Lori Zippay interviewed by Barbara Clausen, Tracy Robinson, and Glenn Wharton, August 20, 2020.
Lori Zippay is the Emeritus Director of Electronic Arts Intermix. This interview focuses on EAI’s history and the organization’s relationship with Joan Jonas.
- “Lori Zippay interviewed by Barbara Clausen, Tracy Robinson, and Glenn Wharton, August 20, 2020 (Interview Transcript).” Joan Jonas Knowledge Base, Artist Archives Initiative, 2021.
The interview begins with Zippay speaking about the history of Electronic Arts Intermix, founded in 1971 as a non-profit arts organization dedicated to fostering the creation, exhibition, distribution, and preservation of media art, and her long-time role as director. Zippay explains that the organization was founded by gallerist Howard Wise who was focused primarily on kinetic art and the Art & Technology movement [00:00–05:51]. From here, Zippay goes on to explain how EAI manages their collection of 4000 works and how these works are preserved and distributed [05:55–09:18]. The discussion then turns to how Zippay met Jonas through Barbara London during an internship at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and how she started working with Jonas and EAI in 1981. During this time, Zippay also speaks about founding the conservation program at EAI in 1985, focusing on half-inch black and white video work, and her philosophy on how preservation and distribution go hand-in-hand [09:20–15:32]. Next, Clausen asks Zippay to explain EAI’s interest over the years in the conservation and distribution of Jonas’s videos related to Organic Honey and Mirage. Wharton also takes this opportunity to ask about the status of EAI’s archive of footage that has not been made into works and if researchers would have access to them. Zippay reveals that access for researchers is only granted if the artist has agreed [15:33–24:06].
Circling back to Zippay’s relationship with Jonas, Zippay speaks about the other people that have worked with Jonas closely over the years. She states that key staff at EAI, particularly in the beginning in the 1990s and 2000s, had a close working relationship with Jonas [24:10–26:27]. Moving on, Zippay describes how EAI operates in an online age and what she thinks about Jonas’s iconic works now circulating online in snippets and fragments, and the relationship between screenings and online works [26:29–29:46]. Zippay also outlines EAI’s policies for loans, what the organization would distribute with a loan from a media installation of Jonas’s, and how EAI would communicate recommendations from Jonas to someone who wanted to borrow a work [29:48–33:22]. Robinson then asks Zippay to speak about the different curatorial projects and programming she organized over the years with Jonas’s work at EAI, describing a stand-out program in 2000 that happened in collaboration with Dia Art Foundation on the rooftop of the old Dia building in Manhattan [33:32–37:56]. The interview ends with Zippay outlining conservation issues related to Jonas’s work that she has been involved with and the manner in which Jonas got involved with them [37:59–44:15].