Videofreex member David Cort dies
Aug 11, 2020 5:30 am
Alex Greenberger reports for Art News that David Cort, one of the founders of the Videofreex collective that started what may have been America's first pirate television station in Greene County, died recently. He was 85. “David shared his laughter with the world and his twin daughters are the inheritors of his spirit,” Videofreex said in a statement. “And those of us who knew him laughed and cried with him too. May we all go rollicking on as he would … and resisting in the face of an imminent thrashing, as he did.” The Videofreex began at the Woodstock music festival in 1969, shooting video footage of the event. That led them to a contract for a television show about the counterculture on CBS, and writing a chapter about pirate television in Abbie Hoffman's "Steal This Book." CBS canceled the TV series before it aired, and they took the money and video equipment from those projects and relocated to the video collective to Lanesville (in the Town of Hunter, near the Ulster County border) in Greene County in the early 1970s. There, they started "Lanesville TV," what they claim is the first pirate television station. The group included Parry Teasdale, now the editor of The Columbia Paper, and formerly of The Independent. In 2015 the the Videofreex were featured in "The Art of Guerrilla Television" art show at the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at SUNY New Paltz. Read more about this story in Art News.