Paris a la Carte (1978) by Don Foresta, Kit Fitzgerald, and John Sanborn, and a tape on India by Ingrid and Bob Wiegand, among others. Despite Paik's initial intention, this was not a coherent group of tapes; they were stylistically quite different, with variable degrees of success. This series also arrived at a time when the rules of the game in getting artists' work on public television were beginning to change, and it represents Klein et al.'s (?) last attempt to claim a niche for artists on public television (in the year following the end of Rockefeller's core support of the TV lab). David Loxton recalls that
Visa was the series that finished me at PBS for quite some time. I had gone out on a limb, screaming for a decent weekly slot, but we lost that battle, and they only wanted to take the Vietnam tape. The reality is that they were a very mixed bag. I think that PBS was furious that I had convinced them that they should run it as a series, and the tapes were so different in their quality, everything from this hard-hitting Vietnam documentary to some slight works. It was an idea that was too abstract. There was an ambiguity in the purpose of Visa, between being simply a way to continue to get money to artists to make tapes and increasing the broadcast presence of video artists on public television via a series. The endless problem with independent work and video art is how you provide a regular broadcast presence for works whose strength lies not in their similarity but in their diversity.
The Visa series also marks the end of the period when Klein was looking to public television as the direction for the funding of video artists. However, the intention behind the series was a major part of Klein's, as well as Paik's, philosophy, both of whom conceive of artists as cultural emissaries. When the idea of Visa petered out, Klein was already involved in the formation of an organization that would foster an exchange of ideas between producers from around the world. It became the International Public Television Screening Conference (INPUT).
INPUT began in part as a response to the growing need for more communication between European and American producers. As Russell Connor tells it:
I had gotten involved with an organization called CIRCOM (International Cooperative for Action and Research in Communications). It was a mixed group of renegades from various European television stations who met as a kind of sidebar to the Prix Italia every year and talked theory about television and screened each other's experimental works. I talked about the Rockefeller Foundation's interest in international television to Sergio Borelli, and we decided that it would be good to have an international conference if we could convince the Rockefeller Foundation to sponsor it. Then I went back to Howard Klein, who liked the idea. There was a very charming moment.
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