History of Eztv

EZTV has operated a number of facilities and art galleries throughout its over-thirty year history. Each separate venue constituted a separate ‘Period’ because each space designated a new chapter. Click below for easy navigation:

2000 - present

The 18th Street arts center years

EZTV’s longest-running venue has been at the 18th Street Arts Center in Santa Monica, CA. Here, many of EZTV’s most notable projects have been achieved.

Since 2000, Santa Monica’s 18th Street Arts Center has been the home of EZTV, and has nurtured, mentored and promoted its place in the diverse history of Southern California’s arts-based practices.

In 2011, EZTV’s early history was included in the Getty Center & Museum’s massive region-wide initiative Pacific Standard Time, as part of COLAB, 18th Street’s exhibition of 4 seminal and exemplary artists and organizations involved in the alternative space arts movement.

During its time at 18th Street, works for which EZTV has been an author or major collaborator have premiered at places such as the Cannes Film Festival, SIGGRAPH, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and PBS, and has been presented and recognized by UCLA, and USC’s ONE Archives and Museum, which in 2015 acquired much of its early video works and some seminal ephemera, as part of its permanent collection. Works made during this time at 18th Street, which core EZTV artists have been major collaborators have been awarded the Emmy Award, Golden Mic Award, and Cine Golden Eagle.

Members of EZTV’s core group have given guest lectures internationally on its history as well as topics ranging from Transhumanism (aka H+) to Cyber Security at institutions such as the Centre Pompidou, Paris; delivering keynotes at the EU-sponsored SULA Conference in Helsinki; and presenting at in conferences at Cal Tech, the College Art Association’s National Conference in NYC, Disneyland Paris, New School University/Parsons, as well as the School of Visual Arts, NYC;  

During its first 7 years of its 18th Street organizational residency, EZTV was the LA based meeting place for the Association of Independent Film & Videomakers, has hosted meetings for LA-SIGGRAPH, California Lawyers for the Arts, and has presented a series of Salons which have brought the community diverse voices in fields ranging from social justice, to architecture, modern dance choreography, to digital art.

After 40 years, EZTV has had an extremely rich, perhaps confusing, and decidedly influential role in the story of the media arts. But its story is really only beginning, as new generations of artists, working with the existing core members, continue to experiment, create and present their personal works and stories. 

We thank you for checking us out and hope you learn more, and possibly even reach out to collaborate on some future project.

video art pieces

notable events & lectures

1996 - 2002

The LACE years

The years 1995-2000 were years of re-defining and re-aligning for EZTV.

At the recommendation of LA Freewaves director Anne Bray, EZTV moved out of its expensive offices on Melrose Ave., and into a very inexpensive (and small) room at the back of Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE). This great reduction in overhead, allowed EZTV to begin to recover from the devastating economic burdens which resulted after John Dorr’s death.
After successfully surviving the transition from analog to digital, EZTV also began to build a new commitment and relationship with the contemporary art world, especially those aspects that were community-based. Because of the low-cost rent now available at LACE, during its years at LACE, EZTV was slowly able to let go of all but its most creative clients, as it continued to operate its media lab, and offer screenings to those who would otherwise have no such opportunity.

EZTV’s original work continued to go against the grain of the prevailing winds of contemporary video art theory. Just as the world was finally catching up with EZTV’s long-standing advocacy of digital imagery, it created a politically-based send-up on gun fanaticism, Islamaphobia, and racism in this short work, created in 2000, using puppets, which premiered at FreeWaves:

Presented by American Film Institute”s Maya Beaton, EZTV was honored for its contributions to the emergence of digital production, hailing it as “some of the core pioneers and advocates of digital production in the moving image arts”. In celebration of EZTV’s 20 anniversary and the creation of CyberSpace Gallery, AFI presented a weekend-long series of screenings, panel discussions, and an exhibition of CyberSpace Gallery’s leading artists.

Pioneering digital art historian and CyberSpace Gallery co-founder Patric Prince, wrote this statement as part of the program notes:
-Patric Prince-
EZTV joined forces during these years, with filmmaker Patrick Creadon, who brought in his then state-of-the art non-linear digital editing system, the Media 100. Patrick went on, in 2006, to direct the critically acclaimed documentary “Wordplay”.
It was also, during these years, that EZTV began to develop an understanding of the role that mobile media would take. This was an extremely early articulation of what wold become commonly accepted a decade later, namely that mobile communications would transform global society in ways never before experienced. In 1999, Michael J. Masucci met Oiva Kuuntila, then a technology attache at the Consulate of Finland in Los Angeles. Masucci invited Oiva to participate, at a panelist, at the upcoming AFI anniversary tribute to EZTV
In 2000, Michael J. Masucci and Kate Johnson were invited by Finland’s Ministry of Technology (TEKES) to give a keynote speech at the University of Helsinki. It was during this speech that Johnson laid out a vision of what the early 200o’s would be, and Masucci first publicly said that mobile communications would be “the electric guitar of the early 21st century”.

