I stand corrected on the matter of only one person refusing to be interviewed; 
I had not completed the book when I wrote.

I think Scott is the best historian and critic of the North American avant 
garde cinema, and his study of institutions in a series of essential books is 
groundbreaking for giving us all a richer understanding of history and 
aesthetics woven together.  But, you gotta admit that calling the book 
“Binghamton Babylon” does invite a certain kind of reading.

One question I have is how do we understand the interpersonal relations within 
of the organizations we have?  Especially given that there is a level of 
insider knowledge that spans from gossip to legend?  You can say that’s 
private, or personal, or not anyone else’s business, but we also know 
institutional histories and individual artist careers often change due to who 
is/was sleeping with who.

The other question I have is while we might hope "that the men and women in the 
Cinema Department were adults, equal to their teachers as human beings,” in 
point of fact the faculty had a lot more power: giving grades, privileges, 
scholarships and other financial aid, recommendation letters, etc.  That power 
differential is exactly what is at stake in the current flurry of activity in 
the US around issues of sexual relations, sexual assault, discimination, and so 
forth in higher education referencing Title iX in particular.  Certainly since 
the early 1960s, women artists have had quite a lot to say about "the 
expectation that they were equals sexually as well as politically.”  And most 
of it doesn’t flatter men with power.

(People outside the US who aren’t familiar with the complications of Title IX 
and want to know more could start with two essays by Laura Kipnis : "Sexual 
Paranoia Strikes Academe," and “My Title IX Inquisition.”  
(@laurakipnis.com<http://laurakipnis.com>)

Chuck

On Jan 2, 2016, at 5:19 AM, 
sc...@financialcleansing.com<mailto:sc...@financialcleansing.com> wrote:

Dear Chuck et al,

The late-Sixties-early-Seventies were (of course) an unusual and complex 
moment. From our perspective now, some of what went on back then (at Binghamton 
and in other places--think of the legendary nude faculty-student get-together 
at the San Francisco Art Institute!) can seem outrageous--and perhaps to some 
extent was outrageous, as certain "Voices" in the "Weave" of Binghamton Babylon 
make evident.

But it is also true that that generation of students certainly saw themselves 
as adults and expected to be taken seriously as adults. As various other 
"Voices" make clear, this included the expectation that they were equals 
sexually as well as politically. Even Nixon understood that if 18-and 19-year 
old young men were expected to put their lives in jeopardy in Vietnam--or put 
their freedom in jeopardy by refusing to serve in the military--then, 
18-19-20-year olds should be able to drink a beer, and by extension function as 
full and equal adults in other ways as well.

The assumption that the men and women in the Cinema Department were adults, 
equal to their teachers as human beings (if not yet as accomplished 
intellectuals or artists), seems fully a part of the energy of that department 
at that moment and part of what allowed the Cinema Department to have powerful 
long-range effects.

Only one person refused to be interviewed for Binghamton Babylon. I was unable 
to track down a number of other folks whose input I had hoped for.

Scott



-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [Frameworks] Noteworthy Publications This Year?
From: Chuck Kleinhans 
<chuck...@northwestern.edu<mailto:chuck...@northwestern.edu>>
Date: Wed, December 30, 2015 12:41 pm
To: Experimental Film Discussion List 
<frameworks@jonasmekasfilms.com<mailto:frameworks@jonasmekasfilms.com>>


On Dec 29, 2015, at 6:15 PM, David Baker 
<dbak...@hvc.rr.com<mailto:dbak...@hvc.rr.com>> wrote:

Scott MacDonald's revelatory,
BINGHAMTON BABYLON: VOICES FROM THE CINEMA DEPARTMENT 1967-1977


Among the “revelations” are many references to (male) faculty having sexual 
encounters with (usually female) students, and other hanky-panky, in addition 
to drug and alcohol use/abuse.  It seems to me this is the first real 
discussion of these sorts of events in the experimental film world. (well, 
historians have sometimes touched on this for the distant past, but most of the 
people here are still around).

I wonder how both people of that generation and the Millennial generation take 
these details.  A hidden history? More of the same-old, same-old?  Really 
dangerous under Title IX today (US law giving women equal access to education)?

MacDonald mentions that a fair number of people did not want to be interviewed, 
and there are very few women who are quoted.  Reluctant to drag up old baggage?

It’s interesting that for all the “taboo breaking” poses of the avant garde, 
sexual politics of personal relations  within the community are seldom 
discussed (with an exception for some gay filmmakers).


Chuck Kleinhans




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Chuck Kleinhans
chuck...@northwestern.edu<mailto:chuck...@northwestern.edu>



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