Home  >  History of EZTV  >  The Periods Exhibit  >  The West Hollywood Years

The West Hollywood Years
| 1983-1994

EZTV Opening of LA-SIGGRAPH ART, 1990

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.

Pre-EZTV, 1979-1983

EZTV’s founder John Dorr was a videomaker, theorist, curator, and activist. A graduate of Yale University, he worked as a writer and publicist whilst working on and off in the mainstream film industry. Prior to the founding of EZTV, he worked as a script supervisor on low budget features and had several of his original screenplays options, but never produced.

Then in 1979, he began to experiment with producing full-length films on home Betamax analog video equipment and, in the next three years, he created four such video features.
Inspired by the independence, low-cost, and flexibility that home video offered, he created EZTV Video Gallery in 1983 in collaboration with a number of other founding members.

Founder John Dorr in his poetry parody "Do It Yourself for Poets", 1987

The West Hollywood years collection


Video still from "Blonde Death", James Baker, 1984

In 1983, John Dorr and a group of over two dozen co-founding members pooled their resources and skills to create a permanent space for the screenings. The small space was called “EZTV Video Gallery” and it housed a 40-seat screening area and two editing systems.

From the beginning, EZTV was an early advocate of work under-represented by either mainstream Hollywood or the mainstream of the contemporary art/museum culture. Such under-represented communities included LGBTQ, computer art, physically-challenged artists, feminists, multimedia and performance art. The EZTV Gallery also served as a space for the exhibition of wall art. 

View Collection >


Video still from “Evangelust” by George Kuchar,
screened at EZTV, 1988

Active participation from EZTV’s core group members diversified the exhibitions, so no one curatorial voice overpowered the programming. James Williams introduced controversial wall art. Michael J. Masucci expanded the focus of EZTV and encouraged the exhibition of computer based arts. He, along with artists such as Victor Acevedo and ia Kamandalu, hosted many showings of digital art - something rare at the time.

View Collection >


Video still from a live multimedia performance “Bird of Passage” by Zina Bethune and Michael J. Masucci, 1990

In 1992, as a subspace of EZTV, Michael J. Masucci and Patric Prince founded CyberSpace Gallery with the help of artists Victor Acevedo, ia Kamandalu, Michael Wright, intern Lisa Tripp, and others. CyberSpace Gallery was among the world’s first galleries dedicated to digital art and in 1995, launched one of the very first websites exhibiting digital art.
Founder John Dorr died of AIDS complications in 1993. Masucci then became Director and named ia Kamandalu as Vice-President. Over time, and in partnership with Kate Johnson, they transitioned the space, allowing for its survival and the preservation of its early history. EZTV left West Hollywood and operated out of three subsequent spaces whilst participating in several joint locations with other groups.

View Collection >