TV AS A CREATIVE MEDIUM
HOWARD WISE AND VIDEO ART
AFTERIMAGE, May 1984
[Ed.'s note: This is the third and final article in a series, funded by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts Media Program, on individuals who have been important In the exhibition, distribution, and expansion of video art and community video. The first article, "The Whitney Museum and the Shaping of Video Art. An Interview with John Hanhardt", appeared in Afterimage, May 1983. The second article, "An Interview with George Stoney," appeared in Afterimage, in February 1984.]
Ever since Marshall McLuhan has become a household name, people have become aware of the tremendous force, both actual and potential, that TV is having and will have on their lives.
The machine is obsolescent. Magazines, books, newspapers and other publications making use of the written word as we have known ft are threatened. The relationships of nations, classes, generations and individuals are deeply affected. Education will be revolutionized, schools transformed if not eliminated (why interrupt your child's education by sending him to school?). TV is at the cause, or at least at the root of the cause, of all of these changes that are transforming our civilization.
Why has art not been affected by this pervading influence? Perhaps quite simply because, up until now the time was not right. Perhaps it had to await the maturing of the generation who were in their sub-teens in the 1950's, those who were "brought up" on TV.... As in every generation, some were artists. These have been at work for two, three, five and even more years, scrounging around second hand shops for parts, working with TV because they were fascinated by the results they were able to achieve, and because they sensed the potential of TV as the medium for their expression. 1
Howard Wise is one of the people who is responsible for the idea of an alternative television. 2
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