Shirley Clarke and the Videofreex Join Forces

Shirley Clarke and the Videofreex Join Forces

Nancy Cain, a member of the Videofreex, remembered Shirley Clarke as a wonderful, lively person whose Chelsea Hotel roof­top penthouse was like a salon, filled with artists, students, visitors, and her two little poodles. Fellow Videofreex member Skip Blumberg added, “Shirley was very eccentric, and I think, kind of out of her mind.” Her frenetic nature was expressed in the way she looked and dressed, with lipstick that sometimes smeared beyond her lips, and her place was a cacophony of cables, electronics, and other equipment. Videofreex members participated in the Tee Pee Video Space Troupe activities as well, and Shirley was also involved in their group. “Things were fluid then,” Blumberg said. “It wasn’t proprietary. So when Shirley worked on our thing she was one of the Videofreex, and when I worked on her things I was part of the Tee Pee Troupe.”

From Chapter 22 of The Downtown Pop Underground — order online, or from a local independent bookstore


Chelsea Hotel
222 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011