6/01/2012

Obituary of PAL :: Prologue and Eulogy

I recommend watching this with headphones. This is a render of part 1. of the Collapse of PAL (1. Eulogy, 2. Obsequies and 3. Requiem for the blue plains of phosphor), as performed at TV-TV on the 25th of May 2010, Copenhagen, DK. SOUND & TELEVISION is a transmission art project that explores the performativity of television in light of the challenges brought about by a converging mediascape. Signal, noise, liveness and flow along with standardized production formats are all aspects of the television medium which are reshaped in digital, networked media. Rather than a stream-lined sound-image of digital convergence, SOUND & TELEVISION strives to act as a springboard for an aesthetic "media-clash" reflecting on the political-aesthetic of old and new media forms. SOUND & TELEVISION invited me to work with the materiality of audiovisual flows to realize a performance exploring the performativity of television. In this performance, the transmission itself became the artwork. The performance reflects on different significant aspects of the changing conditions of broadcasting. In the new DVB-T (digital terrestrial television) environment, the very transmission format of TV has changed, from symmetric analog to asymmetric data flows, encoded in the MPEG format and decoded through software implemented in everything from flat-screen TV's, set-top-boxes and PC's. "The cracking of LCD screens" ...all is not smooth in this world of digitally compressed TV. In "The Collapse of PAL" (Eulogy, Obsequies and Requiem for the planes of blue phosphor), the Angel of History (as described by Walter Benjamin) reflects on the PAL signal and its termination. This death sentence, although executed in silence, was a brutally violent act that left PAL disregarded and obsolete. However, the Angel of History has to conclude that while the PAL signal might be argued death, it still exists as a trace left upon the new, "better" digital technologies. PAL can, even though the technology is terminated, be found here, as a historical form that newer technologies build upon, inherit or have appropriated from. Besides this, the Angel also realizes that the new DVB signal that has been chosen over PAL, is different but at the same time also inherently flawed. The Collapse of PAL was first developed as a commission for SOUND & TELEVISION (Copenhagen, Dnk). “A transmission art project that explored the performativity of television in the light of the challenges brought about by the converging mediascape.” The video footage is based on the analogue PAL video signal, compressions, glitches and feedback artifacts that are complimented by (obsolete) soundscapes that originate from both analogue and digital media. For the video I exploited the analog PAL signal from a NES, image bending, a broken digital photo camera, teletekst, digital compression artifacts, video bending artifacts (DV, interlacing, datamoshing and black bursts) and feedback. For the sound I used a cracklebox, feedback, a telephone eurosignal, morsecode an old Casio keyboard, feedback filters and a couple of DV-compressed video soundbends. //////////////////////////////////////////////////
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