Freewaves is a Los Angeles based nonprofit organization that advocates for and exhibits uncensored independent new media from around the world. Media art works include experimental video and film (narrative, documentary, art, animation, etc.), websites, installations, video billboards and outdoor porjections. Freewaves supports multicultural spaces by providing Los Angeles venues and the Freewaves.org website for international and local artists. The group sees itself as a media arts magnet currently building one of the largest online archives of streaming new media art works. Freewaves also provides information on media resources on its website.
Freewaves exhibits works that are generally not taken in by Hollywood, big business, networks or cable television. Works are frequently eccentric and unconventional, favoring content and concepts over aesthetic gimmicks, representing voices not normally heard from in more mainstream festivals. Both well known (Bill Viola, William Basinski, Yes Men, Brad Neely, CrimethInc., Jennifer Steinkamp) and emerging media artists have shown works in Freewaves programs.
Freewaves was founded in 1989 by Anne Bray. Bray serves as executive director and has been working in the field of media arts since the mid-1970s as an artist and teacher. With representatives of other communities, she founded Freewaves and has administered the program since it was launched at the American Film Institute's National Video Festival in 1989.
- 1 Timeline
- 1.1 Out The Window (2011 - 2013)
- 1.2 Freewaves celebrated its 20th anniversary at the LACMA Late Night Art Event (2010)
- 1.3 Statues Unfrozen for One Hour - Clothed Women and Unarmed Men (2009)
- 1.4 HOTBED - Video Cultivation Beside the Getty Garden (2009)
- 1.5 HollyWould (2008)
- 1.6 Too Much Freedom? (2006)
- 1.7 How Can You Resist? (2004)
- 1.8 TV or NOT TV? (2002)
- 1.9 Air Raids (2000)
- 1.10 First Celebration of Independent Video (1989)
- 2 References
Out The Window (2011 - 2013)
Since 2011, Freewaves’ project OUT THE WINDOW has presented hundreds of artists’ videos on L.A. Metro buses to 1 million daily commuters, creating a wired tapestry among the many social, cultural, economic and creative constituencies of Los Angeles. 2000 Metro buses are each equipped with Transit TV’s 2 screens and speakers inside, providing a creative platform to showcase innovative media art in a distinctively public space.
Creative videos use open-ended, humorous, relatable and questioning strategies to approach viewers with vital images. Videos are followed by an evocative question, with a phone number to text responses. Out-the-window.org streams both the responses and videos, extended by Facebook and Twitter.
Freewaves celebrated its 20th anniversary at the LACMA Late Night Art Event (2010)
The event animated the museum’s north plaza with 20+ experimental media art works produced over the previous two decades. The videos presented spanned perspectives from identity politics of the 1990s to post-9/11 reality checks, from deep inside the mass media landscape to observations from media makers in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
Statues Unfrozen for One Hour - Clothed Women and Unarmed Men (2009)
Shown at Rooftop of eighteen-thirty on Sunset Blvd in Echo Park, Los Angeles and at the Moscow Film Festival, the two-channel screening featured 18 short videos on actions in public space by artists from USA, India, Kazakhstan, France and Dubai.
HOTBED - Video Cultivation Beside the Getty Garden (2009)
Projected onto the exterior walls of the Getty Center court yards, 20 artists’ videos from 1984 to 2007 explored the theme of the body as nature or culture. Spectacularly displayed between the architecture and gardens, viewers strolled the grounds from the tram to the cactus garden in this special 2-evening installation curated by Anne Bray, Director of Freewaves, with an essay by Holly Willis.
LA Freewaves 11th Celebration of Experimental Media Arts
“HollyWould,” the theme for this year’s festival, is a playful and evocative turn on Hollywood, both as an international symbol of the American entertainment industry and as a Los Angeles neighborhood very much in flux.
The 2008 festival will fuse media arts and Hollywood Boulevard Oct. 9-13, 2008. The festival will transform the iconic boulevard into a massive, multi-faceted screening room for experimental videos, films and media art from every continent. Selected works will be projected onto buildings, displayed on LCD screens inside stores and installed in storefront windows.
Too Much Freedom? (2006)
LA Freewaves 10th Celebration of Experimental Media Arts
The festival poses the question of freedom and attempts to answer that question by showcasing work that examines freedom and its conundra, unpacking assumptions about artistic invention, political intelligence, ethical dilemmas and personal desires.
The festival will present experimental media art from around the world at venues in Los Angeles in November 2006 and through the Freewaves web site. Works from the festival will also appear on public television, video billboards and be video-streamed on the Internet.
How Can You Resist? (2004)
LA Freewaves 9th Celebration of Experimental Media Arts
More than 150 works of video, film and digital media were chosen addressing the question "How Can You Resist?." Programs in the 2004 festival traversed sexuality, economics, politics, consumerism and media.
TV or NOT TV? (2002)
LA Freewaves 8th Celebration of Experimental Media Arts
The 2002 festival presented over 300 works in panel discussions, performance events, exhibitions, outdoor community screenings and television broadcasts that dealt with the line between daily life and televised reality. Again, the goal was to present alternative views to what many of the participating artists see as corporate-filtered entertainment and monopolized news reporting.
Air Raids (2000)
LA Freewaves 7th Celebration of Experimental Media Arts
Air Raids was a citywide festival of experimental, documentary and new media works by artists, activists and media makers. In 2000, this festival featured an opening at MOCA, thematic video bus tours, "TV or Not TV" a 10-year LA media arts retrospective that aired on KCET, online exhibitions, as well as 50 additional screenings and installations at over 30 Southern California venues.
First Celebration of Independent Video (1989)
Launched at the American Film Institute's National Video Festival, this festival marked the birth of LA Freewaves. In cooperation with 35 Los Angeles media and arts organizations, various artistic events were presented at 30 sites while 4 "Road Shows" traveled throughout Los Angeles.
- Freewaves Official Website
- About Freewaves
- Freewaves Festivals
- Freewaves Timeline
- The Community Is Watching, and Replying: Art in Public Places and Spaces by Anne Bray
- How Can you Resist? at REDCAT
- TV or Not TV? reviewed by Green Galactic
- Freewaves: Latin America at The Americas Society An exhibition from TV or NOT TV?
- Air Raids article by Bill Lasarow
- Digital Universe by Holly Willis in the LA Weekly