Co-presented by Live To Tape
YOUR PROGRAM OF PROGRAMS was a live, weekly half-hour Manhattan Cable TV Public Access television show that ran for exactly one year from about April 1982. It was produced and hosted by Kestutis Nakas (who will introduce the Saturday screening!), and directed by Peter Von Ziegesar. Regulars included downtown New York performers like Ann Magnuson and John Sex. “We were young, crazy artists looking for an outlet”, says Nakas. The show originated from Jim Chladek’s ETC (Experimental Television Center) studios on East 23rd Street that was rented for $30 per show. YOUR PROGRAM OF PROGRAMS was inspired by the live programs of television’s early days. The TV stylings of Ernie Kovacs, Sid Caesar (Your Show of Shows), Paul Winchell, Soupy Sales, Steve Allen and Dave Garroway all influenced the show. The show’s more immediate inspiration was Glenn O’Brien’s TV Party, which appeared on live public access TV in 1978. TV Party featured new/no wave musicians and downtown artists. YPOP attempted to merge the iconography of early TV with a downtown, post punk (neo dada?) aesthetic. In the Brechtian tradition, the cameras, scrim edges, cables and all the rest of the insides of the bare, impoverished ETC Studios were exposed wherever possible. This Chicago presentation marks the first time complete shows have been presented publicly.
SHOW #1 The premiere featured painter Kenny Scharf, performance artist Ann Magnuson and downtown personality Henry Ferree.
SHOW #36 presented the work of legendary performance artist and filmmaker Stuart Sherman, as well as appearance by actress Mary Anne Meadows and journalist Franz Lidz.
SHOW #41 showcased video artist Tom Rubnitz along with his friends from the “gender fuck” drag scene. These artists would become leaders in the creation of a new scene at Bobby Bradley’s Pyramid Club on Avenue A. Also featured is a cameo by actress Susan Jordan.