cover of book

The Channeled Image: Art and Media Politics after Television
by Erica Levin
University of Chicago Press, 2022
Cloth: 978-0-226-82191-7 | Paper: 978-0-226-82195-5 | eISBN: 978-0-226-82192-4
Library of Congress Classification N72.T47L48 2022

A fascinating look at artistic experiments with televisual forms.

Following the integration of television into the fabric of American life in the 1950s, experimental artists of the 1960s began to appropriate this novel medium toward new aesthetic and political ends. As Erica Levin details in The Channeled Image, groundbreaking artists like Carolee Schneemann, Bruce Conner, Stan VanDerBeek, and Aldo Tambellini developed a new formal language that foregrounded television’s mediation of a social order defined by the interests of the state, capital, and cultural elites. The resulting works introduced immersive projection environments, live screening events, videographic distortion, and televised happenings, among other forms. For Levin, “the channeled image” names a constellation of practices that mimic, simulate, or disrupt the appearance of televised images. This formal experimentation influenced new modes of installation, which took shape as multi-channel displays and mobile or split-screen projections, or in some cases, experimental work produced for broadcast. Above all, this book asks how artistic experimentation with televisual forms was shaped by events that challenged television broadcasters’ claims to authority, events that set the stage for struggles over how access to the airwaves would be negotiated in the future.
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