GoNightclubbing is a collaboration between video artists Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong, who worked together to document the New York punk rock scene beginning in 1977. Ivers had previously worked with Metropolis Video from 1975 until their dissolution in 1977. Originally, Ivers and Armstrong were known as Advanced TV, but they incorporated as GoNightclubbing in 2001.

Known forVideo artists
MovementPunk rock


Ivers and Armstrong videotaped hundreds of bands between 1977 and 1981 at venues like CBGB’s, Max’s Kansas City, Mudd Club and Hurrah’s. Described as “the Lewis and Clark of rock video,”[1] they used hand held cameras and audio from the sound board of the clubs to make their Gonightclubbing archive. The use of this equipment created a visual style that fit the scene that it documented—Michael Shore of Rolling Stone called their "visual fidelity" "perfect."[1] Their archive was arguably the premiere video record of the Downtown punk scene.[2][3]

In 1979, their music series Nightclubbing debuted on Manhattan Cable TV’s Channel 10. It was a weekly half-hour program, showcasing live performances of bands they had documented from their vast archive.[4]

Nightclubbing was nominated for a Cable Ace award for best variety series in 1980. It was shown at Anthology Film Archives as a late night weekly screening between January and March,1980.[5]

In May, 1980, they worked at the original incarnation of the nightclub, Danceteria, pioneering the concept of the VJ (Video Jockey) and designing the first stand alone Video Lounge.[6][7] Originally designed as a one night only art installation, it proved so successful that it became a regular nightly feature of the club. With multiple TV sets arranged as living room groupings, Ivers and Armstrong showed a mix of found footage, music videos, artists work and selections from their own archive and also documented bands live, feeding the video up to the Lounge in real time.[8] After the club was closed by the State Liquor Authority, a robbery occurred, costing them a third of their video archive.[7][9] The tapes were never recovered.[7]

In 1981, Ivers and Armstrong toured the country with their GoNightclubbing video programs, showing at museums and nightclubs in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and San Francisco.[10]

In 2000, GoNightclubbing resurfaced at the opening of the Pioneer Theater, an independent cinema in the East Village, with a five-week series of programs. Ivers and Armstrong resumed shooting with a series of interviews of veterans of the punk scene, including Lenny Kaye and Jay Dee Daugherty of the Patti Smith group, Richard Lloyd of Television, Cheetah Chrome and Jeff Magnum of the Dead Boys. The same year, they were invited to the Institute of Contemporary Art in London to host a series of screenings. The Guardian applauded it as “five priceless programs… capturing the raw visceral energy of bands unhindered by MTV self-consciousness."[11]

In 2001-2002, they toured the US, invited to the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, the Experience Music Project in Seattle and the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis, with stops in Portland, Chicago and San Francisco as well.[12]

In 2010, New York University’s Fales Library and Special Collections digitized and restored the GoNightclubbing Archive as part of their Downtown Collection. The archive is now available for use by scholars and researchers. With videos of over 82 bands at 112 performances, 27 on camera interviews, hundreds of photos, ephemera, music videos, and video art, this "massive" collection offers a snapshot of the time and culture of Downtown New York in the late 1970s and early 1980s.[9]

In 2012, Bedford and Bowery, part of the New York Times Magazine, invited Ivers and Armstrong to write about the restoration of their archive in a weekly feature, which ran for nearly a year.[13]

To celebrate the acquisition by the Downtown collection, in 2014, Ivers and Armstrong created “GoNightclubbing: A Modern Punk History,” a multi-media project including video screenings at the Museum of Art and Design,[14] a photo and ephemera exhibition at Fales,[15] live talks, and a recreation of the iconic Video Lounge and larger than life images of punk icons at the 80 Washington Square East Gallery.[16]

In 2015, Ivers and Armstrong premiered “Alone At Last: an Interactive installation Exploring Gender, Identity and Desire Before the Aids Crisis” at the Howl! Happening gallery.[17] Using the trope of the Times Square peep show booth,[18] "Alone at Last" examines the broad spectrum of sexual expression that existed in the heady days of downtown bohemia before AIDS struck the artistic community there. Fifty video seducers invite the viewer/participant to share some time in the dark with a stranger and question what s/he really wants. Anticipating YouTube and cyber hookups, "Alone At Last" can be described as a cultural record of a time gone by and a celebration of its freedom.[19]

