curated screening presented at
05.07 – 09.07.2017
There’s comfort in the pulsating hum of bars and tone. Vertical stripes of colour vibrate imperceptibly, a mirror to test and correct the signal before it goes out. Pre-broadcast, these test patterns replicate order, propping up a top-down finished product, and the promise of a uniformly shared yet isolated experience. The comfort of bars and tone comes through the regulation they impose. However, their audio-visual hum is only a guideline, intent unseen by end-users. Signal interference is possible by active minds receiving the transmissions. Gaps open up, the source is not as locked as it seems. Just as a turn of a knob sends colours into disarray, edits can loosen, dialogue can take place when only a monologue was intended. Post-broadcast, everything becomes a little less linear.
The works in Resting Transmissions engage histories and practices of television. Industrial modes of production and dissemination are intercepted and reinterpreted, shifting and activating viewership. Semi-lucid self-made counter-narratives emerge. This programme unfolds like an atypical night of programming. Remote is lost, eyes are glued, mind is hovering, body is sinking into the couch.
Up first, Michael’s Theme (Kathryn Elkin) is a chat show, or the anticipation of one. Unaired clips from 1970s show Parkinson depict the offhand ‘live’ moments trimmed for not being ‘live’ enough, while a temporally separated guest anxiously waits to go on, punctuated by hiccups of jazz. Next on, Six (Wendy Geller) fragments of scenes and characters from a number of films one can imagine encountering through syndication. Unified through one performance, fraught moments from Sunset Boulevard are sutured with Night of the Living Dead. It’s domestic cupboard-cinema for the small screen. Finally, the broadcasting day concludes with The Upcoming Show (Su Hui-Yu), which starts when the station goes off the air. Reflecting on the televisual context of Taiwan in the 1980s/1990s, the test pattern becomes a multi-coloured launch pad for floating and self-envisioned programming that comes on when the industrial model needs its rest.
Michael’s Theme, Kathryn Elkin, 2014, 7:47
Six, Wendy Geller, 1986, 4:07
The Upcoming Show, Su Hui-Yu, 2012, 17:14
Part of the screening series: Resting Transmissions / Eyes Above, Bodies Below / Nice night for a walk presented at The Ryder, London, 05.07 – 23.07.2017.
*Programme notes available here.
*Programme notes for the entire series available here.