Kate Horsfield received her M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1976 and in the same year co-founded the Video Data Bank (at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago) with the late Lyn Blumenthal. Horsfield was Executive Director of the Video Data Bank from 1988 to 2006.
Horsfield and Blumenthal began their research in contemporary art in video by producing over 76 video interviews with contemporary artists, photographers and critics, including artists such as Lee Krasner, Romare Bearden, Alice Neel, Joseph Beuys, Buckminster Fuller, and Vito Acconci. This collection of interviews, now numbering over 400, has become one of the largest and most valuable primary collections of resource material on contemporary artists in the country.
In 1984, Horsfield and Blumenthal conceptualized and produced the first outdoor Video Drive-In in Grant Park, Chicago. In 1989, the Video Drive-In travelled to the Gulbenkian Foundation in Lisbon, Portugal, then on to IVAM Julio Gonzalez in Valencia, Spain and the Center for North American Studies in Barcelona, Spain. And in 1990, Horsfield collaborated with the Public Art Fund and the Central Park Summerstage Program to present the Video Drive-In in New York City. In 1992, the Video Drive-In was presented for the last time in Chicago. Each production featuring experimental works of artists such as Laurie Anderson, Jenny Holzer, William S. Burroughs and William Wegman and drew crowds numbering in the tens of thousands, making these events some of the largest presentations of experimental video art.
Horsfield has also produced several thematic anthologies of video, including a 6 hour VHS compilation of video by artists and community activists on AIDS, curated by Bill Horrigan and John Greyson, called Video Against AIDS. This is a collection released in 1989 that presents a counter representation to the mainstream dialog on AIDS. In 1997, Horsfield worked with Chris Hill, Maria Troy and Dierdre Boyle to produce the anthology Surveying the First Decade: Video Art and Alternative Media in the United States. This is a 19 hour VHS collection of video works that outline the themes of early video art. Using the model of anthologies, Horsfield worked with National Video Resources and the Guggenheim Museum to produce Frames of Reference: Reflections on Media, an anthology of works by Rockefeller Media Arts Fellows.
Horsfield collaborated with Nereyda Garcia-Ferraz to produce ANA MENDIETA: FUEGO DE TIERRA, a one hour documentary on the life and work of Cuban-born artist Ana Mendieta. FUEGO was awarded the National Latino Film's Festival's top award in 1988 and was broadcast on the Learning Channel. Another tape, Queers 'n Steers was completed in 1993.
From 1980 to 1999 Kate Horsfield taught courses in the Art History, Theory and Criticism Programs at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and periodically in the Graduate Program at the University of Illinois, Chicago. Courses taught were the History of Video, Activist Video, Concepts in Contemporary Art, and Graduate Seminars and Graduate Projects. She also taught painting and drawing in the Department of Fine arts at the University of Texas at Austin in 1986, 1987, 1995.
Horsfield has been a panelist for the New York State Council for the Arts, the Illinois Arts Council, the Washington Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts/Media Arts Program and the Paul Robeson Fund. From 1993 to 1999 she was on the Board of the Independent Television Service and the Advisory Board of Street Level Youth Media in Chicago and was on the NAMAC Board from 1999 to 2002.
Kate Horsfield is currently living in Austin, Texas and working on a series of abstract paintings. (12/07)