Stan Douglas, Broadcast Works

Stan Douglas Broadcast Works: Television Spots and Monodramas
1987 - 1991
7 minutes 51 seconds

"I hope to be surprised by the meanings that these works can generate, so that by putting the right materials together, they can do more or result differently from what I expected. This process is opposed to metaphorical constructions, where artists expect to control the meaning of a work by defining how it is to be read symbolically. I want to work with what an image means in a public world. So when people bring their understanding of how images work, and how things are in the world, they can do something completely different from what I anticipated when I put them together."
Taken from the UbuWeb archive, artist Stan Douglas' Broadcast Works were originally created to be inserted unannounced amongst the regular programming schedule and in advert breaks on a Canadian TV station. Seconds-long and intentionally ambiguous and open ended, viewers ended up responding to the videos by calling the station to find out what they were.

The Television Spots (1987/88) are Becket-like constructions depicting banal and incidental non-events in which our expectations of a focal point or conclusion are conflated when the piece comes to an abrupt end. More developed, and slightly longer at between 10 and 30 seconds each, the Monodramas (1991) appear like ads without branding or inconclusive snippets from a larger narrative.

Fullscreen here.
More Stan Douglas videos here.

Quote from Stan Douglas in Conversation with Diana Thater, from Stan Douglas, Phaidon 1998.
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1 comment:

  1. Oh the idea for this is similar to the David Hall's TV Interruptions, in that it was originally for random broadcast on television. How great!


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