Video stills from the archives of former members of the Media Coalition for Reproductive Rights, 1992.       Click on images for enlarged view.

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"Surface Tension: Applied Memory Mutation Software"


The Surface Tension... software was conceived at the invitation of Media Curator, Julie Zando, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, to produce something for the presentation of video documentation gathered in Buffalo, New York, during the legendary (and ongoing) Defense of Women's Abortion and Reproductive Health Clinics since the early 1990s.

For the Hallwalls event, Jan.18, 2002, the Surface Tension Memory Mutation Software was applied to archival video selections by Jody Lafond.

The concept behind the software has its primary lineage in 1970s film experimentation and 1990s tactical video practices.

The software title derives from one of the works of the late Hollis Frampton - a film titled "Surface Tension". The algorithms ("recipes" for computing), used in the present software, translate and test some cinematic structures used in several of his films from the 1970s. An additional algorithm, "Strain Andromeda The" is based on a 1992 video of the same name by the video artist, Anne McGuire.

This project is dedicated to the memory of Hollis Frampton. The project is also dedicated, in solidarity, to those who have participated in Clinic Defense during the past decade (1992-2002).


The gallery presentation of this work consists of a simple computer workstation at which the viewer (or presenter at a public screening) can manipulate archival video documentation through the "Surface Tension..." software interface.


Thanks to Julie Zando, Jody Lafond, Chris Hill, Keiko Sei, and Violette Lattanzi. Additional thanks to Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo, NY, and to Smith College, Dept. of Art, Northampton, MA.

Barbara Lattanzi BIO:

Barbara Lattanzi is a media artist who lived and worked in Buffalo, New York, for many years, including participation in the early years of the Media Coalition for Reproductive Rights (MCRR). She is currently Visiting Artist in Digital Media at Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts. Recent exhibitions of her wide range of work include the screening of several early films as part of the 1999-2000 Museum of Modern Art series "Big As Life: An American History of 8mm Films" and the on-line exhibition of digital multimedia work as part of the Rhizome "Artbase" collection of net art. Lattanzi's ongoing collection of interactive multimedia applets, "wildernessPuppets" was included in the 9th New York Digital Salon. She presented her recent work, "Muscle and Blood Piano", experimental software for live performance, at the Wisconsin Film Festival and at the "Ready to..." conference in Prague, Czech Republic. More information about her work can be accessed at at