the Real as the first in the series. At the time, Reinke was in his mid-20s and living in Toronto; he thought the project would ultimately serve to constitute his complete work as a young artist. As the decade proceeded, however, his rate of production increased, and the suite was realized well ahead of schedule, in 1996, clocking in at just under five hours total; the average length of each individual video is a little under three minutes.

The resulting corpus of work is composed of what seem to be miniature essay films, made on the standard definition video of the time, and often using older bits of material culled from home movies, gay porn, and taped television, along with various editing effects. The voiceover is mostly Reinke’s, and he frequently appears to discuss his own life, but as the artist told curator Bill Arning in a 1999 interview for Honcho magazine, “although the works contain a lot of personal details, they’re also mixed up with a lot of fictional stuff. Nothing is really confessional, or even really autobiographical—though sometimes they are about the idea of confession or autobiography.” They’re also about many other subjects: desire, fantasy, consumption, art, psychoanalysis, storytelling, memory. The videos veer from a mock proposal for a hackneyed AIDS documentary (“a close personal look at a guy dying,” the narrator coolly explains), to absurd recollections about the filmmaker’s grandmother using various kitchen utensils as contraceptive devices, to a rejected Anne of Green Gables television script.

Now, The Hundred Videos is considered one of the more important and influential achievements of 90s video. The project was named one of 150 Essential Works in Canadian Cinema History by TIFF; filmmaker Mike Hoolboom wrote a novel, The Steve Machine, which uses the series as a launching pad; film historian Thomas Waugh called the project “legendary,” praising Reinke’s “wryly, lustfully, campily, introspectively, speculatively, fetishistically queer sensibility.”

“Sometimes it’s said that gay men are smarter than straight men because they’re positioned a little bit out of the heterosexual mainstream,” Reinke remarked in his Honcho interview. “In the same way, Canadians are smarter than Americans. That’s why we make up such a disproportionate amount of your comedians and comedy writers. We’re your fools.”

The Hundred Videos has been exhibited in numerous ways: as individual short works, in curated selections, as a looping installation. Reinke has said that the piece is “meant to be approached like a collection of prose poems or very short stories: open it up anywhere and begin reading, skip what doesn’t catch your attention, re-read whatever does.”

For this day-long event, we will present the entire Hundred Videos twice: once from 10:30am to 3:30pm, and again from 4:30pm to 9:30pm. Viewers are invited to arrive at any point, and watch as much as they like. In between screenings, from 3:30pm to 4:30pm, we will host a conversation with the artist.

Volume One
Total Running Time: 58 minutes, 7 seconds

1. Excuse of the Real, 4 minutes, 31 seconds
2. Family Tree, 3 minutes, 30 seconds
3. Watermelon Box, 46 seconds
4. Family Planning, 1 minute
5. Eleven Dreams, 6 minutes, 32 seconds
6. Emergence of Democratic Memory, 2 minutes, 58 seconds
7. Speculative Anthropology, 2 minutes, 30 seconds
8. Why I Stopped Going to Foreign Films, 5 minutes, 19 seconds
9. I am not like you, 2 minutes, 10 seconds
10. Barely Human, 3 minutes, 25 seconds
11. ROOM, 4 minutes, 1 second
12. Michael and Lacan, 10 minutes, 56 seconds
13. Joke (Version One), 4 minutes, 56 seconds
14. Joke (Version Two), 4 minutes, 10 seconds

Volume Two
Total Running Time: 55 minutes, 57 seconds

15. Walking the Dog, 2 minutes, 28 seconds
16. After Baudelaire, 2 minutes, 22 seconds
17. Language of Rats, 3 minutes, 30 seconds
18. Language of Flowers, 1 minute, 36 seconds
19. Introduction to the Logo, 1 minute, 21 seconds
20. Deaf, 2 minutes, 54 seconds
21. Squeezing Sorrow from an Ashtray, 5 minutes, 45 seconds
22. In the Realm of Perpetual Embarrassment, 3 minutes, 33 seconds
23. 80 Prominent Dermatologists, 5 minutes, 15 seconds
24. Visuals Elf, 1 minute, 3 seconds
25. Pus Girl, 1 minute, 25 seconds
26. Wish, 2 minutes, 43 seconds
27. Disturbed Sleep, 6 minutes, 44 seconds
28. Testimonials, 6 minutes, 47 seconds
29. Little Faggot, 2 minutes, 34 seconds
30. Long Train Ride, 3 minutes, 36 seconds

