Yes, it’s true: there is no greater lure, nothing more seductive than the prospect of being broadcast live on television. Well perhaps there is one step up the media ladder: having your own tv station. We all have this nagging inner celebrity that needs teasing out now and then, perhaps best expressed by Nam June Paik in the 1970s when he speculated that someday everyone would have their own channel.
Well the time is NOW, and last week we flew across the pond to visit with Furtherfield co-directors Marc Garrett and Ruth Catlow to dream of the future of NetArtizens TV: artist-driven-diwo-inspired-always-on-24-7-networked television. (DIWO is Marc and Ruth’s mantra: “do it with others.”) We spent two days @Furtherfield-on-sea in the eastern outskirts of London on the muddy and funky and thoroughly charming Thames estuary, dreaming of a new kind of television, programmed in collaboration with NetArtizens (a certain strata of artists who work and play on the network), a no-holds-barred form of agreggated-crowd-sourced television in which EVERYTHING is possible and probable.
The idea of taking control of public media goes far back in time, perhaps to the beginning of time, but most recently in such forms as the alternative press, pirate radio, public access television, net art, and now Internet TV. If the funding Gods are with us, we will transform the Furtherfield Gallery in Finsbury Park London into a buzzing TV studio broadcasting every type of live media programming: comedy, rants, history, news, debate, performance, silence, noise, glitch, and much, much more. The possibilities are endless and thoroughly entertaining. I ask, what can’t you do when you have your own television station beamed out to the whole world!?
By now you may be wondering if we have gone a little mad, or conversely, why isn’t everyone doing this? In this age of overwrought art theory, live television might just be the cure. As Marshall McLuhan pleaded, we need to get out of the ivory tower and into the control tower of society. Television! Now that’s the answer, not the old, tired, corporate-controlled media-mogul brand, but a new kind of artist TV. We aim to shoot from the hip, straight to the stars: an out-of-control, on-camera, broadcasted global culture party.
I can see it now: Live from London (and everywhere for that matter), welcome to NetArtizens TV!