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TV Interruptions (7 TV Pieces): TV Shoot-out Piece

David Hall
2.4 mins (Compilation total 22.44 mins) B & W 16mm/Video

TV Interruptions (7 TV Pieces): TV Shoot-out Piece

Ten works commissioned by the Scottish Arts Council were broadcast, unannounced, by Scottish TV in August/September 1971. Later, seven were compiled as TV Interruptions (7 TV Pieces). 'These have come to be regarded as the first example of British artists' television and as an equally formative moment in British video art.'Diverse Practices: A Critical Reader on British Video Art, 1996.

In the Shoot-out piece - 'Four cameras are positioned one at a time as part of an apparently live shoot. Each is pointed at the other and at twenty second intervals the point of view shifts from one to another.. There is reciprocal feedback as camera position, subject and point of view become the focus of the film's movement.. There is a phenomenology of making as the construction of seeing becomes the subject of the film.. The alternative positions each collapse into a singular point of view - what we might call the televisual.. It is the context of reception with which Hall not only concerns himself with but which he uses as the very material of his work.. This is Expanded Cinema at its most interventionist because as well as space it foregrounds the problem of time as the 'continuous present' of media reception.'
Duncan White, British Expanded Cinema and the 'Live Culture' 1969-79, Visual Culture in Britain, March 2010

'The idea of inserting them as interruptions to regular programmes was crucial and a major influence on their content. That they appeared unannounced, with no titles, was essential.. These transmissions were a surprise, a mystery. No explanations, no excuses. Reactions were various. I viewed one piece in an old gents' club. The TV was permanently on but the occupants were oblivious to it, reading newspapers or dozing. When the TV began to fill with water newspapers dropped, the dozing stopped. When the piece finished normal activity was resumed. When announcing to shop assistants and engineers in a local TV shop that another was about to appear they welcomed me in. When it finished I was obliged to leave by the back door. I took these as positive reactions...'
DH, 19:4:90 Television Interventions catalogue, 1990.

Hall's transmissions formed part of the SAC's Location Edinburgh event, the first exhibition in Britain to be staged outside the confines of a gallery.

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