Last updated: July 31, 2017
From artist-organized events at local broadcasting stations to the utterly unique occurrences of sitcom television, Epic Waves is a survey of the wide breadth of broadcast media experiments spanning the 1970s.
Do You Believe in Television? Chris Burden and TV by Nick Stillman
It’s generally known that Chris Burden made a few commercials for television in the 1970s. But any pursuit of why, expanding meaningfully beyond the descriptive synopses Burden himself provides for most of his individual works, has been curiously rare. Burden—then living in Venice Beach—was concurrently making live performance work that deployed television monitors as critical signifiers of voyeurism. This link between his use of the television set as an object or prop in performances like Do You Believe in Television or Velvet Water and his works that actually took place on television is crucial to parsing why arguably the foremost performance artist of his generation began to resituate a live performance practice to a medium that seems antithetical to live art.
From a Waxy Yellow Buildup to a Nervous Breakdown: The Fleeting Existence of Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman by Claire Barliant
The nervous breakdown will be televised: In the 1970’s, producer Norman Lear’s hit sitcoms tackled racism, feminism, and class struggle without losing the laugh track. His show Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman aimed elsewhere: an ironic hybrid of soap opera and satire, the result was oddly real, unsettling, and sincere.
Art on Air by Kate Wolf
Mainly artist run, with segments and shows hosted by Laura Owens, Brendan Fowler, Fiona Connor, Simon Leung, A.L. Steiner, and many more during the last two years, KCHUNG has become an outlet for art and experimentation on the airwaves in myriad forms; in a way not unlike Close Radio, its programs suggest the portrait of a vivacious community of artists currently working in Los Angeles, which the station is a product of.
Epic Waves Archive