Preserving Guerrilla Television archive
Type of Work
“The groundbreaking video collective Top Value Television (TVTV) began in 1972 when a group of mediamakers, artists, and activists used newly available portable videotape equipment to document the 1972 Democratic and Republican National Conventions. At a time when television news reporters were weighed down by enormous packs of expensive equipment and gear, this band of "braless, blue-jeaned video freaks," as Newsweek called them, set out to revolutionize not only how to capture the news, but also to transform the relationship between image producers and image consumers. With the sensibilities of the underground and cutting-edge portable video technology, TVTV and a loose global network of video guerrillas spearheaded community-based news, citizen journalism, and democratized media that continue to be relevant today, as we approach the 2020 conventions and the presidential election in November.
This site showcases BAMPFA’s 2018–21 project to digitize the hundreds of hours of never-before-seen raw footage that was recorded for three of TVTV's broadcast documentaries. Four More Years (1972) follows the well-oiled Republican convention that nominated Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, and The World's Largest TV Studio (1972) documents the Democratic convention that put George McGovern and Thomas Eagleton on the ballot. Gerald Ford's America (1975) finds these Portapak-toting "freex" embedded in the White House during the turbulent one hundred days following Nixon's resignation.
A treasure trove for political junkies, cultural historians, and anyone interested in how media portrays and shapes stories, the raw footage includes off-the-cuff cameos from such notables as Willie Brown, Walter Cronkite, Ron Dellums, Allen Ginsberg, Shirley MacLaine, Ralph Nader, Tricia Nixon, Dan Rather, and Gloria Steinem. As part of this project, several thousand pages of archival papers, including scrapbooks and snapshots by TVTV, have also been digitized and made available online. ”—https://guerrillatv.bampfa.berkeley.edu/