Survey: Black Gate Theatre

Posted August 05, 2010 by Anonymous
Part 1.
Year Founded: 
1b. Primary activity[ies] of the organization.: 
"Blak Gate is an emmpty room a testing ground for radical experiences artists of all media are invited to use it for non-commercial experimental purposes to present new work or work in progress to the public
1c. Organization's annual budget.: 
$0 - $50,000
1b. Primary activity[ies] of the organization.: 
Multipurpose Space [Amalgam of Multiple Artistic Disciplines]
Performance Space
Part 2.
2a. Mission Statement: 
Statements from the “Black Gate Theatre Newspaper” Issue 1, April 1967 (A newspaper dedicated to worldwide unity and interest) Aldo Tambellini-"black gate because the marketplace commodity art object is disintegrating under the energy of gate because museums and galleries are sterile advertising factories black gate because we are the primitives of the space gate because computers are replacing picture gate because space is a fluid gate toward light as a social totality......the concept of art has disappeared....the energy of light is giving birth..the octopus spreads in many directions under one light as anew embryo giving birth to black. Otto Piene-the explosion of styles indicates the end of that struggle: brainless connoisseurs halo the last chunks, compulsive objectivities of meaningless, matter for matter’s sake, power symbols for the gallery. We are glad to announce that we are leaving the dead objects to the aesthetes (who never care about meanings anyway) and to the possession chasers (who want their souvenirs of a process that ceased to count. Materiality to the materialists. Painting does not light itself; motionless sculptures are in the way; objects inhibit travelling. Contrary to chunks movement expresses light..light is energizing..Light expands. Light reaches far and reaches many. Light is immaterial. The Black Gate is Open to ride on a light hurt, heal and dive in the light din.
2b. Organization History / Organizational Overview. Index of important events in organization's history.: 
In March 1967, using the large space above the Gate Theatre in New York’s Lower East Side, Otto Piene and Aldo Tambellini founded The Black Gate Theatre, the first “Electromedia” Theatre in New York City. In this venture they joined their visions, Otto as the exponent of Light of Germany and Aldo as the exponent of Black Electromedia Events in the United States. Aldo painted with black the 3 inch thick wooden platform covering the floor. Someone volunteered to make black cushions which were placed on the platform and used by the audience to sit on. The space had three large, rectangular pillars. The walls were painted white. The room had no lighting facilities but had plenty of AC outlets in which one could plug numerous projectors. This room was to be considered an open space for experimentation by the artists working with the new media for Performances and Installations.
Website Link to Organization's History / Organization Overview:
2c. Exhibition / Programming / Publishing History.: 
Publishing History: 2 Issues of the Black Gate Newspaper were published: April, 1967: January, 1968. Performances: Otto Piene and Aldo Tambellini opened the first Black Gate Program each with a individual program. Aldo Tambellini’s Program, “BLACKOUT.” consisted of the simultaneous showing of Aldo’s hand-painted film, "Blackout" projected slightly out of synch onto a wall by 2 projectors, superimposed by the projection of slides zooming in and out from four carousel projectors zooming "lumagrams" (hand painted slides) of concentric circles continuously onto the environment, covering the entire wall. The sound for this portion of the program was electronic sound and the launching of Appollo and the communication between the astronauts and NASA Control. Otto Piene’s “THE PROLIFERATION OF THE SUN” was a series of hand-painted slides projected around the room as the audience sat on the floor. The program notes given to the audience included Otto’s description of his presentation and Aldo’s handouts included a series of philosophical statements such as “blackout---man does not need his eyes but to function with 13 billion cells in his brain.” Sal Fallica reporting for “The Torch” in the article “Intermedia At The Gate” said, “We are an expanding generation: in our minds, in our arts, reflecting a progress of promise, departing from the continuum of stupidity which has marked man’s behavior. Artists are expanding their media: and in their attempts to create the artistic effect have mixed medias. They are not using a single canvas, or a single design, or a single object. We are traveling towards intermedia: and the Black Gate…has the meeting place and the performing center for the multiple light projections.” He continues, “Art historians beware! We remember that half a century or more ago, Picasso had a showing of cubist paintings and everyone laughed. But today no one laughs: we have caught up with Picasso. Let’s not play the same I-told-you-so game: let’s catch up with the Tambellini’s and the Piene’s and the