Present Future, Artissima 10
action TV painting Curated by Patrick Charpenel, Emma Dexter, David Neuman, Rochelle Steiner, and Eric Troncy 2003 A TV installation is situated on the frontal wall of the room. The TV-sets are all tuned into random channels and scattered against the wall at different heights and in different positions, i.e. up right, on their side and upside-down. Nonetheless, all their screens form one plane. An unprimed canvas of approximately 12’ x 15’ is stretched before the TVs, standing at a 1/2” distance from their screens. The canvas impedes the public from viewing the TV-sets directly. Since the light in the space is as dim as possible, the main source of light is that one emitted from the TV-sets and penetrating the canvas. Thus the viewer sees an ever-changing painting thanks to the composite effect of the abstracted TV-images. Each of the TVs has their volume at a minimum level. The sound coming from the different TV-s creates a wall of sound, making it virtually impossible to focus on the content of any one channel in particular. Furthermore, the viewers too are able to change the painting and sound, since a number of remote controls are available for them to use. One can always justify the need to do an action painting when living in an advanced state of a post tactile civilization. The reason why action painting is historicized today is not to be found in the evolution of the art of painting, but rather in civilization’s escalating denial of those instruments that make embarrassingly visible its hidden wilderness. So, the preposterous task I have put to myself is to realize an action painting that allows not only myself but also the public to liberate our minds. But will civilization allow me do such a thing after all its hard work to deactivate action painting through museums and art history books? Well, lets see! As we know, action painting commences with the superego, which transforms the interior drives of the id into impulses of bodily action. This action is expressed through the exterior corporeal extension of the brush applying paint to a pictorial surface. While the interior drives have pretty much remained the same, their exterior extension has been forcefully substituted. The simulacra of paint has been replaced by the simulacra of media-light. Today, that is our external bodily extension. Therefore, all the accumulated drives will be channelled through the remote controls, and all the paint, dirt and splashes will be coming out of the TV screens. Action TV painting. How much of an action painting can an action TV painting be? That’s a funny question.