Program for AFI's tribute to 
EZTV's 20th Anniversary 1999

the Digilantes, 1997

ICA London, 1997

OUTSIDE LOOKING IN, One Last Visit with Timothy Leary, 1996

Other Works Include:

The Smartest Girl in Town
Burning (Wo)Man

1994 - 1996

The Melrose Avenue years

In the two years that EZTV moved to Melrose, it made the single largest series of changes in its existence. The group moved into two adjoining office suites, the entire second floor of a two-floor office building on Melrose Ave, in Hollywood, CA.

A happy day at EZTV Melrose Ave, 1994

It was during these two years, that EZTV successfully made its transition from analog to digital, well ahead of the competition, and ensuring their survival well into the future.
It was also during this time, that EZTV’s first website was launched, created by artist Mark Gash. The website, among the very first to focus on digital art, was quickly recognized internationally, became an early Yahoo! “Site of the Day”, and was included in Yahoo!’s book for children about the web: Way Cool Websites.

Yahoo! book on 'cool' websites, including EZTV, 1994

Allan Ravik joined forces with EZTV, installing one of the pioneering EMC non-linear editing systems. This predecessor of the Avid, was successfully used by Ravik, and Kate Johnson, on numerous projects for several years, making EZTV one of LA’s first artist-friendly media labs to offer digital video editing, years before it became routine in either the alternative art scene or the mainstream industry.
EZTV narrowed down its extensive client list, and began to focus much more on original art projects, and became a more couture service provider. During this time, its clients included Miramax Pictures, Warner Bros., Disney, actors such as Forest Whitaker, Marvin Van Peeples, Gina Gershon, directors such as Paul Mazursky, rock stars such as Chad Smith (Red Hot Chili Peppers) and many others.

Additionally, EZTV donated office space to digital artist Robert Lowden, who explored CD-ROM based work, and created Photoshop and other digital files for use in EZTV projects. Lowden would go on to be among the very first of Dreamworks’ digital artists, during their transition from cell to digital animation.

Digital Art by Robert Lowden 1995

In anticipation of an expected move to Hollywood Blvd, to a newly renovated space upstairs from LACPS, EZTV and LACPS staged exhibitions at their joint exhibition space “Re:Solution Gallery”:

Additionally, EZTV rented space within a multimedia start-up in Beverly Hills called “Telegence”, a short-lived production and exhibition space. EZTV staged a number of screenings there, during these two Melrose years.

1983 - 1994

The West Hollywood years

During the period of 1983-1994, EZTV presented its largest number of public events, including evening-length screenings of independent and experimental film & video, as well as live performances, telepresent events, and art openings.

The following is a list (in alphabetical order) of official founding members of EZTV, as published on an ad in Variety’s 50th anniversary issue:

eztv's founding members

Mark Addy
Gerald Alexander
Pierre Ardans
Brian Photar Bellamy
Strawn Bovee
Ken Camp
James Dillinger (aka James Baker)
John Dorr * (see below)
Pat Evans
B.A. Falvo
Nicholas Frangakis

Jack Friend
Samir Hachem
Mark Haggard
Robert Hernandez
T. Jankowski
Mark Kramer
Steve McCambridge
Michael J. (aka Michael J. Masucci)
Earl Miller
Pat Miller
Cordelia Reinhrad

Charles Reinhard
Sybil Rolnick
Ronald G. Rolnick
Mark Shepard
Michael Sonye
Jaime Walters
G. F. Watkins
James Williams
Phoebe Wray

EZTV’s founder John Dorr was a videomaker, theorist, curator and activist. He was a graduate of Yale and then worked at UCLA, and as a writer for the Hollywood Reporter, Millimeter, and other publications. He worked for a time as a publicist for the seminal LA based film festival – FILMEX.
He also worked on and off in the mainstream film industry prior to the founding of EZTV.During this time he worked as a script supervisor on low budget features and had several of his original screenplays optioned, but never produced.
In 1979, he began to experiment with producing full-length films on home betamax analog video equipment, and in the next three years, created four such video features.
Inspired by the independence, low-cost and flexible which home video offered, he created EZTV Video Gallery in 1983, in collaboration with a number of founding members.

posthumous, john dorr

John Dorr, Self Portrait 1978

During his time at EZTV, he served as producer of the 26 part documentary series of leading writers, “The Lannon Literary Series”
He died of AIDS complications on January 1, 1993.
His last known resume, from 1988 is available here: COMING SOON

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