Experimental Television Center
Riverow Owego Central Historic District
|Formation||1969 (established), 1971 (founded date)|
|Merger of||Student Experiments in Television project on the campus of Binghamton University (1969)|
|Type||Non-profit new media art center|
|Ralph Hocking (Director)
Sherry Miller Hocking (Assistant Director)
Dave Jones (Systems Consultant)
Hank Rudolph (Program Coordinator)
The Experimental Television Center (ETC) was founded in 1971 by Ralph Hocking. The center was the result of the expansion of a media access program that Ralph Hocking established as Professor of video and computer art at Binghamton University in 1969. Some years later, in July 1979, the center was moved from Binghamton to Owego, New York.
The ETC, directed by Ralph Hocking and Sherry Miller Hocking, was devoted to the exploration and development of potential uses of new technology in video and media art. Artists, social, cultural and educational organizations and also interested individuals worked in innovative image processing tools, using all the equipment and the studio facilities with no charge. The Center for more than 40 years had provided a residency program  that emphasized the aesthetic experimentation of electronic and media art though new technologies. Artists from around the world and students were trained and worked with rare and unique analog and digital devices for creating video artworks and had access to the media art library of the center. For Ralph Hocking, the center was "a learning place [...], where artists and engineers worked in tandem". In addition, the center organized exhibitions, workshops, cultural events, conferences and provided grand programs to support artists and non-profit media art programs.
In 2011, the Residency and Grants Program of the center was closed. The center’s media arts collection has since been archived and housed at the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art through Cornell University Library’s Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections. The center, through the Video History Project, an ongoing research initiative, offers to the public a wealth of often unpublished documents related to the early historical development of video art and community television, with a particular focus on upstate New York during the period 1968-1980. Since the closing of ETC’s art residency program in 2011, Signal Culture -a new nonprofit media arts organization located in the same small village of Owego- aims to support the creation of experimental media.
- Alex Roshuk
- Anney Bonney
- Benton C Bainbridge
- Irit Batsry
- Alan Berliner
- Abigail Child
- Connie Coleman and Alan Powell
- Peter D'Agostino
- Marcello Dantas
- Emergency Broadcast Network
- Laurence Gartel
- Ariana Gerstein
- Leah Gilliam
- Slawomir Grunberg
- Barbara Hammer
- Thomas Allen Harris
- Pamela Susan Hawkins
- Sorrel Hays
- Kathy High
- Gary Hill
- Sara Hornbacher
- Amy Jenkins
- Ken Jacobs
- Richard Kostelanetz
- Shigeko Kubota
- Annie Langan
- Jeffrey Lerer
- Jeanne Liotta
- LoVid (Tali Hinkis and Kyle Lapidus)
- Mary Magsamen
- Jennifer and Kevin McCoy
- Jillian McDonald
- Christina McPhee
- Nam June Paik
- Ron Rocco
- Barbara Rosenthal
- Eric Rosenzveig
- Lynne Sachs
- Matthew Schlanger 
- Alan Sondheim
- Aldo Tambellini
- Simon Tarr
- Nancy Meli Walker
One of the early projects at the center (1972), a research program aiming to develop a more flexible set of imaging tools for artists, involved the construction of the "Paik/Abe video synthesizer". This video synthesizer was designed by Shuya Abe and Nam June Paik and built at the center by David Jones and Robert Diamond, for the TV Lab at WNET-TV. The project was funded by the New York State Council on the Arts.
In the early of 1970s, the center was the home to many innovative tools that artists in residency took advantage of to make complex and technologically progressive artworks. The "Abe colorizer" for example, "an image processing device, was the precursor of many of special effects that nowadays are taken for granted", as Bill T. Jones pointed out. In addition, the "Rutt/Etra scan processor" was part of the ETC studio and invented by Steve Rutt and Bill Etra in the early 1970s. Gary Hill, artist-in-residence at the Experimental Television Center from 1975 to 1977, explained that this scan processor "allowed one to manipulate the video image, providing an enormous amount of flexibility in altering a video input or in generating new images by using other inputs like waveforms".