McClanehan’s. Intermedia is at the Gate: truth and beauty is not far behind.” Other Artists who performed (may be an incomplete list) were: Preston Mc Callahan, April 13&15, 1967, "Subterrinian" Enviornmental Performance & Installation. Taka Iimura, April 27&28, 1967 Aldo Tambellini, 1967, Video Sculpture Interactive Installation. A bank of monitors were connected to an electronic box which when manipulated would distort the visual and audio sound projected on the monitors. The electronic box was made for the audience to interact with the images on the video monitor. The video projected was a video made by Aldo in 1966 which included his sound poem. Takehisha Kosugi, April 29&30, 1967, Sound Artist who made an installation with radio sound. He took many portable radios tuned into different stations and suspended them from the ceiling twisting the suspension twine. As the twine with the radios wound and unwound, the sound eminating would be mizxing around the room in a perpetual motion and sound. USCO, Judd Yalkut and Gert Stern, May 3& 6, 1967, did an installation projecting on balloon screens. Nam June Paik and Charlotte Moorman, May 25&27, 1967 Nam June performed without the use of video. He became the instrument for Charlotte Moorman who stood behind him and played his body as a cello with a bow. Charlotte Moorman also zipped herself inside a bag and played the cello. Nam June Paik, June 22, 1967 (?) “Come Go Return” Videotapes Study # 2. First full hour showing of Japanese Sumo wrestling in USA on video tape. Jergen Klaus, German Artist, brought an evening of short German films on contemporary German artists among them an early work by Hans Haaker shot on a Berlin Street. Kusama’ “Obliterations” performance with music by Joe Jones’, a Fluxus Artist. In this case, the music or sound consisted of about thirty live frogs in a tank full of water that Joe Jones would rub under their bellies to stimulate their production sound as Kusama painted dots over the bodies of female models. The frog music was amplified by microphones and the performance was done special purple light. The Theatre was standing room only and packed with undercover police who thought it would be a sex show and they would need to make arrests. Jacques Beckaert, French Electronic Sound Artists and David Behrman, Experimental Electronic Musician did a performance. Carman Moore in “The Village Voice” in 1968 talks about a visit to the Black Gate: “I dropped in on a rehearsal of composer Jacques Beckaert’s (from France) piece of tape, viola, and voice last Saturday. Composer-violinist David Behrman owned the electronic equipment and was whipping out just the right box with the right switch to get the right sound all afternoon. An Intense work of strong musicality and social statement on the black man’s plight seemed in the making.” Mary MC Kay, Dancer and Callo Scott on the amplified cello. Franklin Morris,Experimetnal Musician,"Banana Plug." The wall was patterned with disc onto which were wired to electronic sound machines. As he projected onto these discs they emitted a sound from the sound machines. The sound was random and unpredictable due to the random projection. •
Part 3.
3a. Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals:: 
Aldo Tambellini
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
Otto Piene
Additional Names and email addresses of Founders, Board Members, Directors or other key individuals: 
Elsa Tambellini
3b. Could any of these individuals assist in providing an oral history of your organization?: 
Part 4.
4a. Is organization currently active?: 
4b. Year activity suspended if no longer active.: 
Part 5.
5a. Type of organization at its founding.: 
Collective / Unincorporated Association
5b. Type of organization currently, or at the termination of activities.: 
Collective / Unincorporated Association
Part 6.
6a. Does the organization have an archive?: 
6b. Are there any short or long-term threats to the organization?: 
None / Not Applicable
6c. Other threats to the organization:: 
Are there other threats to your organization? Please describe below.
Part 7.
7a. How important is to the organization to preserve the organization’s historical material. From 1 – Very Important to 5 – Not Important.: 
1. Very Important
7b. Has planning for the preservation and documentation of archive begun?: 
7c. Does the organization know how and where to seek expertise and assistance?: 
7d. Does the organization have specific concerns regarding starting an archive working with its historic materials?: 
Technical Support / Expertise
Part 8.
8a. Is the organization's archives in the collection of another institution or promised to one?: 
8a. Location: 
IF YES to 8: University (Name)
8b. Archival materials are also located at:: 
Where are these locations?: 
with performers
Part 9.
9. Does the organization maintain archives for any other organization.: 
Group Center The Gate Theatre
Part 10a.
10a. Is the archive accessible to scholars, curators or researchers?: 
Part 10b.
10b. Are there conditions of access for scholars, curators or researchers?: 
Part 11.
