Glotzt nicht so romantisch!
Bertholt Brecht (Trommeln in der Nacht, 1922)
We interrupt your regularly scheduled program ... is a media installation that explores the social condition of the television and our relationship to it.
The installation wishes to investigate the very nature of television with its numerous channels, its ubiquity and its perpetual flow.
Television has become the dominant medium of mass communication and entertainment. But is also has become both the new hearth, as well as storyteller around which new social constructs have emerged. It works as companion, as illumination and even as a mind-numbing drug.
The installation setup is as follows: A television is placed facing the wall, its flickering glow reflecting off the wall and its sound echoing in the space. Its broadcast signal is simultaneously sent to a computer, where customized software processes the broadcast in real time by collapsing every frame of the television image into a one pixel-wide slice. These slices are horizontally arranged in sequence and projected back onto the wall next to the television set, showing an abstracted history of the broadcast signal.
Cinematic cuts are transformed into clear vertical sections. Zooms become visualized as curves. Commercials and music videos are seen as vibrant vertical patterns and hectic splashes of color, while News programs are calming studies of horizontal smears.
Visitors are encouraged to switch channels with the remote control and explore the relationship between the broadcast, its sound and the projection.
In disconnecting the sound with the expected visuals and replacing it with an abstracted projection, the work oscillates the visitorĒs focus. Where the sound emitting from the television points to its sometimes triviality, the projection exposes the seductive nature of its images. This juxtaposition reveals the nature of television, at once both mesmerizing and banal.
Required Hardware/Software (see Figure 1 for layout):
Windows PC with Video Digitizer
Cable Box/VCR (with remote control)
32-inch TV set
Custom C++ Software
Published in the db magazine, UCLA Daily Bruin on Feb. 11 2004. > Online version