The Tee Pee Video Space Troupe

The Tee Pee Video Space Troupe

The Chelsea rooftop’s focal point was a two-story pyramid tower, nicknamed the “Tee Pee,” which contained a kitchen and a room with a bed on the first floor and a second-floor loft, where Shirley stored equipment. “On the top floor, she had a Plexiglas platform built, so you could shoot videos through the Plexiglas,” Wendy Clarke said. “There were different places to experiment, like on the roof garden. Video equipment was everywhere, and there were probably, like, fifty monitors of all shapes and sizes and configurations.” This teepee-like structure provided the namesake for Shirley and Wendy Clarke’s group. “The Tee Pee Video Space Troupe was kind of like a theater troupe,” Wendy said. “All of us came from different art backgrounds. I had been a painter, and my mother a filmmaker and a dancer, and we had photographers or others who worked in different mediums. There were a lot of visitors all the time. We would start playing and experimenting with video in the evening, as the sun went down, and we would go through all night long until the sun rose.”

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