The Experimental Channel was begun in October 2006 by San Francisco’s Ronaldo Barbachano in an effort to bring alternative and experimental visual art to online audiences. The site features video art by Barbachano , Experimental Channel curator Mike Daddona, and others (many of them represented on the EC-plugged Eyeplugs Vol. 1 DVD, a compilation of videos shown in the program series of the same name), as well as coverage of San Francisco art exhibition openings, events, and announcements of local shows.
The Experimental Channel is sporadically updated and focuses on work by a small circle of artists. Thus, the content is not particularly varied or diverse. The majority of the site’s videos are created by Barbachano: “Blindspot” is a collage of San Francisco street scenes, “Redgreenwoods” similarly deals with nature and transportation, and “Distillate” deals with industry. Art openings are extensively covered in a series titled “Diego Tuesdays,” in which The EC drops in on the Diego gallery at the San Francisco Art Institute where students show their work in weekly exhibitions—each episode (for example, the third) captures the informal manner of the openings and provides helpful exposure to talented art students.
The Experimental Channel’s interview with SF Art Institute MFA candidate Renetta Sitoy offers an insightful look into her video installation “Dreams and Landscapes.” Hopefully The EC will contain more such interviews – surely San Francisco houses enough promising artists and enough promising art to give the channel material for a long, long time.