Tele-Gen: Art and Television
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Television is among the most important inventions of the twentieth century, one that developed unique aesthetics and new communication structures. Since it first became popular in the years after World War II, the medium has spread around the globe, to the point where four-fifths of the world’s households own a television set today. But is there a mutual relationship between art and television? And if so, what is it? In Tele-Gen, editors Stephan Berg and Dieter Daniels assemble a distinguished team of writers and artists to delve into the complex and fascinating interaction of television and art.
This book reveals that as television was becoming the first mass visual medium in the early 1960s, the artistic consideration of television was also beginning. It introduces the artistic strategies used to explore television, its specific contents, and its narrative forms in video, film, painting, sculpture, and performance. The resulting artworks range from the sculptural object of the television box to the manipulation of the television image and the use of its structure of lines and pixels. From artists known for their work in this field—including Nam June Paik and Wolf Vostell—to current works by younger artists—such as Thomas Demand, Tobias Rehberger, Ulrich Polster, and Melanie Gilligan—Tele-Gen focuses on the analysis, paraphrasing, and parody of television formats and their pictorial nature. More than five hundred color images accompany the essays, including the first-ever publication in English of “TV: Transparency Lost” by Umberto Eco.
Accompanying an exhibition at the Kunstmuseum Bonn, Tele-Gen sheds new light on the ways television has been explored in painting, drawing, installations, photography, and video art.