FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 17 April 2008
Fri 13 June â Sun 10 August 2008. Cornerhouse, Manchester.
The cultural dominance of television has been successfully challenged by artists for over three decades and, more recently, the YouTube generation of programme makers. Examples of these TV influenced projects and interventions can be discovered in Broadcast Yourself opening at Cornerhouse, Manchester from Friday 13 June. The exhibition will show a selection of broadcast, video installation and web-based works which reveal how news casting, TV advertising, surveillance systems and the Internet have been appropriated for the purposes of making and presenting art.
The exhibition includes the work of 15 international artists who each take TV technology and turn it into a performance space, a cultural forum or an interactive media platform. Broadcast Yourself will ask what it means to undertake the personal act of putting oneself âon-airâ, especially relevant in the modern day where high-speed internet connections and web cameras allow individuals to create their own broadcast networks.
Broadcast Yourself starts its investigation in the 1970s, where artists approached television from two different perspectives: some wanted their video works broadcast, while others wanted to control how broadcasting functioned. In 1976, Chris Burden bought commercial airtime on local TV networks in Los Angeles and New York to broadcast his Promo series in 24 slots lasting 30 seconds each. Acting as a not-for-profit organisation to secure the airtime, Burdenâs âadvertisementâ displayed the names of famous artistsÂ such as Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and lastly his own, written in small yellow text which zooms towards the viewer until it fills the whole screen. Burdenâs work is an early example of artists challenging regulated media structures and audiences can watch this work, as well as the late Ian Breakwellâs landmark diaries made for the launch of Channel 4, in a period living room setting. Breakwellâs diary entries range in length from 3 minutes to nearly a quarter of an hour and were originally screened each evening after pub closing to ensure the audience was in mellow mood.
At the end of the 1970s and into the early 1980s, artists found their way into the TV newsroom with Doug Hall, Jody Procter and Chip Lord taking up residency at KVII-TV (Channel 7) in Amarillo, Texas. The project saw them work with great freedom alongside station staff to bring an alternative take to the news, altering the standard format of news features and providing alternative, absurdist scripts to the deadpan KVII reporters. For Broadcast Yourself The Amarillo News Tapes (1980) are screened in a replica of the set used by KVII-TV, including a life size recreation of the newsdesk. Collaborating with broadcasters was one way to get on air, as was the case with Bill Viola’s Reverse Television: Portraits of Viewers (1983/4), where he filmed American television viewers in Boston watching WGBH-TV, later broadcasting the footage back at them as unannounced inserts between programmes on that same channel.
In the 1990s the use of camcorders saw artists desire to get work onto commercial TV diminish as broadcast quality technology was now in their hands and brought about the concept of narrow-casting, using limited distribution channels to reach a niche audience. Piazza Virtuale by Van Gogh TV (1992) embraced advancing technology for one of the most successful ever interactive broadcasts, devised as part of documenta IX. Using the 3SAT satellite TV channel in Europe, a broadcast was made for 100 days in which the content was controlled by the audience via ISDN lines (the first public use in Europe), post, videophone, fax and telephone (viewers used their telephone keypads to âcensorâ or change content being broadcast).Â Predating video file sharing sites now common on the World Wide Web, the home video art exchange project started by filmmaker and performing artist Miranda July is represented in Broadcast Yourself by Joanie 4 Jackie 4Ever (1996 â present).Â The artist instigated a video chain letter from which there have now been over 20 video chain letters made to date, each celebrating womenâs film and video making, allowing the widespread circulation of material which might never make it on to broadcast television.
Of the exhibition, co-curators Sarah Cook and Kathy Rae Huffman explain: âTelevision culture is often consumed passively and this exhibition seeks to show how artists have taken control of the way audio-visual culture is consumed and given it back to the people. Broadcast Yourself considers how individuals have established themselves within a commercial broadcast environment, how they have turned TV technology into a meaningful artistic platform, how they have given control to the viewer and even âsquattedâ TV, undertaking a variety of personal acts to put themselves on-air / on screen. We hope to show how artistsâ programming, once supported by broadcast TV, has moved to the Web, and what it means to personally appear via broadcast media.â
Full list of artists:
Active Ingredient (Rachel Jacobs / Matt Watkins); Shaina Anand; Ian Breakwell; Chris Burden; Stan Douglas; Alistair Gentry; Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Adriene Jenik; Doug Hall, Chip Lord and Jody Procter; Joanie 4 Jackie (Miranda July et al.); Pat Naldi and Wendy Kirkup; TV swansong (curated by Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie); Bill Viola; Van Gogh TV; 56KTV Bastard Channel (curated by Reinhard Storz / xcult.org)
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For further information, images or interviews please contact Sue Fletcher on 07775 933 643 or e-mail suesoulprovider @ aol.com
Greater Manchester Arts Centre Ltd
70 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 5NH
Tel: +44 (0) 161 228 7621 Administration
+44 (0) 161 200 1500 Box Office
Fax: +44 (0) 161 200 1504
Notes to editors:
In copy please refer to Cornerhouse and not âThe Cornerhouseâ.
