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TV Interruptions (7 TV Pieces): Interruption Piece

David Hall
2.2 mins (compilation total 22.4 mins) B & W 16mm/Video

TV Interruptions (7 TV Pieces): Interruption 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 first piece '..we see a TV cabinet burning.. periodically a voice calls out 'interruption'.. and there is the implication that a burning TV makes better television than most of the output to which we are subjected.'
Nicky Hamlyn, Film Art Phenomena, 2003.

'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 Locations Edinburgh event, the first exhibition in Britain to be staged outside the confines of a gallery.

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