July 15, 2009
Broadcasting and Re-broadcasting
Broadcast is an exhibition that explores the ways in which artists since the late 1960s have engaged, critiqued, and inserted themselves into official channels of broadcast television and radio. This is the first exhibition of its kind to explore this engaging subject and to examine this provocative body of work.
The exhibition features thirteen works by an international group of artists, including single-channel monitor-based videos, video-projection works, photography, installations, and interactive broadcasting projects. Ranging in date from 1966 to 2007, the works in the exhibition make use of one of two strategies: broadcasting and re-broadcasting. The former refers to works that involve an artist intervening into existing broadcasts or broadcasting channels by participating in a live broadcast (either as an invited or uninvited participant) or by creating a broadcast. The latter features the use or manipulation of previously existing TV or radio material. Within each of these strategies, there are two impulses followed by the artists – either an iconoclastic, aggressive position, at times intended to question FCC regulations, or a more cooperative and collaborative position on the other.
Highlights from the exhibition include:
In a hostile intervention, Chris Burden’s TV Hijack, (1972) was his response to a TV station’s repeated rejection of his proposals for TV programming ideas, and was a challenge to what Burden viewed as the control television has on our lives. During a live broadcast on Channel 3 Cablevision in Irvine, California, on February 9, 1972, Burden took his interviewer Phyllis Lutjeans hostage with a small knife held to her throat and threatened her life if the station stopped the live transmission of the incident. At the end of the recording the artist destroyed the tapes of the interview.
Christian Jankowski’s video work, Telemistica, (1999) which was the first shown at the 1999 Venice Biennale, features footage from live broadcasts of psychics on local Venetian television stations. Jankowski called a number of these popular shows and posed questions to the psychics and astrologers about how his work would be received at the Biennale. Some of Jankowski’s questions include: “What will the public think about my work?” “Will they like it?” “Will I be successful?”
12 Miles Out, (2005) by the artist group neuroTransmitter, explores the practice of offshore pirate radio prevalent in Europe in the 1960s and 1970s, and in the US a decade later. Merging analog radio technology with line drawing, this visual and sound installation uses ambient sound and archival audio material broadcast from a transmitter incorporated into the represenational drawing of the 1964 host ship of Radio Caroline, one of the most infamous radio ships that occupied international waters off the coast of Great Britain.
Doug Hall, Chip Lord and Jody Procter
Nam June Paik
TVTV/Top Value Television
About the Curator:
Irene Hofmann is Executive Director of the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore. Some of her recent exhibitions include Cell Phone: Art and the Mobile Phone and St. Cecilia, a solo exhibition of works by Joseph Grigely. Previously, as Curator of Contemporary Art at the Orange County Museum of Art, she was co-curator of the 2002 and 2004 California Biennial and the photography and video exhibition Girls’ Night Out. She has organized exhibitions and projects with artists such as Kutlug Ataman, Mark Dion, Jason Dodge, Fabrice Gygi, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, and Marjetica Potr.
Broadcast is co-organized by iCI, (Independent Curators International), New York, and the Contemporary Museum, Baltimore, and circulated by iCI. The guest curator is Irene Hofmann. The exhibition and tour are made possible, in part, with support from the iCI Exhibition Partners.