THE VIDEO GENTLEMEN: BYOTV
In June 2009, the US ceased analog broadcasting. Pre-empting this scheduled program of obsolescence, The Video Gentlemen presented BYOTV, offering a six-week season of special reports engaged with the techno-cultural turnover from analog to digital television. Transmitted from within the New American Art Union in Portland, Oregon, a variety of interdisciplinary artworks, live presentations, and free-form forays within the ether excited inquisitive constellations around topics including e-waste, surveillance, haunted media, and media archeology. Low-wattage transmissions emanated from an array of re-configured electronic detritus distributed around the gallery.
Telecommunications—and the distance implicit in its operation—was countered by a physical proximity prescribed by the limited range of the BYOTV transmissions. Weekly rotations of eclectic programming were comprised primarily of single-channel works culled from an open call. Over twenty local, national, and international artists’ works critically and creatively engaged with televisual technoculture were included. Visitors were encouraged to “bring their own TV,” or borrow one from the gallery, in order to intercept and engage transmissions from and within their immediate air space.