Best Grungy Art Factory San Francisco 2002 - Artists' Television Access
In the punkish 1970s, this small storefront art gallery was known not for its art, but as a shooting gallery (as in heroin, speed, sex) serving Valencia Street degenerates. When anarcho-artists took over the space nearly two decades ago, they stuffed thousands of used needles behind the wallboard and then dedicated the space to making alternative television and political art. In the early 1990s, ATA became a center of radical anti-war art and anarcho-communist agitation against what ATA-ites saw as America's vapid culture of unthinking conformity. Their stuff has been shown on local television programs and has received national attention from art critics. Thanks to state and federal grants, ATA is now an underground ... well ... institution. Internationally renowned filmmaker Craig Baldwin, who actually lives in the gallery, produces the "Other Cinema" series, which regularly shows cutting-edge and classic cutting-edge films. ATA-ites also teach media literacy to young people, along with videomaking on relatively modern equipment.