With 3 floors of galleries, 3 cinema screens, 2 bookshops, a popular cafĂ© bar and a successful art book distribution business, Cornerhouse is one of the UK’s leading arts venues and a key cultural and social centre for the city of Manchester and its visitors. Housed in a landmark flatiron building in the heart of the city it has achieved an international reputation for artistic excellence and innovation since opening in 1985.
Broadcast Yourself was co-curated by Sarah Cook and Kathy Rae Huffman as part of AV Festival 08: Broadcast International festival of electronic arts featuring visual art, music and moving image.Â 28 February - 8 March 2008Â Newcastle, Gateshead, Middlesbrough, Sunderland.Â www.avfestival.co.uk â It was co-produced by Hatton Gallery, University of Newcastle, where it was on view from Thu 28 February â Sat 5 April 2008.
Broadcast Yourself supported by: Arts Council England, CRUMB at the University of Sunderland and The Leverhulme Trust (Early Career Fellowship)
Cornerhouse funders: Arts Council England, AGMA, Manchester City Council, UK Film Council, North West Vision & Media, Europa Cinema
Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 7RU
tel: 0191 222 6059 / fax: 0191 222 3454 / email: hatton-gallery @ ncl.ac.uk
29 February - 5 April 2008
Artistsâ interventions into television and strategies for self-broadcasting from the 1970s to today.
Active Ingredient (Rachel Jacobs / Matt Watkins); Shaina Anand; Ian Breakwell; Chris Burden; Stan Douglas; Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz; Alistair Gentry; Guillermo Gomez-Pena and Adriene Jenik; Doug Hall, Chip Lord and Jody Procter; Joanie 4 Jackie (Miranda July et al.); Pat Naldi and Wendy Kirkup; TV swansong (curated by Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie); Bill Viola; Van Gogh TV; 56KTV Bastard Channel (curated by Reinhard Storz / xcult.org)
This international group exhibition, co-curated by Sarah Cook and Kathy Rae Huffman, includes a selection of TV, video installation and web-based works which demonstrate how artists have successfully challenged the dominant culture of television since the 1960s. The exhibition includes artists who have taken TV technology and turned it into a performance space, a cultural forum, and an interactive media platform, as well as projects which document how artists are now using the Internet to broadcast themselves.
Broadcast Yourself is part of AV Festival 08: Broadcast. The AV Festival is an international festival of electronic arts, and features visual art, music and moving image. It takes place across Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and Middlesbrough from 28 February - 8 March 2008. www.avfestival.co.uk
Broadcast Yourself is a cornerstone exhibition of AV Festival 08, and has been developed in partnership with the Hatton Gallery, Newcastle, where it will be on view from 29 February - 5 April, and Cornerhouse, Manchester, where it will be on view from 13 June - 10 August. Further information about the exhibition can be found on an accompanying website: www.broadcastyourself.net
Co-curators Sarah Cook and Kathy Rae Huffman explain: âBroadcast Yourself considers how individuals have established themselves within a commercial broadcast environment, how they have turned TV technology into a meaningful artistic platform, how they have given control to the viewer and even âsquattedâ TV, undertaking a variety of personal acts to put themselves on-air / on screen.â
Artists have been fascinated and affected by television since its inception, and continue to be inspired by the potential of new formats such as on-demand TV and video file-sharing sites on the Web, which reflects a new world where the broadcaster doesn’t govern our viewing habits.
The curators continue: âWe hope to show how artistsâ programming, once supported by broadcast TV, has moved to the Web, and what it means to personally appear via broadcast media. Television culture is often consumed passively and this exhibition seeks to show how artists have taken control of the way audio-visual culture is consumed and given it back to the people.â
Included are the restaging of important historic installation works, as well as works that have never before been seen in the UK:
The single channel video broadcast on television by Stan Douglas, Chris Burden, and Ian Breakwell (his landmark diaries made for the launch of Channel4 twenty-fix years ago) will be experienced through the recreation of a period living room for watching TV.