In 1973, the center started a long-term collaboration with the artist and engineer Dave Jones, who was repairing, modifying and building video equipment for the center. After becoming the ETC’s full-time technician, Jones designed a series of tools for video image processing to be used at the Center by a number of video artists. Some of the tools available in the ETC studio included the "Jones colorizer" (1974, 1975), the "Jones 8-input sequencer" (1984, 1985), the "Jones keyer" (1985), the "Jones buffer" (1986), the "Voltage control", and the "Raster manipulation unit–wobbulator".
In mid- 1970s, the center started to research the interface of an "LSI-11 computer" with a video processing system with the collaboration of Steina and Woody Vasulka and the support of National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Its purpose was to make a digital imaging system more user-friendly to the artists. In the late of 1970s and the beginning of 1980s, the ETC’s research programs shifted from the hardware building to artist-oriented software development and to completing new and old tools and systems.
From the beginning of the 1980s, the center’s interest transitioned to the new "Amiga computer". Subsequently, in the 1990s, the available image processing system was enriched by commercially available tools. According to Ralph and Sherry Miller Hocking, the image processing system became through the years “a hybrid tool set, permitting the artist to create interactive relationships between older historically analog instruments and new digital technologies”. In addition, at the beginning of the 1990s, using a computerized relational database, the center started to catalog the antique equipment, all the video and audio tapes and also the printed material.
- High, Kathy; Hocking, Sherry Miller; Jimenez, Mona (2014). The emergence of video processing tools : television becoming unglued. University of Chicago Press. p. xvii. ISBN 184150663X.
- Hocking, Ralph. "Experimental Television Center: A brief History". Experimental Television Center. Retrieved 11 May 2015. Archived by Internet Archive on 9 February 2015.
- "The Experimental Television Center" (PDF). VASULKA.ORG. Archived from the original on 6 April 2008. Retrieved 11 May 2015. by Internet Archive on 14 March 2002.
- "Residency Program". Experimental Television Center. Archived from the original on 22 March 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015. by Internet Archive on 22 March 2015.
- "ETC: Experimental Television Center (1969-2009)" (PDF). Kathy High. Experimental Television Center. 2009. p. 9. Archived from the original on 20 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015. by Internet Archive on 19 September 2013.
- "Video library and archives of the Experimental Television Center". Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, ETC. Cornell University Library. by Internet Archive on 20 May 2015.[dead link]
- "Video History Project". Experimental Television Center. Retrieved 11 May 2015. Archived by Internet Archive on 22 March 2015.
- High, Kathy; Tennant, Carolyn. "The Experimental Television Center (An abstract)". Media Art History. Archived from the original on 18 December 2011. Retrieved 11 May 2015. by Internet Archive on 18 December 2011.
- Nadir, Leila (2014). "Upstate and Down with Pioneering Media Art". Hyperallergic (Interview): 2014. Archived from the original on 23 July 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015. by Internet Archive on 8 December 2014.
- See more at "Artists". Experimental Television Center Collection at the Rose Goldsen Archive. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
- "Artists". Experimental Television Center. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
- STANDBY corporate program (co-founder), Experimental Television Center, May 2011
- "Portofolio: "We Machines" at Experimental Television Center". Benton C Bainbridge official site. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
- "Ariana Gerstein". Experimental TV Center. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
- "Resume". Annie Langan: photography. Retrieved 19 June 2015.
- "A brief overview of the Paik-Abe video synthesizer". AudioVisualizers.com. Archived from the original on 3 November 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2015. by Internet Archive on 3 November 2013.
- "Paik-Abe Screening Not Still Art Festival Catalog". ImprovArt.com. Cherry Valley, NY. Archived from the original on 2011-01-10. Retrieved 11 May 2015. by Internet Archive on 10 January 2011.
- Fifield, George. "The Paik/Abe Synthesizer". The Early Video Project. Archived from the original on 11 April 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2015. by Internet Archive on 11 April 2013.