The following questions address the historical materials (type, quantity and storage) of the organization. 11a. Paper Files and Documents: 
Artist Files
Exhibition or Production Files
Other Paper Files
11b. Artwork and Documentation: 
Audiotapes [Any Format]
CDs / DVDs [Pre-Recorded or CD-R / CD-RW / DVD-R / etc.]
lumigrams-hand painted slides
11c. Press and Promotional Materials: 
Announcements, Mailing Cards, etc.
Newspaper / Magazine / Media Clippings
Posters / Flyers
Other Press or Promotional Materials:
11d. Printed Publications: 
Artists' Publications
Commercially Published Materials
Programs of Events
Other Printed Publications - Please describe below.
2 Issues of The Black Gate Newspaper
11e. Other: 
Layouts / Sketches / Instructions for Installations
Part 12.
12. What years does the materials cover?: 
Part 13.
13a. How is the material stored?: 
Other Boxes
File Cabinets
Flat Files
13b. Are some or all of these storage units “archival”?: 
Part 14.
14a. Estimated Number of Boxes or Milk-Crate Sized Storage Units: 
1 - 10
14b. Estimated Number of Archive Drawers: 
1 - 10
14c. Estimated Number of Archive Notebooks: 
1 - 10
14d. Estimated the total Linear Feet. ["Linear Feet" is standard measure of the quantity of archival materials on the basis of shelf space occupied or the length of drawers in vertical files or the thickness of horizontally filed materials. For example, a: 
1 - 10
Part 15.
15. Is the historical materials - or archives - inventoried or catalogued in any way, either formally or otherwise?: 
Part 16.
16a. Is there a key, index or finding aid to the materials inventoried?: 
16b. Paper-based:: 
Not Applicable
16c. Electronic Based:: 
Not Applicable
Part 16 / Electronic Files & Archival Management
16f. Does the organization have a back-up program, or back-up schedule, for its electronic records and perform monitoring of its removable media (i.e. floppies, ZIP disks, CD-ROMs, DVDs, portable hard drives, etc.)?: 
16g. Who is responsible for working with the archival material?: 
Other - Please describe below.
Please describe: 
Volunteer who is working without compensation< Anna Salamone Consoli
Part 17.
17. How are new materials processed?: 
Manual System (Card File, File Folders)
Part 18.
18. What, if any, conservation methods are in place for both physical materials and electronic data?: 
Controlled Access
Fireproof Building / Fireproof Room
Part 19.
19. What type of climate-controls are present in the area[s] in which the archives are stored?: 
Standard office heating / air conditioning / humidity controls running 24 hours / 7 days
Part 20.
20a. What are the goals for the historical materials for the next year?: 
Continue archiving
20b. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these short-term goals?: 
20c. What goals are in place for the historical materials for the next three to five years?: 
complete archieve
20d. What are the biggest challenges to reaching these long term goals?: 
funding for video transfer and film preservation
20e. Are there any additional goals for the organizations historic materials?: 
to write monographs and complete a book on the Black Gate using the voices of the performers
Part 21.
21. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next year.: 
$3,001 - $4,000
Part 22.
22. Estimated cost to achieve these archival goals for the next five years.: 
$15,001 - $20,000
Part 23.
23d. Other - Please describe below.: 
where to get funding or names of organizations that can help with process
Part 24.
24. What archival issues could / should visual arts organizations address collectively in the next three to five years? Ranked from 1 (highest priority) to 5 (lowest priority).24a. Shared standards / protocols for digitization: 
Promote professional standards / protocols for digitization
Part 25.
25a. Is the organization a member of, or in contact with, any organizations concerned with archival issues?: 
Part 26.
26. Additional information, comments, observations, and questions.: 
Aldo Tambellini&rsquo;s artistic archiveis very extensive and complete. When working with someone who was researching the New York City Theatres, after getting information from Aldo, he said &quot;Aldo Tambellini IS the archive>&quot; This statement is very true for Aldo in not only has documented his extensive artistic activity but has captured the esence of the 60&rsquo;s in New York City, a critical time in our country&rsquo;s history. Aldo is now 76 years old and time is marching on for him. His archive is precious and needs to be preserved somewhere where researchers, artists, writers and interested people who want to document the alternative history of an era, the alternative art scene in New York City in the 60&rsquo;s, can readily access the extensive material and accurately report on what else was happening besides the documetned established hsitory.
Anna Salamone Consoli
Who executed this survey.: 
Anna Salamone Consoli
Is this survey complete and all appropriate questions answered?: