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Visual Arts History
Visual Arts History 2284E

Critique of Commercial Television and its Ideologies Wednesday, November 21, 2012 Review: Feminist Critique  How the image of the woman can be subverted to critique the stereotype (Marth Rosler’s Semitoics of the Kitchen (1975) and the housewife)  How can a critical position be articulated through mimicry?  Must know the original ideas to understand critiques and mimicry The Postwar TV Boom  The number of televisions in American homes grew from 5 million to 50 million in the 1950’s  Principle of mass production – demand went up and price for televisions went down = new availability  TV surpassed radio as the dominant source for news and entertainment  Differences in radio and Television: - Radio could have been produced by anyone (pirate radio) vs. Television frequencies which are locked down and owned by TV networks - Radio encourages listener feedback as part of its core (ex. call ins) vs. Television is one-directional  One-Directional Media Flow: TV rarely offers us access to the source of its content, to the program host or producer responsible for the broadcasted material “This is Not a Paradox” Julia Barry (?)  How do we [video artists] make television “of the people” not just “for the people” given it is one-directional media  Television networks = Colonizers/Oppressors The people = Colonized/ Oppressed  Power is in the hands of the television networks, who own the means of production and the channels of distribution  We are forced into a passive role. Artists and Television  One-Directionality of television is hugely frustrating for artists  There is no way to get our message through television without going through the channels of the networks  No way of responding and no way of participating in production  First video recorders released to the public  The Sony Portapack (1967) - Cheaper then film - Portable - Live transmission/instant playback - Cassettes could be endlessly reused - Long takes (up to 60 min) - Easy to use for anyone (not a master’s material) - Less quality  The Portapak led to the democratization of the means of production  Now anyone could be a video artist  Fantasy was now to broadcast art videos around the world. – A way of reaching people artists could never dreamed of reaching before  Utopian goal = create an art based network  Before the 1970’s hardly anyone got their art video on television  Gerry Schum, Land Art, broadcasted by Sender Freis Berlin, 10:40pm, April 15, 1969 - German filmmaker - “First ever art exhibit to be shown only on TV” - Codes his broadcasts with the language of the white cube (“exhbition”) - Does not critique the TV. Instead, critiques Land Art and how it breaks down the walls of the white cube. (Critiques the museum)  Artists who critiqued TV were not broadcasted on air  Richard Serra (with Carlotta Schoolman), Television Delivers Pe
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