August 10, 2010

In his recent book Feedback: Television Against Democracy (2007), David Joselit challenges artists with a manifesto that echoes a sentiment common among us: "How is your image going to circulate? Use the resources of the 'art world' as a base of operations, but don't remain there. Use images to build publics."

I have been practicing Joselit's principle since 1976, putting art into the public arena through public-access television. One of my first programs was The Live! Show, a satirical variety show about the art world, which ran from 1979 to 1984 on New York cable television. In the series I appeared as Dr. Videovich, my alter ego, interviewing artists such as Eric Bogosian, Tony Oursler, and Martha Wilson, as well as Marcia Tucker, founder of the New Museum, and the present-day director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and Foundation, Richard Armstrong. The idea of The Live! Show was to showcase art on a popular medium—TV—allowing people to watch these works in the comfort of their homes.

Continuing the first-come, first-serve spirit of public-access TV, YouTube, with the tagline "Broadcast Yourself," is the current medium for circulating art outside the pristine walls of the art gallery. YouTube is public access gone ballistic—an anarchist brain on steroids. While public-access television was one channel at a time, YouTube features dozens of channels at the same time, and they are not listed anywhere, but found by user searching. And while public-access television was low tech and a 30-minute format, YouTube is all tech and features short clips with a maximum length of fifteen minutes. I currently have a work on YouTube that is a close-up video of a delete key with audio accompaniment. The concept of this piece is to provide a break in the cacophonous overload of YouTube images and sound.

I am a conflictivist, an artist who explores the conflict between high and low culture. The artist of the twenty-first century cannot live solely in the art world or the “real world.” Rather, he or she should commute between the two.

1.Salvador Litvak
August 16, 2010 8:58 AM
I can fool all of the people none of the time, and none of the people some of the time, but it's not easy. I need to start commuting more.
August 14, 2010 4:52 AM


10. Because they have nothing to say
9. Because there is no money
8. Because they never learned it in art school
7. Because Youtube is the opposite of what the aspiring artists want
6. Because comments has no value in the art market
5. Because they do not know what the top ten list is
4. Because it is neither cool or hot
3. Because the logo Guggenheim is too intimidating
2. Because during the summer art is in recess
1. Because they are afraid to make a fool of themselves

3.Kate Vrijmoet
August 10, 2010 5:57 AM
I use social media to post my artwork. I've used public access TV as well. And I find it more than convenient when conducting research on other artists, etc. In my opinion it's still a poor substitute for standing in front of the real thing, and once you release your image into the Ethernet, you no longer maintain control of it.

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