the TV is with us
8pm, Saturday, February 22, 2014
The Sidewinder [4485 Logan Street, Denver]
5 bucks [or pay what you can]
conspired by Nothing To See Here
An abbreviated history of disrupted television airwaves, documents of pirated resistance, and televised hackings. Nothing To See Here presents a sampling of television interruptions followed by a special screening of Harun Farocki & Andrei Ujica’s Videograms of a Revolution, a compelling look at the Romanian revolution of December 1989 in a new media-based form of historiography. the tv is with us.
Captain Midnight – 5 mins – 1986
On April 27, 1986, at 12:32 am EST, HBO had its satellite signal feed from its operations center in Hauppauge, NY interrupted by a man calling himself “Captain Midnight.” Lasting between 4 and 5 minutes, the interruption occurred during a presentation of The Falcon and the Snowman. The man, who during the interruption also threatened to hijack the signals of Showtime and The Movie Channel, was later caught and identified as John R. MacDougall of Ocala, Florida.
[link to video – click image or – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbruOe6Yii0]
The Media Reality – Ztohoven – 0.43 mins – 2007
In June, 2007 the Czech guerilla arts collective Ztohoven climbed up one of the transmitters of a Czech Radio-Telecommunications company and hacked one of the cameras used for automatic live forecast broadcast. On June 17, 2007, during the live morning public television show “Panorama,” they replaced the live feed of the Krkonose mountains with the image of an atomic explosion.
[link to video – click image or – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vObdyZmpoSE]
Porn Football – 1.07mins – 2009
On February 1, 2009, in Tucson, Arizona, NBC affiliate KVOA’s signal was replaced for about ten seconds with footage from the pornographic video Wild Cherries 5, interrupting Super Bowl XLIII between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers.
[link to video – click image or – http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=0c4_1233598904]
Investigate 9/11 – 0.25 mins – 2014
On February 2, 2014, after Super Bowl XLVIII, an unidentified man interrupted MVP Malcolm Smith’s press conference shouting: “Investigate 9/11. 9/11 was perpetrated by people within our own government,” before being pulled away from the microphone and forced out of the room.
[link to video – click image or – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNQlRseW2NA]
The Max Headroom Incident – 2.05 mins – 1987
On November 22, 1987, an unidentified man wearing a Max Headroom mask intercepted the signals of two television stations in Chicago: independent station WGN-TV, during its 9:00 pm sports report for about 25 seconds; and PBS station WTTW, close to 11:00 pm during an episode of Doctor Who entitled “Horror of Fang Rock” for almost 90 seconds. To this day, none of the individuals responsible for the intrusion have been identified.
[link to video – click image or – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWdgAMYjYSs]
Paul Yarrow – 2.51mins – 2010
Paul Yarrow has regularly appeared in the background of various live news reports in the UK since 2009. The first known instance was during an anti-BNP protest outside the BBC TV Centre. He has been recorded on BBC, BBC1, ITV, Channel 4, Skynews and Al-Jazeera. On July 21st, 2010, Paul Yarrow’s identity was finally revealed and he began to explain his constant television interruptions: “It is a statement about the image conscious media. I am overweight and people like me are treated as unsightly because of the way they look…The point I am making is that the more you push me aside, the more I’m going to be determined to make my presence known.”
[link to video – click image or – http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/paul-yarrow]
Day of Desperation – ACT UP – 0.34mins – 1991
On January 22, 1991, during Operation Desert Storm, ACT UP activist John Weir, along with two others entered the CBS Evening News studio at the beginning of a broadcast with anchorman Dan Rather. They shouted “AIDS is news. Fight AIDS, not Arabs!” before the control room cut to a commercial break.
[link to video – click image or – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Im_VektDXqM]
Telewizja Solidarność (TV Solidarity) – 2.45 mins – 1985
In September 1985, four astronomers at Poland’s University of Toruń, Zygmunt Turlo, Leszek Zaleski, Piotr Lukaszewski and Jan Hanasz, used a home computer, a synchronizing circuit, and a transmitter to superimpose messages in support of the labor movement Solidarność (Solidarity) over state-run television broadcasts. Tests to check the range of effectiveness of the transmitter were carried out by broadcasting small geometric shapes. The messages read “Enough price increases, lies, and repressions. Solidarity Torun” and “It is our duty to boycott the election,” both along with the Solidarity logo.
[link to video – click image or – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lztemas2fFI]
Videograms of a Revolution – Harun Farocki, Andrei Ujica – 106 mins – 1992
In Europe in the fall of 1989, history took place before our very eyes. Farocki and Ujica’s Videograms of a Revolution shows the Romanian revolution of December 1989 in Bucharest in a new media based form of historiography. Demonstrators occupied the television station [in Bucharest] and broadcast continuously for 120 hours, thereby establishing the television studio as a new historical site. Between December 21, 1989 (the day of Ceaucescu’s last speech) and December 26, 1989 (the first televised summary of his trial), the cameras recorded events at the most important locations in Bucharest, almost without exception. As we know, the 20th century is filmic, but only the video camera, with its heightened possibilities in terms of recording time and mobility, can bring the process of filming history to completion. Provided, of course, that there is history. (adapted from – Dietrich Leder, Film-Dienst 24/92)
*Photo: “Videograms of a Revolution”, Harun Farocki/Andrei Ujica, 1992
TRT = approx. 122mins