Screenings and exhibitionsEdit



Public collectionsEdit

The GoNightclubbing archives are held as part of the Downtown Collection at the New York University Fales Library and Special Collections.[21]

Awards and nominationsEdit

  • Acker Award for Achievement in the Avant Garde[22]


  1. ^ a b Shore, Michael (1984-01-01). The Rolling stone book of rock video. New York: Quill. p. 65. ISBN 0688039162.
  2. ^ "Iggy Pop Covers Sinatra in Unearthed, Newly Restored Punk Footage From 1979 | SPIN". Spin. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  3. ^ Hawkins, Joan (2015-01-01). Downtown film and TV culture 1975-2001. p. 48. ISBN 9781783204229.
  4. ^ Sarah Longacre. (1979-10-18). SoHo Weekly News.
  5. ^ Shore, Michael. (1980-03-05). SoHo Weekly News.
  6. ^ James, Christopher (2014-03-31). "Behind the Lens: A Conversation with Emily Armstrong and Pat Ivers of Gonightclubbing, April 10th". NYU News. New York University. Retrieved 2016-03-06.
  7. ^ a b c Zeichner, Arlene. 1982. “Rock'n Video”. Film Comment 18 (3). Film Society of Lincoln Center: 39–41. JSTOR 43452876
  8. ^ Richard Fantina. (1980). East Village Eye.
  9. ^ a b Sullivan, James (2013-10-09). "The Real CBGB Is Ready for Its Closeup". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  10. ^ LA Reader Nov 4,1981, Richard Gelar
  11. ^ "Nightclubbing." The Guardian. July 22, 2000. Page E18.
  12. ^ Anonymous. "Nightclubbing: PERFORMANCE ART." Pittsburgh City Paper. 2002. HighBeam Research. (March 7, 2016).
  13. ^ "Nightclubbing". Bedford + Bowery. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  14. ^ Robbins, Christopher. "See Classic, Rare New Wave/No Wave/Punk At Museum Of Art And Design". Gothamist. Archived from the original on 2015-05-09. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  15. ^ Shen Goodman, Matthew (2014-03-21). "Nightclubbing in the Library: Danceteria Lounge Recreated at NYU - Previews". Art in America Magazine. Archived from the original on 2015-11-28. Retrieved 2016-03-05.
  16. ^ Artlyst. "Danceteria Nightclub Video Lounge Recreated In NYU Installation Exhibition". Artlyst London. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  17. ^ Taylor, Marvin J.; McCormick, Carlo; Klonarides, Carole Ann; Blagg, Max (2015). Riederer, Ted (ed.). "Alone At Last: Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong. An Interactive Installation Exploring Gender, Sexuality, and Design Before the AIDS Crisis". Howl! Archive Publishing Editions. 1 (6). Retrieved 2016-03-08.
  18. ^ Colucci, Emily. "Sex Machine: Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong's Downtown Erogenous Zone 'Alone At Last'". Filthy Dreams. Retrieved 2016-03-06.
  19. ^ "A Different Kind Of Peep Show Explores Sex Before The AIDS Crisis". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  20. ^ "WOMEN WITH VISION: CROSSING BOUNDARIES CELEBRATES WOMEN DIRECTORS FROM A LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL PERSPECTIVE". www.walkerart.org. Walker Art Center. 2001. Archived from the original on 2016-04-05. Retrieved 2016-03-08.
  21. ^ "NIGHTCLUBBING Archive by Pat Ivers and Emily Armstrong 1970-2009 (Bulk 1975-1980) MSS 305". dlib.nyu.edu. Retrieved 2016-03-07.
  22. ^ "THE ACKER AWARDS". THE ACKER AWARDS. Archived from the original on 2014-06-03. Retrieved 2016-03-05.

External linksEdit