On Saturday April 19th @ 7pm, The Video Gentlemen present "Media Archeology,"
the second in-studio live broadcast as they continue to program their BYOTV
Featuring research and analysis, questions and answers from Stephen Slappe and
a really intriguing presentation by art historian Kate
(come to the gallery and phone in your ?'s):
Static Age: The Early Years of Television Culture A presentation by Stephen
This program of archival 16mm films examines the early years of television as a technological and cultural phenomenon. The program includes behind-the-scenes
glimpses at television studios as well as references to television in popular
culture from the 1930's to the 1960's.
Look at This: The Problem of Participation in 1970s Video Installation A
presentation by Kate Mondloch
Look at This scrutinizes how media objects and their customary viewing regimes
actively define the relationship between bodies and screens in media installation
art. The talk complicates the notion of an inherently progressive, liberatory
"spectator participation" that is celebrated in most accounts of media
installation by detailing the ways in which screens are also capable of generating
oppressive viewing conditions that strictly delimit the viewer's interaction
with the work.
Mondloch states: "As in everyday life, screens and their illuminated moving
images can offer a sort of siren song-calling spectators to largely involuntary
behavior, begging them to look and pay attention, and to discipline themselves
and their bodies in the process. The talk analyzes a series of influential closed-circuit
video installations that intentionally explore the "architectures"
of media spectatorship, including Frank Gillette and Ira Schneider's pioneering
Wipe Cycle (1969), Bruce Nauman's video corridor works (1969-72), and Dan Graham's
Present Continuous Past(s) (1974). I analyze how these early video works employ
two apparently contradictory processes. Artists underscore the coercive nature
of screen-based viewing by varying the arrangement of cameras and monitors-combining
live and pre-recorded feedback, inverting viewers' images, divorcing cameras
from their monitors, introducing time delays, and so on. Simultaneously, however,
the technological apparatuses themselves arguably impose precise kinesthetic
and psychic effects upon their audiences. This discrepancy between active and
passive viewership presents an unresolved paradox for the artform's criticism."
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