Volume Three
Total Running Time: 59 minutes, 29 seconds

31. Lonely Boy, 8 minutes, 20 seconds
32. I Love You, Too, 52 seconds
33. Charming Mutt, 41 seconds
34. Ice Cream, 2 minutes, 31 seconds
35. Instructions for Recovering Forgotten Childhood Memories, 2 minutes, 14 seconds
36. Request, 6 minutes, 55 seconds
37. Jason, 41 seconds
38. Experiment, 41 seconds
39. Editorial, 1 minute, 34 seconds
40. Understanding Heterosexuality, 1 minute, 28 seconds
41. Pioneer, 1 minute, 13 seconds
42. My Personal Virus, 1 minute, 36 seconds
43. Vision (with Birds), 5 minutes, 1 second
44. Self Help, 2 minutes, 32 seconds
45. My Erotic Double, 1 minute, 36 seconds
46. Sleep, 2 minutes, 49 seconds
47. Dream Work, 2 minutes, 29 seconds
48. Artifact, 1 minute, 49 seconds
49. Monologue (with Provocation), 2 minutes, 51 seconds
50. Child, 43 seconds
51. Windy Morning in April, 48 seconds
52. Love Letter to Doug, 2 minutes, 9 seconds
53. Three Plays, 3 minutes, 42 seconds
54. Screen Saver, 56 seconds

Volume Four
Total Running Time: 1 hour, 32 seconds

55. Symposium, 1 minute, 24 seconds
56. Jin's Dream, 1 minute, 25 seconds
57. Ghost Production, 3 minutes, 44 seconds
58. Minnesota Inventory, 10 minutes, 37 seconds
59. Re-enactment of a Performance, 1 minute, 2 seconds
60. Three Examples, 33 seconds
61. Sparky, 57 seconds
62. Black Heart, 2 minutes, 8 seconds
63. Box, 2 minutes, 35 seconds
64. The End of My Death, 2 minutes, 15 seconds
65. Muriel, 38 seconds
66. Attempt to sing, 50 seconds
67. Assplay, 1 minute, 36 seconds
68. Love Among Corpses, 2 minutes, 46 seconds
69. Harvey K., 2 minutes, 6 seconds
70. Dr. Asselbergs, 4 minutes, 8 seconds
71. Corey, 2 minutes, 51 seconds
72. My Fear, 1 minute, 5 seconds
73. Dumbo Climax, 2 minutes, 28 seconds
74. Apology, 4 minutes, 16 seconds
75. How to Build an Igloo, 1 minute, 2 seconds
76. Microscope, 1 minute, 34 seconds
77. Amoeba, 2 minutes, 58 seconds
78. Treehouse, 3 minutes, 55 seconds

Volume Five
Total Running Time: 51 minutes, 54 seconds

79. The Boxers, 1 minute, 10 seconds
80. Talk Show, 1 minute, 18 seconds
81. The Hand, 46 seconds
82. I have already, 15 seconds
83. Little Monkeys, 2 minutes, 39 seconds
84. Stentor, 1 minute, 38 seconds
85. New York Loves Me, 59 seconds
86. Seventeen Descriptions, 5 minutes, 30 seconds
87. Children's Video Collective, 3 minutes, 20 seconds
88. Three Dreams, 3 minutes, 15 seconds
89. 24 Jokes, 3 minutes, 38 seconds
90. Video for Intellectuals, 2 minutes, 14 seconds
91. Falling, 2 minutes, 26 seconds
92. Notes on the Uncanny, 3 minutes, 20 seconds
93. Manifestation/Jouissance, 2 minutes, 38 seconds
94. Ants and Bees, 1 minute, 13 seconds
95. Ghosts, 38 seconds
96. Camouflage, 1 minute, 48 seconds
97. Underwear, 1 minute, 58 seconds
98. Candle, 6 minutes
99. Story, 1 minute, 40 seconds
100. Why I've Decided to Become a Painter, 42 seconds

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