Barbara Cavaliere

New York City

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CAV initiatives

Statement, 2013

Life is a messy business in this age when we experience progressively massive audiovisual overload in our frenetic everyday lives. The team of CAV initiatives embraces the intense stimulation of this inescapable reality and strives to create empowering alternatives. We bombard the viewer with multiple varied images and sounds within a philosophical framework dedicated to a wide-range of relevant subject matter.

Together, the members of CAV initiatives conceive, write, shoot, and edit all the elements of our digital videos. We roam around with our camcorders and shoot the diverse images we experience wherever we go, creating an ever-expanding image bank for our work. Sometimes, we record them on the fly; sometimes, we seek out subjects that more specifically fulfill our scripted concept. In the spirit of Dada and Surrealism, we link such ingredients to conjure how seemingly random images can connect in the mind’s eye. Like snippets of memories in motion, the video compositions of CAV initiatives can disclose surprising possibilities.

This team has it covered from two generations’ points of view. Barbara Cavaliere has been a widely published art writer and also an editor (chiefly for The Metropolitan Museum of Art) for over three and a half decades. Thomas Cavaliere began making videos more than two decades ago at New York City’s Global Village of The New School, and studied film and video at The New School. He also creates multilayer sound compositions, which serve as audio for many of our videos. CAV initiatives has shown videos at many venues for video art in the USA and Europe.

CAV initiatives


A Bronx Tail, 1 hour, 1997, a compendium of Bronx sites featuring Bronx Zoo animals’ tails

Death Metal: An Urban Underground at the Millennium, 1 hour, 1998, 14 bands performing, accompanied by works of visual art and literary references relating to their content

Full Fathom: 45 minutes, 1999, life out of balance, Koyaanisqatsi-inspired music video (music by Neurosis)

Five Pieces of Mind, 2001-2, with musical soundtracks:
…And the Cock Crows, 4 minutes, shades of Animal Farm and group society
In the Bag, 4:30 minutes, about overpackaging
Labyrinth, 17 minutes, an audiovisual tour about the horrors of life and death
Greenhouse, 5 minutes, close-ups of nature and urban consequences
Big Bang, 5 minutes, a dizzying trip from orbit to earth

It’s All Nature, 2 minutes, 2004, Bronx Botanical Gardens meets punk band in studio

Social Intercourse?, 4 minutes, 2005, satirical ad for a male sex-enhancing drug, featuring bonobo characters

Anti Dote, 3:30 minutes, 2005, satirical ad for a female sex-enhancing drug

Dada Max, 3:50 minutes, 2006, interpretation of 2 Max Ernst paintings

Interpretative performances of a selection of Italian Futurist performances, each 1-3 minutes, 2006

Grrr Ruby…, 5 minutes, 2007, a Cairn terrier and her symbolic connections

Gorilla Therapy, 10 minutes, 46 seconds, 2009, Bronx Zoo gorillas speak, quoting from Carl Jung’s Man and His Symbols

Ring True or More than Meets the Eye (in progress), Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience meets clichés and other dada stuff for the 21st century mind

La Forza del Destino, 2013, Little Italy meets Chinatown is a docudrama

Bull/No Bull (in progress)

Curve Ball (in progress)

NOTE: A selection of the above videos can be found on youtube under:
CAV initiatives