© 2019 Judith Barry Studio

CHANNELING SPAIN

From Receiver to Remote... Channeling Spain 2010

Judith Barry | Ken Saylor | Project Projects
Installation with Spain and US timelines + TV programming, 91 Photographs, 10 Flat screens with audio, Dimensions variable


TV/ARTS/TV, Arts Santa Monica, Barcelona

Press:

Brooklyn Rail, Judith Barry, Download Link

In 1990 Judith Barry and Ken Saylor designed the exhibition From Receiver to Remote Control: the television set for the New Museum, New York. In more than 20 period rooms, from the 1920’s to the ‘90’s, playing appropriate television programming, they traced how television transformed the social space of the home and family relations in the US.

   In Barcelona, Spain, for Arts Santa Monica, Barry, Saylor and Project Projects have updated their earlier exhibition and research by comparing some of the differences and similarities in television history between Spain and the US in relation to ‘participatory democracy’.

   While television is often considered a monolithic entity, it differs from culture to culture. Tele-visual space produces personal and collective identities across ‘national’ and global boundaries where the viewer is implicated in questions of how media is democratized. The installation consists of a US zone, a Spanish zone, and a collective zone with longer programming from both countries. A timeline comparing the history of television in Spain and the US corkscrews 360 degrees throughout the entire installation that invites the spectators participation.

Exhibition over-view: the 3 zones and the 360 degree time-line with TV programing and period television photographs

Sketch diagram showing the 360 degree time line

View of the Spanish zone. The TV programming charted the rise of democracy across the autonomous zones of Spain as the dictatorship ended.

View of the US zone. US television was most overtly political was during the Civil Rights Movement and Vietmam War era.

Detail of the Spanish zone with news program from Catalunya circa 1975.

In 1990 Judith Barry and Ken Saylor designed the exhibition From Receiver to Remote Control: the television set for the New Museum, New York. In more than 20 period rooms, from the 1920’s to the ‘90’s, playing appropriate television programming, they traced how television transformed the social space of the home and family relations in the US. In Barcelona, Spain, for Arts Santa Monica, Barry, Saylor and Project Projects have updated their earlier exhibition and research by comparing some of the differences and similarities in television history between Spain and the US in relation to ‘participatory democracy’. While television is often considered a monolithic entity, it differs from culture to culture. Tele-visual space produces personal and collective identities across ‘national’ and global boundaries where the viewer is implicated in questions of how media is democratized. The installation consists of a US zone, a Spanish zone, and a collective zone with longer programming from both countries. A timeline comparing the history of television in Spain and the US corkscrews 360 degrees throughout the entire installation that invites the spectators participation.


   The US and Spanish zones contrast representative programming from a moment when both countries assumed a homogeneous audience. This programming includes popular dramas, comedies and game shows; news broadcasts charting the events that precipitated the change in programming in both countries; alternative 

media – by artists, media collectives and filmmakers – as examples of how media resistance can result in new forms of programming; and programming from Catalunya as an example of the way television participates in the formation of identities across some of the autonomous communities in Spain.

   

US television assumed a white, middle class audience until Civil Rights and the Vietnam War created the conditions for change. Spain’s TVE presented an idealized view of Spanish life until democracy took hold across the autonomous communities. In both countries it is local, public television access and alternative forms of programming, targeted to specific demographics (narrowcasting) that pave the way for the representation of cultural differences and the transformation of television. Representative photos in the first two zones demonstrate some of the differences and similarities in television viewing conventions between the two countries. US television, initially marketed as ‘home theater’, was designed to take over the living room, while in Spain, as television was introduced later, it functioned more as an appliance, often appearing as just another object on a bookshelf. The final zone showcases people watching television in other countries around the world. Also, In the final zone, the collective zone, it is possible to view longer programs than those shown in the clips.