I think it can be said without too much doubt that this exhibit is as important to the use of the medium as an aesthetic expansion as the 1913 Armory Exhibit was to modern painting and sculpture.
While the point of "TV as a Creative Medium" is to humanize technology, the technology remains the problem. The total effect of the show-the "participation television" contributions notwithstanding is off-putting. It is, from one point of view at least, a collection of technical details waiting for a unifying aesthetic genius.
In 1968 Siegel had shown his videotape Psychedelevision at Channel One, a video theater in New York City. He remembers that Tadlock told Wise about his work, and the gallery owner came to see it. He showed Wise several pieces, "but only the Einstein piece really turned him on."22 Wise asked Siegel if he could do the same piece in color, and gave him $200 to buy a color TV set to build it. Like Siegel, many of the artists in "TV as a Creative Medium" were surprised when Wise paid them to complete their projects included in his show. For some, it was the first time that anyone had paid them for their work.
The work in "TV as a Creative Medium" may have appeared to a casual observer as electronic versions of light sculpture, but, in fact, the show represented a broad range of ideas and approaches. Siegel, for instance, "was struck by the fact that every individual was doing something different from the next-there were no similarities." In retrospect, the exhibition was important not only as a first, but also as prototypical of much video made in the following years.
The centerpiece of "TV as a Creative Medium" was Wipe Cycle, by Gillette and Schneider, which greeted viewers upon their entry into the gallery from the elevator. The piece consisted of a grid of nine monitors; a camera hidden amid the monitors fed a live image to the center screen. This image was switched to the outer monitors in eight- and 16-second intervals so that at any given time the viewers could see themselves eight or 16 seconds before. These live images intercut with broadcast images, and at periodic intervals the screens were wiped blank. Wipe Cycle was one of the first video installations to involve the viewer in an active role on the screen;23 provided an element of surprise and Its correlation between the viewer's image and broadcast imagery emphasized the individual's relationship to information. Gillette described the piece as
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