8 x 8 x 8

1976 8x monitors, 8 x cameras, auto switcher, cctv.

The Video Show, Tate Gallery, London.

18 May-16th June 1976

Richard Corks's article for the Evening Standard reviewing the Exhibition CLICK HERE)

ARTIST'S STATEMENT FOR STUDIO INTERNATIONAL MAY /JUNE 1976

 

This exhibition was curated by the exhibition department of the Tate Gallery rather than the main gallery team who had not yet, recognized video as a 'legitimate' medium. They used their lecture theatre spaces -which although not ideal, served the purpose and gave exposure to the public for what was - at the time- a very new experience. Interestingly a PhD student was undertaking some research on audience participation at the time and asked if he could incorporate the Video Show in his project. His results showed that the average time spent looking at a painting or sculpture was 3-4 seconds but with the video show it was 3-4 minutes - unless the viewer was a practicing artist - in which case it was 0-2 seconds or, in other words - video - no way!

My piece 8x8x8 was in many ways, pretty straightforward, using live video camera feeds to confront the audience with their own real time image - although it was a 3/4 view of the back and side of their head. I had devised a video switcher ( the AVS) , which was built for me by one of the engineers at the Royal College of Art (where I was, for a short time, a student). This allowed programming of the output of the switcher to the monitors. I programmed it to anticipate the reaction of a person confronted by the view of the back and side of their head, which I correctly anticipated would mean they would turn to se if they could see their face, a sensor would pick up on this an d speed up the process of switching so that they were frustrated. It was interaction - of a particularly controlling kind!

 

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Above is a photograph of the Automatic Video Switcher - developed by Howard Vie, whilst I was a student at the Royal College of Art during 1975-6. It handled up to 8 video cameras and outputs and the switching was controlled by slide tape pulse technology.

 

staff team at the Tate Gallery Education Department in 1976

 



From the annual report of the Tate Gallery in 1976

 

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© 1976 Stephen Partridge