Paper TV

Newspaper TV

During the summer of 1996, the artist was invited to give a performance at the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art by the curator Nadia Beros. The result was the "Paper Television Series," an extension of Beck's experiments in filtering photonic light from cathode-ray tube (CRT) video monitors using nonlinear materials. As in an earlier ambient video sculpture by Beck, "Atmospheres," exhibited in Nagoya, Japan, the artist incorporated CRT video monitors to display kinetic moving images created by the Beck Direct Video Synthesizer and played from a recorded tape or DVD.

The work "Newspaper TV" presents video images and sounds from an amalgam of network TV news shows, including CBS, NBC, ABC, BBC, and NHK. Paper pages from The New York Times, Asahi Shinbum, The Times, and others were placed over the TVs to filter the video images to the viewers. The resulting images presented viewers the opportunity to see that their perception of what is "news" depended on the random way in which the TV news screen wasn't obscured by the paper news and simultaneously by the way in which the light from the TV news screen was able to illuminate the paper news -- a visual metaphor for the notion that our perception of reality is filtered by layers of reality, each one capable of either obscuring or illuminating the other.

On a substance and photonic level, "Paper TV" deals with the transformation of emitted light from video via organic papers, an intertwining of digital with analog, the avant-garde with ancient forms of expression, which is a constant theme in Beck's works. The artist was invited to teach for two weeks on this topic at the Kunstschule in Bremen, Germany, by its leading video art scholar and curator, Dr. Wulf Herzogenrath.