mistake. We need to find somebody the artists would welcome." So, Nam June asked Barzyk if he knew anyone, and Barzyk suggested David Loxton.... The NYSCA money softened the ground, but WGBH and NCET were much more important in paving the way. That made it possible for us to make a $150,000 grant, and then larger amounts after that.
In many ways, the Television Laboratory at WNET/Thirteen was the flagship project of the Rockefeller Foundation's forays into funding artists' television. The lab ran from 1972 to 1984 and, under the direction of Loxton and codirector Carol Brandenburg, administered a wide-ranging artists-in-residence program as well as the Independent Documentary Fund of the Ford Foundation and the NEA, and put together several series for broadcast. There was a stable of artists - Nam June Paik, TVTV, Ed Emshwiller, John Sanborn and Kit Fitzgerald, Bill Viola, Mitchell Kriegman, Skip Blumberg who produced works at the lab and who came back many times as artists-in-residence. The Rockefeller Foundation gave the lab $150,000 to get established in 1971 and provided core support from 1972 to 1976 to a total of $1.1 million, in addition to smaller artist-in-residence grants.
The central philosophy behind providing those kinds of funds to support artists producing television is one that reflects Klein's desire to have arts program funding produce the equivalent impact of the other program funding at the Rockefeller Foundation. The intent, therefore, was not simply to fund artists but to attempt to change the institution of television and hence have a broad cultural impact. Nam June Paik emphasizes that had Klein not been at the Rockefeller Foundation in the early 1970s and not been daring and convincing enough to ask for unprecedented amounts of money for the experimental public television facilities, they would never have happened on this scope. "Howard is a mover, a social enterpriser with much of a gambler's sense," said Paik. "He far outstripped his predecessors at the foundation." This belief in the power of private monies to help change institutions is an important component of the way Klein approached the funding of the arts.
The TV lab was, of course, not without its problems. As the video community expanded and opportunities for artists grew more numerous, they were less willing to accept the terms offered by the lab (which in the early years meant complete rights over tapes, and in later years a high percentage of rights for many projects for which it provided only partial funding). Access to the facility became an issue, and there were charges that the lab artists formed an elite and closed club. (Loxton characterizes the selection process at the TV lab as one that developed from a "totally autocratic to a totally democratic" one, adding that in the earliest days, with Rockefeller providing the bulk of the funds, he alone chose the artists.) However, many of these charges came to the fore after the foundation pulled out of the lab, when they were raised by NYSCA's access-conscious media panel (which stipulated certain conditions more favorable to the artists within its grants). To the non-panel-dictated
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