Gregg Bordowitz

Background: Gregg is a 24 year old white, Jewish man. In 1989 he is identifying as gay for activist/political reasons, but he has sex and relationships with men and women. He grew up on Long Island and went to various art schools in New York (School of Visual Arts, Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, NYU). In the early to mid-1980s he was a video artist in the East Village activist/artistic scene. He helped form Testing the Limits, an AIDS activism video collective. Since 1988, he has worked at Gay Men’s Health Crisis with Jean Carlomusto producing video education materials. He and Jean have a weekly cable show called Living With AIDS. He tested HIV-positive in 1988, which he announced to the ACT UP Floor the day he was diagnosed. He is currently in a relationship with fellow ACT UPer Michelangelo Signorile.

Role in ACT UP: Since coming to ACT UP in 1987, Gregg has taken on many leadership roles. He was one of the main conceivers and organizers of Seize Control of the FDA, coordinating with ACT UP groups around the country through ACT-NOW. He recently co-founded DIVA (Damned Interfering Video Activists), a video collective dedicated to documenting ACT UP actions. He is also one of the civil disobedience trainers.

Groups/friends at the meeting: Gregg is one of the people who probably knows and/or has slept with just about everyone. But at this meeting he is mostly focused on coordinating the civil disobedience for Target City Hall, so he’d be spending most of his time with Mike Frisch, Amy Bauer, the other civil disobedience trainers, and the other Target City Hall principals. He is currently in a relationship with fellow ACT UPer Michelangelo Signorile.

Specific tasks at the March 13, 1989 meeting: From minute 4:10 to 18:28 of the video entitled ACT UP Pre-Action Meetings on this page, Mike Frisch and Gregg Bordowitz are leading a civil disobedience training (Mike is the leader with a mustache and glasses). Together with Amy Bauer and the rest of the civil disobedience trainers, Mike and Gregg will lead a similar exercise during the March 13, 1989 meeting.

Gregg is also on the agenda later with Mike Frisch to explain the Wave structure of civil disobedience:

- Announce that a pre-action meeting will take place on Thursday at 7:30pm

- All affinity groups planning to engage in civil disobedience should attend, or at least send a representative

- At Target City Hall, the Wave structure will work as follows: At 7:30am, the demonstration starts with pickets forming. Affinity group members should find their support person. At 8am, the first affinity group will do their action, then the second affinity group will go at 8:15am, then the third affinity group will go (adjusting as necessary based on how the previous actions have gone).

- We don’t need to know (and don’t even want to know) what your specific actions will be, but we need to know approximately where it will take place so we can coordinate press and video, and so everything doesn’t happen (and everyone doesn’t get arrested) all at once.

- Distribute a Direct Action Guideline Sheet

Additional information: