Television as an Art Form

I know that none of us really spend much time watching TV, since we are all busy with our projects, but are video clips yet another obscure way of producing art? Instead of providing space for more familiar works, the Tate Modern has darkened rooms in which visitors can watch pointless images and listen to discordant sounds that cycle around in endless loops. Surely television has not replaced painting and sculpting? If it is the case, then perhaps we should now start to view television news in a similar light?

Given the gimmickry that now permeates such programmes, we may be doomed to watch ever increasing shed loads of rubbish. Is there some kind of clone army, beavering away behind the scenes and manufacturing these flashing kaleidoscopes of colour and contradictory texts? Strobe effects are often so irritating that one reels with their impact. Constantly changing background images, reminiscent of OP art, often result in vertigo. Similar information is repeated as if we had the attention spans of orang otangs. Whatever has happened to real news? Some newsreaders have became famous through ballroom dancing, falling off horses and ice dancing, others now read out e-mails on mindless trivia.

Multi-screens look like those used for watching share prices. Streams of texts travel across the bottom, while huge overhead flashing banners proclaim "breaking news"- as if to reveal something other than just the news. Male and female duos alternate in speaking sequential sentences and commentators walk endlessly nowhere while talking. I make no excuse for talking about television news in an art magazine, since the news should form part of our cultural lives and I see a link with the video clips in art galleries. Surely there must be some media people out there who are just as frustrated as the rest of us and yearn for something real?

In the meantime, I am thankful that my TV has increased my motivation to paint. It now remains switched off!

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