the past five, and especially the past two years rentals have increased significantly, according to Lori Zippay, EAI's administrator.  Artists are contracted by EAI on a non-exclusive basis and receive 50% of rental and sales fees, 60% in the case of sales for cable or broadcast.46 Zippay notes that approximately one third of EAI's business is with foreign markets (EAI has representatives in Paris, Berlin, and Tokyo), and that recently many universities have added video to their curricula.  As the audience for video widens, EAI increasingly assumes the role of an educational institution, providing historical and descriptive information along with the tapes.

The collection at EAI in its diversity and range, is also very much the product of Wise's vision and taste.  It has expanded far beyond the initial core artists, adding tapes by Barbara Buckner, Skip Blumberg, Peter D'Agostino, DCTV, Kit Fitzgerald, Shalom Gorewitz, Gary Hill, John Sanborn, Dan Sandin, Edin Velez, and others.  Their videotape catalogue also reveals diversity; a history of broadcasting, a portrait of activist Helen Caldicott, a documentary on Agent Orange, an introduction to Haitian art, and a tape on the Pritikin diet hint at a rather eclectic method, not unlike Moorman's democratic selection of artists participating in the Avant-Garde Festivals.  One with the unmistakable stamp of Howard Wise.

Wise established Electronic Arts Intermix as an organization to serve video artists, and to that end he has created a paradigm for media arts organizations.  Beyond EAI's role as one of the first media groups, it is also very much a personal venture.  While EAI is now financially viable, receiving regular funds from NYSCA and NEA, with an operating budget of about $250,000, Wise has never taken a salary.  Wise also continues to quietly fund other organizations such as MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies, events such as the Whitney Museum's Paik retrospective, and artists' projects which could not find other patrons.

Wise has still not lost interest in video, although he does acknowledge that it has become less novel and somewhat less political than at the onset.  As a humanist and politically conscious person, Wise is now concentrating on an issue which is of wider concern and potentially more devastating than the future of video art-the threat of nuclear war.  Recently he wrote,

I propose that we urge and encourage the Media Artists to dedicate their attention, their talents and their sensitivities to promote, through their art, an understanding of the problem posed by the presence of 50,000 nuclear warheads in our midst, poised and set to go (whether by accident or design, it makes no difference) and to avoid if it is humanly possible the final Holocaust which will consume us all, friends and enemies alike.47

In addition to encouraging artists to take a political stand on this issue and express it in their art, EAI now circulates several tapes which deal with nuclear war: Erik Barnouw's Hiroshima-Nagasaki, August 1945: The Case of the

-->> next page