1976: Rudolph (R) at gallery opening with Charles and Ray Eames (L)
Mark Linzee Rudolph was born in St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from Webster Groves High School two years after the future novelist, Jonathan Franzen.
Rudolph and Franzen were both taught by creative writing teacher Nanora Sweet.
On Sweet’s recommendation, Rudolph studied fiction with acclaimed comic novelist Stanley Elkin while attending Washington University in St. Louis.
In 1984 Rudolph received a BA in Film and Television, New York University, Tisch School of the Arts.
A resident of the East Village in the 1980’s, he engineered sound, light, and images for clubs The World and The Pyramid and performance spaces such as The Kitchen. He produced videos for fashion designer Doris Weston and documented musicians such as Fred Frith, Gary Lucas and Elliot Sharp. He was an artist in residence at Film Video Arts.
Rudolph was the comedy writing partner of Jim Biederman (Producer, The Kids in the Hall; The Whitest Kids U Know; JimCo Productions).
Rudolph and Biederman wrote and performed numerous comedy videos.
Photographed by Nancy Arlen
Rudolph was a companion of the artist Nancy Arlen, drummer of the No Wave band Mars and featured performer in the film WR Mysteries of the Organism.
Mark and Nancy were present during interviews that served as the basis for the Ed Wood biography, Nightmare of Ecstasy by Rudolph Grey.
Rudolph moved to Tribeca along with longtime companion Laurie Kace. He formed Gotham City Video Productions in 1990 and produced the Public Access show WFMU-TV, which New York Press called “the region’s most hipsterish radio station gone lo-fi cable.”
Laurie Kace and Mark Rudolph, Tribeca studio, 1992
An independent production, WFMU-TV often featured DJ’s and ran from 1991-2000. Over 40 episodes included Rudolph’s comedy sketches and voice impressions, cut up found material such as Negativland’s You Must Choose!; videotaped performances and collaborations with Bianca “Bob” Miller, animator Henry Lowengard, and Directart: WFMU DJ Fabio Roberti and Lary Seven (Photographer, music producer, and subject of the documentary “Not Junk Yet”).
With Directart, Rudolph edited Swans/Michael Gira’s video Love of Life, which was featured on MTV and included over 100 edits.
Thousands of compilation videotapes of WFMU-TV were sold through the radio station’s catalog and in “Zine” stores. Apparently, they were “prominently circulated!”
WFMU-TV CITED IN ANTHROPOLOGICAL JOURNAL!
The opening of the 2001 film Ghost World features the character Enid, played by Thora Birch, dancing to a Bollywood dance video. Is she watching WFMU-TV? Perhaps! The dance number, called Jaan Pehechaan Ho from the 1965 film Gumnaam, appeared on WFMU-TV’s compilation tape.
In the February 2010 Journal of the American Anthropological Association, David Novak writes, “the clip was included in a prominently circulated video collection made by underground filmmaker Mark Rudolph and broadcast several times on the New York City cable access program WFMU-TV, a freeform variety show of satire, music, and irritainment…Jaan Pehechaan Ho was quickly excerpted, copied, and circulated among fans of 'strange and interesting' media. [Ghost World writer Dan] Clowes acquired a copy around this time.”
Similarly, Iain Robert Smith of fancy King’s College in London references Mr. Rudolph’s “programme” as an example of “cult cosmopolitanism.” Heady stuff!
Rudolph performed and directed "Orson Welles: War of the Words," which was featured on Indy producer John Pierson’s show Split Screen (1998) and aired on the Independent Film Channel and Bravo.
Rudolph was an artist in residence at former Rolling Stones and Yardbirds manager Giorgio Gomelsky’s Amiga Lab at his legendary building and performance space on 24th street.
As a resident of the Financial District, Rudolph was shaken but uninjured during the 9-11 attacks.
2002 grant recipient, New York State Council on the Arts.
In 2006-07, Rudolph attended the Albert Ellis Foundation for Psychotherapy, an informal series of final workshops conducted by the founder of Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Albert Ellis.
Rudolph works as an investment manager and researcher, and his studies of economics have resulted in satires such as Econo-Beat Magazine and STAGflation magazine.