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ARTATTACK
Public Art and Early Media Archive
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Artattack is an independent television program broadcast from 2000-2001 on local channels run by “Arutzey Zahav”, “Tevel”, and “Matav” cable companies and “Yes”, broadcast satellite company. It was a brief period in which artists began to explore video, employing the newly accessible prosumer cameras and home editing software such as Final Cut Pro 1. At the same time, the (scarce) exhibition spaces were still unequipped to screen such works, if they were even interested in showing them at all. Artattack filled this void by operating as a televised gallery, with a changing program and opening hours. Each month saw a new 25-minute-long episode, broadcast twice a week in regular hours, namely, 8-9 times a month. The program featured full-length productions suitable for the TV screen: animations, experimental films, video art, etc.

Artattack was initiated in Jerusalem by Irit Garty, Isaac Layish, Effi Weiss, and Amir Borenstein, all recent graduates of Bezalel’s art department, who wanted to create a collaborative art space in a reality that hardly allowed for the existence of such spaces. With little to no budget or experience, Artattack was nevertheless ambitious and high-reaching. The collective strove to generate change in the local art community and present artists with models for collaboration and support. For example, they assisted productions by lending equipment or editing services in exchange for screening the finished works on the show (at the time, no other support fund provided such assistance); They also filmed interviews with featured artists, thus making their works more accessible to a wider audience. Artattack also featured international artists and was one of the first platforms to place an open call for screening video art. In one collaboration, a selection of works from Artattack was shown on the Snack’on’art show on the New York Public Access Channel and vice versa. Artattack even participated in exhibitions: at the Haifa Museum of Art, Gwangju Biennale (South Korea), and Virus Festival in Šiauliai (Lithuania).

Despite its (charming) flaws and short life, Artattack seems to have left its mark on many who regard it as a milestone. However, the show also had its opponents, who voiced their objections, and ignited a prolific discussion about issues that might be worth revisiting today.

Artattack was supported by the Israeli Center for Contemporary Art, Tel Aviv, collaborated with Boaz Arad, and was sponsored by Sotheby’s. Other organizations assisted on specific issues and occasionally promoted the program.

After two years of broadcasting, the program’s founders have resigned the time slot and equipment to the Cordova Artists’ Collective. The collective – Roman Baembaev, Lior Waterman, Yonatan Levy, Shay-Lee Uziel, Ruti Sela, and Gilad Ratman – was active from 2002-2006.

 

The Public Art and Early Media archive is supported by Artis

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