Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Remote Control

Verdict: Go see it
Where: Institute of Contemporary Arts
When: 3 April - 10 June 2012

Television has had a massive impact on society over the last sixty or so years. With the digital switch over at hand, it's as good a time as ever to showcase some televisual art.
Simon Denny, Those who don't change will be switched off, 2012. Digital collage from transmission switchover advertising

The Ambika P3 has David Hall's 1,001 TV sets that is an audiovisual experience not to be missed. So now the ICA is displaying television artwork from the last sixty years.

Considering how central TV has been to our lives, the power of these artworks is disappointing with only a few notable pieces. Most of the art tries to show that TV can be used as an artistic medium but ignores the fact that TV has a universal appeal that can be used by artists to speak to the masses.

Most of the works are hard to grasp and the only ones that stand out are those that suggest how television can brainwash us. A drawing of a TV with the words 'eat sugar, spend money' is spot on and can't help but make you smile.

The only other piece of interest is the analogue transmission equipment donated by channel 4 that shows you the antiquated equipment that we used to rely on before the digital age.

With the dawn of the internet age, this was a chance to highlight the lasting impact of a powerful medium but it falls well short of the mark. 

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