The actual news desk from KVII-TV (Channel 7) in Amarillo Texas will be rebuilt in the gallery as an environment in which to show the videos documenting the residency there in 1979 by artists Doug Hall, Jody Proctor and Chip Lord.
Also included are:
Bill Viola’s ‘Reverse Television: Portraits of Viewers’ (1983/4), where he filmed American television viewers in Boston watching WGBH-TV and then later broadcast the footage back at them, as unannounced inserts in between other television programs on that same channel.
‘Piazza Virtuale’ by Van Gogh TV (1992), consisting of documentation of the activities on a TV channel received across Europe which was controlled by the audience via post, telephone, videophone and fax for the 100 days during Documenta IX.
‘Hole in Space’ (1980) by Kit Galloway and Sherrie Rabinowitz, founders of the influential Electronic C.A.F.E (Communication Access For Everyone) and pioneers of public access network technology art. Hole In Space was the first coast to coast (NY â LA) encounter for the âpublicâ to not only see each other, but communicate live, over three evenings, using TV technology.
Shaina Anand â an internationally recognised social documentary filmmaker based in Mumbai â will show ‘KhirkeeYaan’ (2006) from New Delhi, an exploration of what happens when you connect people in their homes via an open circuit TV system, resulting in 7 episodes.
UK based artist collective, and recent winners of the Northern Art Prize, Nina Pope and Karen Guthrie (somewhere.org.uk) will show documentation and archival material from their immensely popular and large scale co-curated project âTV Swansongâ (2003) which commissioned 8 new works from 11 UK artists, performed live at locations across Great Britain and streamed in real time on the Internet on a single day. The project is an important early questioning of so-called âconvergence mediaâ â interactive television and the notion of pre-programmed television programmes made available on the web.
Visitors to the exhibition will also be able to make and stream their own celebrity-style television interviews in the gallery with the restaging of the online web project ‘MakeTV’ (2006) by artist group Active Ingredient (Rachel Jacobs and Matt Watkins)
About the curators:
Broadcast Yourself is co-curated by Kathy Rae Huffman, Visual Arts Director, Cornerhouse, and Dr. Sarah Cook, Independent Curator and Research Fellow, CRUMB, University of Sunderland. Kathy Rae Huffman is recognised as being one of the foremost authorities on early video art and broadcast art projects, whilst Sarah Cook has established herself as a leading critical voice within the rapidly evolving arena of new media art.
Notes to Editors:
Broadcast Yourself: In Person and On Screen, Star and Shadow Cinema, Stepney Bank, Byker
Sunday 2 March (from 11:30am).
Q&A with co-curators Sarah Cook and Kathy Rae Huffman, followed by presentations and discussion with international artists included in Broadcast Yourself: VanGoghTV, Shaina Anand, and Active Ingredient (Rachel Jacobs and Matt Watkins) from MakeTV, with guest TV producer Maria Pallier from TVE (Spain).
In the evening there will be screenings of a 1983 documentary about the first reality TV show, âAn American Familyâ, produced and directed by Alan Raymond and Susan Raymond and the feature film âThe Truman Showâ. See www.starandshadow.org.uk for more information.
Wednesday 12 March, 6 pm, Hatton Gallery
Exhibition walkthrough and discussion with co-curator Sarah Cook
This event is free. For further information and to book your place please contact the Hatton Gallery on 0191 222 6059 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Press are invited to attend the private view at the Hatton Gallery on Thursday 28 February 5-8pm
Broadcast Yourself is a Touring Exhibition produced by AV Festival 08 and Cornerhouse in collaboration with the Hatton Gallery with support from Arts Council England, CRUMB at the University of Sunderland and The Leverhulme Trust (Early Career Fellowship)
Broadcast Yourself is part of AV Festival 08: Broadcast
International festival of electronic arts featuring visual art, music and moving image.
28 February - 8 March 2008 Newcastle, Gateshead, Middlesbrough, Sunderland www.avfestival.co.uk.
AV Festival 08 Forms part of North East Englandâs world-class festivals and events programme.
The Hatton Gallery is supported by Northern Rock Foundation, Newcastle University and AHRC.
AV Festival 08 is organised by Audio Visual Arts North East, an independent charitable company. AV Festival 08 forms part of NewcastleGateshead’s world-class festivals and events programme managed by culture10, based at NewcastleGateshead Initiative.
AV Festival 08 is supported by Arts Council England, North East, Newcastle City Council, Gateshead Council, ONE NorthEast, Middlesbrough Council, Sunderland City Council, Tyneside Cinema, Northern Film & Media, UK Film Council.