- Dunn, David, ed. (1994). "Nam June Paik and Shuya Abe: Paik/Abe video Synthesizer (Keyer and Colorizer) and Scan Modulator (aka "the Wobbulator"), 1970" (PDF). Eigenwelt Der Apparate-Welt: Pioneers of Electronic Art; Ars Electronica, 1992 (Catalogue). Francisco Carolinum, Linz: The Vasulkas, Inc.: 126–129. Archived from the original on 24 October 2004. Retrieved 11 May 2015. by Internet Archive on 19 November 2008.
- Lewis, ed. by Jon (2002). The end of cinema as we know it : American cinema in the nineties. London: Pluto Press. p. 307. ISBN 9780745318790.
- Hocking, Sherry Miller; Brewster, Richard; Peer, Bode; Rudolph, Hank; Schlanger, Matthew (1980). "Paik/Abe Colorizer - Experimental Television Center Studio System Manual". Experimental Television Center. Archived from the original on 20 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015. by Internet Archive on 20 May 2015.
- Jones, Bill T (2002). "Dancing and Cameras". In Mitoma, Judy; Zimmer (Text), Elizabeth; Dale (DVD), Ann Stieber. Envisioning dance on film and video. Hoboken: Taylor and Francis. pp. 103–104. ISBN 9781135376444.
- Dunn, David (ed.). "BILL ETRA & STEVE RUTT, Rutt/Etra Scan Processor (Analog), 1973" (PDF). Eigenwelt Der Apparate-Welt: Pioneers of Electronic Art ; [Pioniere Der Elektronischen Kunst ; Ars Electronica 1992, June 22 - July 5, 1992]. The Vasulkas, Inc: 136–139. Archived from the original on 2014-01-13. by Internet Archive on 19 November 2008.
- Morgan, Robert C. (2000). "Lucinda Furlong, A Manner of Speaking". Gary Hill. Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 194–195. ISBN 9780801864025.
- Jones, Dave. "Bio". Archived from the original on 10 June 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2015. by Internet Archive on 10 June 2012.
- Hocking, Sherry Miller (2004). "The Evolution of Thinking Machines" (PDF). The Squealer, Squeaky Wheel/ Buffalo Media Resources. 15 (1): 9. Archived from the original on 20 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015. by Internet Archive on 27 March 2015.
- High, Kathy; Hocking, Ralph; Hocking, Sherry Miller (2009). "Radical Learning, Radical Perception: The History of the Experimental Television Center". Experimental Television Center DVD compilation collection 1969-2009 (PDF). Owego, NY: Experimental Television Center, LTD. pp. 24–25. Archived from the original on 2015-05-20. by Internet Archive on 9 December 2013.
- High, Kathy; Hocking, Ralph; Hocking, Sherry Miller (2009). "Radical Learning, Radical Perception: The History of the Experimental Television Center". Experimental Television Center DVD compilation collection 1969-2009 (PDF). Owego, NY: Experimental Television Center, LTD. pp. 24–25.
- Betancourt, Michael (2004). Structuring time : notes on making movies. Holicong, PA: Wildside Press. ISBN 9780809511174.
- Eaton, Erica; Smelt, Tara (2007). Liminal: spaces-in-between visible and invisible. Rochester, NY: Evolutionary Girls. ISBN 9780615151175.
- Jackie, Hatfield(text ed.); Stephen, Littman (picture ed.) (2006). Experimental film and video : an anthology. Eastleigh: John Libbey. ISBN 9780861966646.
- Manasseh, Cyrus (2009). The problematic of video art in the museum, 1968-1990. Amherst, N.Y.: Cambria Press. ISBN 9781604976502.
- Official Experimental Television Center website
- ETC: Video History Project: Further Bibliography, Tools, Collection
- The repository of the Experimental Television Center Archives: Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art, Cornell University Library.
- The Vasulka Archives
- Official Signal Culture website
- Experimental Television Center video at the Vimeo